Business Affairs

Chief of Police Search and Interim Appointment


Dear Seahawk Community,

In the coming weeks, we will initiate the search process for a new permanent Chief of Police for UNCW. To facilitate this process, UNCW has retained the executive search firm of Spelman Johnson – an industry leader in Chief of Police searches for higher education. Given Spelman Johnson’s experience and UNCW’s continued trajectory of success, I am confident this search will conclude with the hiring of an excellent leader to serve as UNCW’s Chief of Police.

Additional details regarding the search process will be provided in the coming weeks.

In recognizing the importance of hiring a permanent Chief of Police to lead UPD for years to come, I also acknowledge the challenges facing university police departments today are perhaps greater than ever before. To best respond to these challenges, I believe it is important for the department to have the Chief of Police position and the Major position filled as we complete the search and prepare to welcome students back to campus this fall.

To best meet this need, I am pleased to announce that David Donaldson has agreed to return and serve as the Interim Chief of Police for UNCW. David has nearly 30 years of service at UNCW (with approximately 18 years as Chief of Police), and I know most of you already know David well and will join me in providing him with a warm welcome back to the university. David’s first official day back at UNCW will be Wednesday, July 13, and he is looking forward to seeing all of you in the days to come.

Please also join me in thanking Chris Bertram for his service as Interim Chief of Police over the past year. Chris’s willingness to serve as Interim Chief while fulfilling his responsibilities as Major speaks to his care and commitment to the department and UNCW. I am particularly appreciative of Chris’s efforts to guide the department through the final stages of the accreditation process, to make salaries more competitive at UPD and to further improve the emergency notification processes across campus. Pursuant to David’s appointment, Chris will resume his role as Major full-time starting this Wednesday.

We look forward to filling this role with a highly qualified leader committed to providing a safe community where Seahawks learn and work.   

Thank you,

Miles Lackey
Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs