Beckner pushed community connections, student involvement during tenure
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Scott Beckner, assistant vice president and director of the University of Iowa Department of Public Safety, has announced his retirement. 

scott beckner
Scott Beckner

Beckner will retire in June after a nearly 34-year career in law enforcement, including nearly four years at the UI and almost 30 in higher education. He will continue to fulfill his duties and assist in a successful transition until an official retirement date has been determined. More details will be released later in the spring semester.

Beckner, who assumed the role at Iowa in July 2016, re-vamped the university’s late night safe ride service (NITE RIDE) soon after taking on the role by partnering with Information Technology Services to create a user-friendly ride request application, adding additional vehicles the fleet, and offering an express ride option. He also created the university’s first formal student security officer program — which at full staffing now employs about 100 students —  as a way to break down the barriers between students and police, and improve customer service when it comes to safety across campus.

“Director Beckner has made it his mission to improve safety services across campus and begin building community with our students,” says Rod Lehnertz, senior vice president for finance and operations. “He has listened to feedback from students, thought outside the box to develop solutions even during fiscally challenging years, and through the hard work of the team he led and partnerships with our neighboring municipal agencies, our campus is a safer and better place. We are grateful for his leadership.”

Before his arrival in Iowa City, Beckner served as the director of public safety and chief of police at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia. He also served as chief of police at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and spent 18 years at Michigan State University Police Department in East Lansing.

“Working with students has always been my favorite part of this job, and I’m happy we’ve been able to build student-centered programs that help us improve the safety of our campus community,” says Beckner. “This has been the pinnacle of my career. I enjoyed working with the officers of this department and the partners throughout the county. It’s been an honor to serve as a member of the public safety team at the University of Iowa.”