Gene Burton is no longer the acting director of public safety. Instead, the 22-year veteran of the University Police Department has been named the permanent director of public safety.
The announcement came about two weeks after the three finalists for the position held public forums on campus. Dean of Students Randy Hyman said he selected Burton because of a number of reasons.
"Gene Burton is one of the most honest, direct people I've ever met," Hyman said.
Hyman, who supervises the Department of Public Safety, held sole responsibility for choosing the permanent director of the department. A search committee made recommendations to Hyman after the forums and interviewing each of the finalists.
"I spent a lot of time checking references very carefully and it became clear to me that Gene Burton is right for this job right now," Hyman said.
While Hyman would not give a specific reason why Burton was selected over the other two candidates, he did say Burton's experience in the department and relationship with its staff played factors in his selection.
"The staff has really rallied behind him," Hyman said.
Burton said he felt "gratified, relieved and flattered" by the announcement. As director, his duties include leading the UPD and working closely with Hyman.
Now that he holds the permanent position, Burton said he is ready to focus on goals he has for the department. One priority, he said, is to update policies and procedures within the department, including officer regulations.
During his forum in October, Burton said he would like to add more structure and guidance to the department of 32 officers. He said 32 officers was an appropriate number to have on a campus the size of Ball State's "when managed correctly."
Burton said he would also continue following a 47-page