As of last week, UND has received as many as 16 applicants for the vacant university police chief position, and a search committee hopes to start bringing finalists to campus starting around July 19.

The head position of the UND Police Department was vacated by Eric Plummer, who left the university in February to fill a similar position at Radford University in Radford, Va., after a national search.

UND posted Plummer's position for its own national search on May 25. The position remains open and applications are continuing to come in.

Candidates who apply for the position will go through the Massachusetts-based recruitment firm Spelman Johnson, which will pass qualified applicants on to the UND search committee headed by Peggy Varberg, the university's associate vice president of human resources and payroll services.

"I think we're excited about the possibilities," she said. "We're encouraged by the search firm and that they're getting good-quality applicants, so we're excited about that as well. I'm just really anxious to get moving."

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The search committee is made up of people with a variety of backgrounds and specialties, including university administrators, students, law and criminal justice professors, and members of local law enforcement.

Varberg expects the search committee will begin screening those applicants the first week of July. From that pool of candidates, they will select between eight and 12 applicants to invite for Zoom interviews. Three or four of the best candidates will then be invited to campus around July 19 to meet university administrators, be interviewed by student groups and answer community questions in public forums.

At the end of the interview process, the search committee will share its top candidates with UND Vice President for Finance and Operations Jed Shivers, who will make the final hiring decision. The police chief will report directly to him, Varberg said.

A target start date has not yet been set, but Varberg said the hope is to make an offer the week of July 26.

The search committee plans to prioritize candidates who are excellent communicators and collaborators, since they will be expected to work with a diverse range of people and organizations across the city and county, Varberg said. However, she said she expects the position will be shaped by the candidate who is ultimately hired, and their own experience and goals.

"I think every position evolves eventually, and it just depends on what that person brings to the table," she said. "They may have some unique experiences that they can bring that will help us go to the next level, and that's always what you want, is to increase whatever that is. So whatever they carve out, there may be some areas that are niche areas for them that they're going to carve out and be able to enhance on campus as well."