LOCAL NEWS

USU reorganizes Public Safety Department 

Feb 3, 2022, 4:56 PM
Michael Kuehn and Ellis Bruch will return to USU this month to serve in Department of Public Safety...
Michael Kuehn and Ellis Bruch will return to USU this month to serve in Department of Public Safety leadership positions. (Used by permission, Utah State University)
(Used by permission, Utah State University)

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State University announced a reorganization and a pair of key hirings at the school’s Department of Public Safety as it makes changes following a recent lawsuit over the handling of sexual assaults and the resignation of its police chief. 

USU created a new position, Executive Director for Public Safety, to oversee police, emergency management, and the fire marshal according to a news release. 

“This is a critical restructuring that will help us ensure USU campuses are safe and welcoming environments for learning and working,” USU President Noelle E. Cockett said. 

A news release said a former leader of the university’s public safety was hired as executive director. Michael Kuehn served from February 2017 through April 2019. He also worked at the Utah Department of Public Safety for 25 years. 

“Bringing back a known and trusted collaborative leader will make this transition smoother,” Cockett said.  

One of the first decisions Kuehn will make is hiring a new police chief and addressing sexual violence when he begins later this month. 

USU also hired Ellis Bruch to be director of emergency management, a position he held previously at Utah State. He guided the department through the first months of the pandemic from August 2019 to November 2021. 

The new police chief will replace Earl Morris who resigned in December after comments he made to the football team were made public in which he addressed sexual assault. 

He was heard on secret tapes warning football players that Latter-day Saint women may falsely report sexual assault.  

The KSL investigators first reported last Dember on the filing of a federal lawsuit highlighting the secret audio recordings. 

The recordings were part of a lawsuit filed by a Utah State University student who alleged the school mishandled her report of rape. 

Kaytri Flint sued the university Tuesday, alleging it has not made good on its promises to do better after a 2020 U.S. Department of Justice investigation found reports of sexual assault went unaddressed on the Logan campus. 

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USU reorganizes Public Safety Department