West Virginia University has chosen a leader with 27 years’ experience, not only in her chosen field of public safety, but also on its Morgantown campus to lead the University Police. Sherry St. Clair, WVU’s first female chief, begins her new leadership role this week.
“My passion for the department, WVU and the Morgantown community runs deep, and I look forward to leading University Police,” St. Clair said. “I’ve served in several roles in this department, always with an eye on keeping our students, faculty, staff and the entire campus community safe and engaged in safe activities.”
St. Clair was selected following an extensive national search to fill the position.
A diverse hiring committee including representatives from across WVU reviewed the skills and qualifications of more than 50 candidates prior to making the selection. Other key stakeholders from within the University, including members of the WVU Public Safety Advisory Committee, and the broader Morgantown community also were engaged as part of the selection process.
“I’ve had the honor to meet with her and I can tell she cares about students and wants us to thrive here, and also feel safe and secure while we’re on campus,” said Amaya Jernigan, president of the WVU Student Government Association who also participated in the selection process. “My past experiences and contacts with her have been positive and I look forward to working with her in her new role.”
St. Clair joined the department as an officer in 1994 while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Fairmont State University. She completed training at the West Virginia State Police Academy in 1995.
Since then, St. Clair has taken on various roles of increasing responsibility within the department, including several supervisory positions, and in 2018, was named University Police’s first female captain. She has completed several training and certification programs during her tenure at WVU, including the nationally recognized Police Executive Development program through Pennsylvania State University earlier this year.
“Not only does Sherry have significant experience and expertise in law enforcement in a higher education setting, she also is highly regarded among students, faculty, staff and her University Police colleagues for her leadership, positive attitude and service to WVU and the broader Morgantown community,” said Phil Scott, who has acted as interim chief since January. He will continue to serve University Police as he begins a transition toward retirement.
St. Clair is a member of the WVU CARE Team, which is a cross-functional team that helps at-risk students access the support and assistance they need to be successful at the University. St. Clair also is a member of the WVU Public Safety Advisory Committee, the Monongalia County Sexual Assault Response Team and the WVU Pedestrian Safety Committee, among other groups.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to promote campus safety and continued engagement between officers and students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the community,” St. Clair said.
CONTACT: April Kaull
Executive Director of Communications
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