ASU assistant police chief transitions to new university role

May 17, 2012

Arizona State University assistant police chief Allen Clark is taking on new challenges in his career as he transitions to ASU’s director of emergency preparedness.

With a strong track record of training first responders throughout the university and the country on emergency operations, Clark will focus initially on preparedness initiatives, including planning for restoration of normal operations after an incident occurs. Allen Clark Download Full Image

“I’m excited about expanding my career in emergency preparation to include additional aspects other than those of a first responder,” Clark said. “It’s a brand new position.”

ASU’s Police Department has been Clark’s employer since 1989. He joined the department after working as an officer in Huachuca City, Ariz., and as a law enforcement specialist/security forces officer for the Arizona Air National Guard. During his ASU police career, Clark climbed the ranks from a patrol officer to corporal, sergeant, commander and was named assistant chief in 2007.

“Allen has made some great contributions to law enforcement and ASU,” said ASU Police Department Chief John Pickens. “It has been a pleasure working with him. Because of his dedication and commitment, we are a better agency. I wish him continued success in his new position.” 

Highlights during Clark’s career have been numerous. He spearheaded a firearms program overhaul in 1993 to provide updated equipment and training opportunities for department staff. He planned security operations for Super Bowls and dignitary visits including the 2009 commencement with President Barack Obama. He co-chaired a committee to review the Virginia Tech shootings and served on an awards committee for police department personnel. Clark particularly enjoyed his time as a sergeant in the department as it enabled him to directly mentor officers he supervised while working on administrative matters.

One of his most memorable moments occurred in 2000 when he was a sergeant. He approached a vehicle in a dark off-campus parking lot and apprehended a man for attempting to rape a woman. He discovered that the suspect was wanted in Texas and that the vehicle he was in was connected to a homicide from another state.

“I just happened to be at the right place at the right time,” he said.

Other instances are memorable for different reasons, such as the time he took his mother for a “ride-along” so she could see what her son did on the job. After apprehending a suspected drunk driver and placing her in the back of his patrol car, he began to process the suspect’s vehicle for evidence. He returned to his car several minutes later only to find his mother hugging and consoling the crying woman.    

During his years at the department, Clark also has developed a positive working relationship with the university community. One of the hallmarks of a university police department is working with administration and other departments to enhance the educational environment.

“Though it may not always seem apparent, we are very oriented to student success,” he said. “ASU and the police department foster an environment of free speech, assembly and the right of young people to mature into adults. Unfortunately, there are times when the maturation process conflicts with state laws and our involvement is required.”

As the university continues to grow, Clark has helped facilitate keeping pace with the community policing needs of students, faculty and staff by leveraging technology and cutting-edge processes.   

“Nearly six months before other Valley police departments began studying the use of 13-hour shifts, our department had implemented the shift and began an in-depth study of its effects on our personnel. The administration has been very supportive when studying new systems, and has funded technology that helps the department succeed in a very dynamic environment,” he said.

Clark has appreciated the support of top university administrators throughout his years in the police department.

“As most have witnessed at one time or another, there is never a time when the university is idle,” he said. “In that regard, we’ve appreciated the support from President Michael Crow, Morgan Olsen, and several other ASU administrators when advancing the ASU Police Department to one of the best in the nation. Dr. Crow has always been one of our greatest proponents.”

Clark, who starts in his new position July 2, said he’ll miss the people from the police department, but is looking forward to expanding his role in emergency preparedness.

“It’s been a very fulfilling career,” he said. “It’s time to take it to the next level.”

Health Services Building renovation includes green-building practices

May 14, 2012

ASU's Facilities Development and Management completed a major renovation and expansion during March 2012 to the Health Services Building on the Tempe campus. Structure space was added for the first time since 1968, when Tempe campus student enrollment topped 23,000. Today, student enrollment is approaching 60,000 students on the Tempe campus. 

The $10-million project demolished a portion of the building that was built in 1954, and added around 20,000 square feet of new space. Approximately 14,500 square feet of the building constructed in 1968 was fully renovated. Download Full Image

"We’re very excited about the changes," said Allan Markus, director of ASU Health Services. "We created a much more modern, beautiful, and efficient health center that allows more accessibility for all students to health services."

The building’s addition and renovations created space for acute care services that allow more patients to be seen per day and decreases their wait times. Patient wait times for visits that require laboratory testing have decreased by 30-50 minutes on average since building renovations were finished.

The new building offers patients primary care and women’s health services in addition to wellness-care services such as massage, acupuncture and chiropractic.

Public spaces at the facility include semi-private indoor and outdoor waiting areas, which double as quiet places for student study.

Concrete from the old courtyard was sawn into blocks and repurposed into the landscaping, and bricks and recyclable materials from the building demolition were salvaged and used in other areas. Facilities Development and Management is applying to the U.S. Green Building Council for the project be certified as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold.

Health Services also is collaborating with the Herberger Institute’s School of Art Northlight Gallery to exhibit art on the second floor, featuring works by student and faculty artists.

“We wanted the building to be an inviting place,” Markus said. “This is now a place where students would want to go.”

Wendy Craft

Marketing and communications manager, Business and Finance Communications Group


Town Hall covers ASU strategic business framework

May 10, 2012

Key elements of Arizona State University’s strategic business framework were outlined at the recent 2012 Tempe Town Hall.

ASU President Michael Crow greeted Town Hall attendees during a videotaped message, commending university employees who support ASU’s mission to educate students while finding better ways to work together, advance ideas and improve the quality of the institution.   Download Full Image

Morgan R. Olsen, ASU's executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer, thanked the staff for their service and discussed the university’s strategic business plans. 

"There are so many things that go well every day because of the efforts you make,” Olsen said. 

Olsen cited economic factors that have greatly affected the university, such as the recent economic downturn that prompted ASU’s need to respond in a quick and innovative manner. ASU continues to evolve today in an era of rising costs in areas such as health care. 

“What we do has become more expensive,” he said. “We need to change how we do things.” 

To ensure that Arizona is globally competitive and contributing to a highly educated populace, key elements of the university’s strategic business framework include building the student pipeline at every level from kindergarten to higher education, increasing the production of college degrees by 50 percent, and doubling the sponsored research volume. 

The university must be cost effective and secure resources to thrive, building quality and performance while maintaining affordability. The strategic business framework anticipates degree production can increase through improved retention and graduation performance, instructional innovation and growth of new platforms such as ASU Online. Research performance also will grow, and the university will seek additional enrollment from nonresident and international students. 

"We think there’s a lot of enrollment growth potential through recruitment of students from other states and countries,” Olsen said.

At the same time, ASU is planning to control tuition increases while offering an array of financial aid options, ensuring wide access and affordability for students. Allocation of State investments in higher education is changing from an enrollment-based model to one based on outcome or performance measures, such as funding based on increased retention rates, degrees produced and research productivity. Producing more graduates is enhanced through programs such as the Maricopa-ASU Pathways Program (MAPP) and Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG) programs, he added. 

Cost effectiveness is a primary tool in the plan through the use of technology and the use of private sector services when efficient and effective, while enhancing student success and outcomes and building brand awareness and quality. Compared to other research universities, ASU’s performance already is superior.

“We’re already very productive and cost effective,” Olsen said. “We need to take that next step.” 

If the university performs this year at the level projected, ASU is in a position to make general salary increase adjustments over the next several years, Olsen said. 

Strategies that can accomplish this include cost controls, increased tuition from non-residential and international students, ASU Online growth to 20,000 students by 2020 and partnerships that benefit the university.

ASU also is examining its relationships with its health and retirement plan sponsors. The purpose of the study is to ensure that both ASU and its faculty and staff are getting maximum value for their benefits dollars. 

Kevin Salcido, chief human resources officer, provided a report on his department’s initiatives, including retooling the compensation program that was put into place in 1985 by replacing it with fewer and broader bands of positions and pay ranges. A Peoplesoft upgrade is currently being implemented and online sexual harassment training for employees will help ensure that ASU is still an employer of choice. 

"It’s good to be proactive. ASU still is seen as a destination employer with 55,000 people a month visiting the applicant website,” Salcido said. 

Salcido encouraged employees to take advantage of the tuition-reduction program and added that there are no plans to discontinue this benefit. 

Additional ASU Town Halls will take place:

• 9-10:30 a.m., May 14, at the West Campus Kiva Auditorium

• 9-10:30 a.m., May 17, at Nursing and Health Innovation-2, room 110, at the Downtown Phoenix campus

• 2:30-4 p.m., May 21, at the Union Ballroom on the Polytechnic campus

The ASU Staff Council and Office of Human Resources sponsor the Town Halls.

UCLA lab tragedy strengthens ASU safety awareness

May 9, 2012

This June, UCLA professor Patrick Harran and the University of California Board of Regents are expected in court. According to The Los Angeles Times, it’s anticipated that Harran and the regents will reach a plea agreement with prosecutors for charges stemming from the laboratory-fire death of Sheharbano “Sheri” Sangji, a 23-year-old UCLA staff research assistant. Sangji died from extensive burns 18 days after the 2008 lab incident.

Nearly 400 miles from the UCLA tragedy, news of the lab death rattled leadership in the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) at Arizona State University. A man posts a lab-safety warning in an ASU lab. Download Full Image

According to Leon Igras, ASU's EH&S director, professor Harran and the California regents face three felony counts of willfully violating occupational health and safety standards causing an employee death.

“They are accused of failing to correct known unsafe work conditions in a timely manner, failing to require clothing appropriate for the work being done and failing to provide proper chemical safety training,” Igras said.

Before the UCLA tragedy, it was not commonplace for university safety officials to believe that faculty or staff may face criminal charges related to on-campus lab accidents.

“The court case is thought to be the first linked to a higher education lab accident where criminal, felony charges were filed,” said Robert Ott, associate director of Occupational Health and Safety at ASU.

In the more than 1,400 ASU labs, activities include everything from laser and radiation use, to chemical and biological procedures as well as geotechnical and material testing operations. After Sangji’s unfortunate death, EH&S monitored and implemented health and safety enhancements that were very similar to those that UCLA instituted following the fatal fire.

“We immediately issued a safety alert to the EH&S Compliance Officer team to ensure that the ASU community was aware of the potential risk,” Ott said. “Fortunately, the use of the pyrophoric liquid involved in the UCLA incident was relatively limited at ASU and personnel involved were managing the risk.”

Pyrophoric liquids pose a significant risk of catching fire when exposed to the air. If individuals handling volatile chemicals in the lab do not follow proper procedures and wear the proper safety gear, there is a greater risk of serious injury or illness. For instance, EH&S has a Chemical Hygiene Plan that outlines safe work practices and requirements for the use of eye protection and proper laboratory attire.

EH&S then collaborated with the ASU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to provide hands-on training for potential users of pyrophoric liquids from other departments.

After the 2008 lab tragedy, EH&S also conducted follow-up lab-safety inspections 30 days following initial reviews. According to Ott, the program enhancement helped lab personnel identify corrective actions and ensure that there was no confusion about rectifying inspection findings. 

“Significant laboratory incidents can stifle important research if a lab or building is completely shut down,” Ott said. “Our annual laboratory-safety training is updated to reflect what was learned from the previous year’s inspection findings and any incident that may have occurred. We do this to continually improve our laboratory-safety programs.”

Data collected from the lab inspections then is summarized and trended for EH&S committees and the EH&S Compliance Officer team. Since 2005, the Compliance Officer team – that currently consists of 125 departmental volunteers – has been in place at ASU. Their duties involve managing environmental health and safety activities, including authority to establish processes, investigate complaints and incidents, and audit performance.

John Crozier is a lab safety inspector for EH&S. Before his current post, he was a Compliance Officer for all of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. He was required to be knowledgeable in all areas including occupational, environmental, hazardous materials, lab, fire, radiation, biological and shop safety. Last fall, Crozier helped local fire officials quell a liquid nitrogen leak on the Tempe campus. 

“The ASU Fire Marshal James Gibbs contacted me at home when he could not reach the lab researchers,” Crozier said. “I believe that my familiarity with the lab and its associated hazards ultimately was helpful to the Tempe Fire Department in planning their response.”

Liquid nitrogen is not combustible, but can cause its handlers cold burns or asphyxiation in poorly ventilated areas – and we were fortunate that no one was injured during the leak, Crozier adds.

Crozier’s dedication to his Compliance Officer role is just one example of how employees are keeping labs safe and incident-free across ASU’s campuses.

According to Igras, 60 percent of ASU Compliance Officers have remained in their positions for two or more years.

“With their continued support and in combination with the efforts of our full-time EH&S employees, we will remain working to ensure that our labs are operating safely and in effect, mitigating serious incidents or injuries,” Igras said. “The death of Sheri Sangji is a tragic lesson to all of us that lab-safety compliance deserves our upmost attention and we hold it in the highest regard.”

For more information about the EH&S Compliance Officer program at ASU, visit: Visit to learn more about EH&S Training classes at ASU.

Wendy Craft

Marketing and communications manager, Business and Finance Communications Group


ASU wins 2012 Climate Leadership Award

May 3, 2012

Arizona State University is one of two doctoral-granting academic institutions to receive a Climate Leadership Award from Second Nature and the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). Nearly 700 colleges and universities agreed to promote sustainability through teaching and action, thus forming the ACUPCC. Second Nature is the lead supporting organization of the ACUPCC.

This is the third year that Climate Leadership Awards were handed out, and ASU is one of 10 institutions to receive a 2012 award. Winners will be recognized during an award ceremony at the ACUPCC Climate Leadership Summit in Washington, DC June 21-22. Download Full Image

Climate Leadership Awards are bestowed to ACUPCC signatory schools that demonstrate unparalleled campus innovation and climate leadership that helps transition society to a clean, just and sustainable future. Second Nature’s board selected ASU from 20 competition finalists.

“These institutions have all shown tremendous creativity and an unrelenting commitment to integrate sustainable practices into their campuses and society as a whole,” said Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, president of Second Nature. 

ASU was recognized last month in the ACUPCC’s Celebrating Sustainability Series in large part for solar-generation capacity. With more than 55 solar photovoltaic installations generating 15.3 megawatts across four campuses, approximately 30 percent of the university's current peak daytime power needs are being met.

"As the number of our solar installations flourish, we continue to ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to promoting sustainability in our university operations,” said Ray Jensen, associate vice president of university business services and university sustainability operations officer at ASU. "Being named a climate leader by the ACUPCC is a great achievement and reflects our commitment to implement clean-energy across our four campuses.”

Grounding ASU’s sustainability operations are four fundamental pillars: carbon neutrality, zero waste, active engagement and principled practice. Actions ASU is taking to support its sustainability objectives include:

• The elimination of 90% of campus solid waste from the landfill by 2015. ASU has an ongoing relationship with Waste Management, Inc. and is co-creating a Roadmap to Zero Solid Waste.

• Alternative transportation choices include free intercampus shuttles, car-sharing options available by Zipcar®, and discounted-rate public transit passes on Phoenix on Valley Metro buses and the METRO light rail.

• Green-building practices are in effect across all four ASU campuses. The university is home to Arizona’s first LEED Platinum-certified building, and has 36 LEED Silver or better certified buildings.

Learn more about what ASU is doing to be sustainable at:

More information about the 2012 Climate Leadership Award winners can be found at:

Media contacts:

Wendy Craft,
Arizona State University

Andrew Graham,
The Salak Group

Parking and Transit offers new service enhancements

May 2, 2012

Arizona State University Parking and Transit Services (PTS) recently announced new service enhancements to bring the department to the cutting-edge in industry technology, service and sustainability.

While the spring 2012 semester is winding down, PTS is gearing up by implementing new programs, infrastructure and services for ASU faculty, staff, students and guests conducting business at all four campuses. Download Full Image

“We are pleased to provide these innovative services to the Sun Devil community,” says Melinda Alonzo-Helton, PTS director. “Many of these enhancements are a result of PTS listening to suggestions we’ve received from students, faculty and staff; while others came about from PTS researching best-practices within the parking and transportation industry and tailoring them to bring a higher level of service to ASU.”

Upcoming PTS service enhancements include:

• Electric Vehicle Charging Stations – PTS has already partnered with ECOtality to have six, Level 2 Blink electric vehicle charging stations on the Tempe campus. Additionally, they are moving ahead with charging stations at ASU’s other campuses and expect installation to begin later this calendar year

• Pay-By-Phone and Extend-by-Phone – Will allow users to pay for visitor parking using their smart phones, as well as extend their time at a meter or in a designated parking lot

• Valet Parking –A pilot service will become available at the Tempe and Downtown Phoenix campuses this fall

• Eco-Pass – Introduced in fall 2011 as a pilot program, this supplemental parking permit allows for 25 all-day parking privileges during the school year in a designated lot or structure for U-Pass or Platinum Pass holders. The program will become a permanent service in fall 2012 with some enhanced features.

• Mobile Apps – PTS is currently developing mobile apps to assist with visitor parking lots/structures that also have the ability to assist with tracking intercampus shuttles

“At the core of these new programs is greater convenience for our customers and a commitment to sustainability” adds Alonzo-Helton.

Parking and Transit Services is a unit of University Business Services at Arizona State University. PTS’ mission is to provide sustainable transportation and access solutions for approximately 72,000 students and 12,000 employees.

For more information, visit the PTS website at or call 480-965-6124.

Reporter , ASU News


West campus groundbreaking celebrates Sun Devil Fitness Complex

April 25, 2012

ASU President Michael M. Crow joined students, faculty, staff and community supporters on the West campus April 24 to break ground for the new 63,000-square-foot Sun Devil Fitness Complex, set to open in January 2013.

The Sun Devil Fitness Complex is funded by a student government-endorsed facility fee and is one of three major construction projects in progress on campus. A new residence hall and a dining facility are due to open at the beginning of the fall 2012 semester in August. Student Brandi Bement Download Full Image

The new fitness complex will offer ten times as much space as the existing facility at the West campus. Amenities will include weight and fitness equipment, fitness studios, an outdoor pool and fields, gymnasium, racquetball courts, and wellness service space including a demonstration kitchen for healthy food preparation.

Two multipurpose studios in the center will be used for group fitness classes and student club activities. A two-court gymnasium will accommodate basketball, volleyball and badminton, and two racquetball courts also are included. Sand volleyball and outdoor basketball courts will be available on the south side of the new facility, and the existing field north of the project site will be renovated for use as a student quad and recreational play field.

In addition to Crow, speakers at the groundbreaking event included Elizabeth Langland, dean of ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences; Mistalene Calleroz White, dean of students at the West campus; and Josh Tucker, West campus student government president. Fitness staff were on hand showing off some of the new fitness equipment that will be available for use in the new facility.

“Students have been involved from the very beginning of the planning process for the Sun Devil Fitness Complex, from the arrangement of physical space to the conception of programming priorities,” said Calleroz White. “This process, from creation to completion, is being driven by students. The fitness complex, along with the two other new buildings, will truly transform the experience at the West campus. Students, current and prospective, are extremely excited about what the future holds.”

The project architect is Architekton + 360 Architecture; the construction manager is Haydon Building Corp. The Sun Devil Fitness Complex is expected to earn a minimum of LEED Silver certification.

Information about ASU’s West campus is available at

Bert C. Ahrens Award given to ASU’s John Riley

April 23, 2012

John Riley, executive director of Purchasing and Business Services at ASU, received the Bert C. Ahrens Award from the National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP), an organization that focuses exclusively on procurement in higher education. The Ahrens Award is NAEP’s highest honor.

Just 23 individuals have received the award in the association’s 91-year history. Riley’s award was announced at a ceremony during NAEP’s 91st annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif., earlier this month. Download Full Image

Riley received the award for his outstanding contributions to the procurement profession over an extended period. During his 23-year tenure as a NAEP member, Riley has served as both national president and as Pacific regional president. Over the years, Riley has given numerous presentations at NAEP regional and national meetings, and contributed many articles to the NAEP Journal of Educational Procurement.

“John’s dedication shows in his day-to-day attention to detail and ability to see the bigger picture,” says Ray Jensen, associate vice president of university business services and university sustainability operations officer at ASU. “I’m fortunate to have someone like John on my team and congratulate him on his prestigious honor from NAEP.”

Learn more about NAEP.

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library

Hawk's nest removed from ASU construction site

April 12, 2012

Two days before Easter, wildlife expert Bob Fox searched for eggs in an unlikely place – an ASU construction site.

Fox removed three eggs from a red-tailed hawk’s nest Friday morning, surrounded by news crews and ASU officials. Download Full Image

“The eggs were in danger of being destroyed,” said Pedro Chavarriaga, a project manager in ASU Facilities Development and Management. “We really wanted to keep them safe.”

The nest was perched on an outside window ledge of the ninth floor of Manzanita Hall. ASU employees had known about the nest for years, and had assumed that when the massive renovation project started in the 15-story building in May 2011, the birds would find a more peaceful place to nest.

Yet when the time came to demolish the exterior wall directly opposite the nest, construction workers noticed the nest wasn’t empty. ASU contacted officials at Arizona Fish and Wildlife, who put them in touch with Fox, director of local bird rescue Wild at Heart.

Fox removed the eggs and placed them in an incubator until they reached Wild at Heart. Once there, the eggs would be put underneath a surrogate hawk.

“We hope the hawks decide to stay,” Chavarriaga said, even after their eggs and nest were moved. “They have been at Manzy for some time.”

Fox said he hopes the mother bird will lay more eggs once the nest is placed in a nearby building.

Renovations to Manzanita Residence Hall are scheduled to be complete before the fall 2013 semester.

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library

Policing family affair in ASU Dispatch Department

April 12, 2012

Policing is a family affair in the police Dispatch Department at Arizona State University.

Dispatchers Angela Ferrin works the day shift while her stepson, Stewart, handles the night shift. Both share a love of police work with Angela starting as early as high school when she was in a work-study program and took care of administrative duties at the Tempe Police Department. Dispatchers such as Angela and Stewart Ferrin are honored this week as part of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Stewart and Angela Ferrin Download Full Image

Angela found a sense of unity and camaraderie at the Tempe Police Department that she missed after she found another job. She returned to the police department eventually to work as a 911 operator and was promoted to dispatcher. After raising her kids and being a stay at home mom, she was hired at the ASU Police Department as a dispatcher.

When Stewart returned from doing missionary work in Chile, Angela urged him to apply to the ASU Police Department for a dispatch job since he had always wanted to be a police officer.

“I thought we could solve two problems with one solution. He could get his foot in the door and get on the job experience,” Angela said.

Stewart wanted to be a police officer from the time he was a little boy. A prime role model in his life is his father, John Ferrin, who recently retired from the Tempe Police Department after almost 27 years.  

Even though they don’t work the same shift, they occasionally see each other at work and both enjoy the challenges of working for the Dispatch department.

“It’s different every day,” Angela said. “You talk to lots of interesting people. If you can make a difference in just one person’s life, I think it’s great.”

Sometimes making a difference takes on a humorous tone like the time a pig was running loose at the Polytechnic campus and Dispatch had to find someone to call about catching swine.

“We knew who to call for bees, birds or dogs, but not a pig. All you could hear when you called the officer was the pig squealing in the background,” she said. Eventually the pig was reunited with its owner.

Other calls are simple matters like people who are unfamiliar with the campus and misplace their car. It’s especially gratifying to help in cases such as these especially when the person calling is elderly and they’re calling on a summer day.

Some reports that come into Dispatch are harder to handle when someone has experienced trauma such as a laptop theft.

“To a student, it’s a very big deal. They have all of their coursework and financial information on their laptop. That can be very devastating,” she said.