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Emory Police Chief Cheryl Elliott named VP for public safety; Burt Buchtinec to be next chief
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In a series of organizational changes to enhance public safety and efficiency, (left to right) Cheryl Elliott will become vice president for public safety, Burt Buchtinec will become police chief, and Diana Carter will become vice president and chief administrative officer.

Emory Police Chief Cheryl Elliott will take on an expanded role as the university’s vice president for public safety, starting Jan. 1. Deputy Chief Burt Buchtinec has been named Emory’s next police chief, effective at the same time. 

As vice president for public safety, Elliott will oversee the Emory Police Department, the Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (including Emory EMS), Clery Reporting, Threat Assessment, Physical Security and Business Continuity. 

“Cheryl is a known and trusted leader,” says Chris Augostini, the university’s executive vice president for business and administration (EVPBA). “She has spent 35 years dedicated to public safety at Emory, and I am thrilled that she has agreed to provide elevated leadership for this critically important area.” 

Elliott has served as Emory’s police chief since May 2021, when she rejoined the department after retiring from her role as deputy chief in 2017. She has been recognized for her work and professionalism throughout her career: Emory Police Officer of The Year, 1995; the International Society for Crime Prevention Practitioners’ George Sunderland Lifetime Achievement Award, 2004; Emory University employee of the year, 2005; Emory University Community 100 for Diversity, 2009; and Emory Campus Life Support Person of the Year, 2014.

“I look forward to further developing functions and operations that establish public safety services that are collaborative and supportive of the mission and values of the Emory enterprise,” says Elliott. 

Buchtinec, a 16-year veteran of the Emory Police Department with over 25 years of total policing experience, has served as deputy chief since April 2022. As deputy chief, he has “proven himself to be a thoughtful and trusted leader,” earning respect both within and beyond the Emory community, Augostini says.

This fall, Buchtinec was named president for the Georgia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. Founded in 1974, since its first meeting at Emory, the organization has grown to more than 90 members representing more than 60 institutions.

“I am thrilled to continue my service to Emory by leading the Emory Police Department. I believe deeply in partnering with the community we serve and it is my goal to build upon the work we are doing to ensure that the Emory Police Department remains a trusted resource,” says Buchtinec. 

The promotions of Elliott and Buchtinec are part of a series of organizational changes within Emory’s Office of Business and Administration intended to enhance public safety for the Emory enterprise while aligning similar functions and streamlining the reporting structure to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. 

Emory’s first chief administrative officer

Also starting Jan. 1, Diana Carter will serve as vice president and chief administrative officer (CAO). Carter, who joined Emory in 2013, was named vice president and chief audit and risk officer for Emory University and Emory Healthcare in February 2023. A certified public accountant with a master's degree in accounting, she has also previously served in the finance division, as chief business officer for Candler School of Theology and as chief of staff for the Office of the EVPBA.

“Diana is the ideal leader for this important role, as she will be able to combine her training and experience as a CPA with her deep knowledge of the key administrative functions of the university,” Augostini notes. 

The creation of the chief administrative officer role will strategically align and integrate functions impacting risk and operations. As CAO, Carter will lead the integration of Internal Audit, University Compliance and Enterprise Risk Management under the Risk portfolio. She will also oversee Data and Analytics for the Business and Administration division.

Additionally, she will work in direct partnership with Elliott as the next vice president for public safety. The vice president for public safety will work directly with the CAO and will continue to have a shared reporting line to Emory’s president and to the EVPBA.

“I am excited by the opportunity to continue serving Emory in this new role,” Carter says. “Establishing strong partnerships with colleagues across the enterprise will be critical, enabling us to meaningfully support Emory’s mission through this work.” 

Notes Augostini, “These organizational changes are being implemented to enhance collaboration, efficiency and strategic focus, ensuring that the university continues to operate with excellence. I am confident that these changes will contribute positively to our collective success.”

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