Public safety chief retires after 20 years of service to OSU
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
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Former Mississippi State University police chief fills the role
There’s a changing of the guard underway in the Oklahoma State University Department of Public Safety.
After 20 years at OSU, Michael Robinson, chief of Public Safety, is retiring. Former Mississippi State University Chief of Police Vance Rice will be taking over the role.
Robinson first joined the OSU Police Department in March 2003 as the assistant chief of police after retiring with 20 years as chief of police for the City of the Village. In 2004, he was named chief of police and director of public safety. Over the years, his role with public safety has grown with the OSU Department of Parking and Transit, Environmental Health and Safety, and Lake Carl Blackwell falling under his purview as well. In November 2011, he was named chief of public safety.
Robinson said leaving is bittersweet.
“I’ve enjoyed the culture here, the sense of community, and I’ve gotten a chance to meet a lot of people I wouldn’t have otherwise met,” Robinson said. “I’m a sports junkie. I’ve gotten to meet childhood heroes and travel to the Cotton Bowl, the Coliseum in L.A. I’ve met (former president) George W. Bush, (former United Kingdom prime minister) Tony Blair and Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow.”
But after 40 years in the public safety sector, Robinson is ready for a change. He and his wife, Kathy, have plans to travel and spend more time with family. The couple have a grown son and daughter, two adopted sons still at home and an adopted daughter.
Rice, who started with the department Feb. 20, spent 25 years with the University of Arkansas Police Department before taking over as chief of police at MSU. He has a bachelor’s degree in human resource development and a master’s in operations management through UA’s College of Engineering.
“I wanted to stay in the public safety realm, but wanted new opportunities and challenges,” he said. “This will be my third land-grant university to serve with.”
He and his wife have enjoyed Stillwater so far.
“I’m excited to be here and have liked everything I’ve seen about Stillwater,” he said. “This is a great town. I’m overwhelmed with how friendly everyone has been.”