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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published August 11 2010

Security chief leaving MSUM for Texas post

Minnesota State University Moorhead’s security director, who received national recognition this spring, is leaving for a new job.

Michael Parks will work his last day at MSUM on Friday after three years of leading the university’s security operation.

He will become chief of police for the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

In April, Parks was named campus security director of the year by Campus Safety magazine.

He was noted for being MSUM’s incident commander during the 2009 flood. He oversaw a volunteer center and coordinated an emergency call center.

Under Parks’ leadership, MSUM increased its emergency response efforts, including adding an emergency notification system to alert the campus via text messages, e-mails and phone calls.

Parks also led the department while MSUM developed closer relationships with Moorhead and Clay County law enforcement.

“I’m happy for the time I’ve spent here and, for personal and professional reasons, looking for other opportunities for not only myself, but my family,” Parks said.

President Edna Szymanski said Parks will be missed, but she’s pleased he has an opportunity to advance his career.

“He is absolutely outstanding,” Szymanski said. “I would rather go into a crisis with him than anyone I can think of.”

Mitch Osland has been named interim security director, Szymanski said.

A search for a new director will be started soon, she said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590