Eric James has been named Assistant Vice President/Director, University Police Services, Northern Command following a national search, Vice President for Administration and Finance Vic Redding announced today.
James, who has been a member of the University’s Police Department since 2003 and has held the position of Deputy Chief of Police since 2020, replaces Todd Renwick, who announced in the spring he would be retiring following more than two decades with the department and serving as chief since 2019.
James started his appointment July 1. It includes responsibility for coordinating safety and security activities at all of the Northern Nevada System of Higher Education campuses including the University and its satellite campuses, Truckee Meadows Community College, Western Nevada College, Desert Research institution – North, and Great Basin College.
“Eric has demonstrated tremendous leadership qualities throughout his time at our University,” Redding said. “He has worked diligently to create the kind of communication, transparency and trust that is so vital with all of the stakeholders of our campus community and the community at large.
“We had many individuals representing many of these stakeholder groups come together over the course of the search and the vetting process, and these individuals invested hundreds of hours in selecting our Northern Command/AVP/Director.
“Eric’s commitment to the safety and well-being of the people of our University as well as the community and the institutions that are part of the Northern Command has been ongoing for nearly two decades.”
“I am extremely grateful to serve our community,” James said. “I have been mentored by great leaders, like Todd, who taught me the value of meeting people where they are and always listening to the needs of our students, faculty and staff of our Northern Nevada Institutions.”
James, a Marine Corps veteran, started his career at the University as a Police Officer in 2003. He held the position of Commander from 2009-2020. During his time at the University he has been selected to represent the department on the Washoe County SWAT team, created a motorcycle unit, and has been an instructor for law enforcement and civilian personnel at the University for many years. He has promoted workplace safety, sexual assault prevention, dangers of underage drinking, and critical incident response. In 2005, he began teaching women’s Rape Aggression Defensive (RAD) to students, faculty, staff, and the Reno community. In 2017, he established drop-in classes for Girls on Guard, another women’s self-defense course, at E.L. Wiegand Fitness Center.
James is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy 252; a John Maxwell certified leadership coach; and current Co-Chair of the University of Nevada, Reno Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. He has also served on the University’s chief shared governance body, the Faculty Senate.
James, who holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Phoenix in Business Management, has received numerous awards for leadership and excellence in the performance of his duties. Among them, James received the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Medal of Valor for his actions during a SWAT call-out in 2008.