Yale Security to lay off 13 employees

Thirteen Yale Security employees are being laid off as the department reorganizes, and some officials say the shake-up could make the campus less safe.

Administrators said the restructuring will improve campus security, open career opportunities and save money. On balance, two managerial positions have been eliminated because 11 new posts were added when the 13 people were fired; at the same time, the University is also looking to fill four new patrol positions. Though most of the 13 laid-off employees applied for the new managerial positions and were offered initial interviews, all but two already have been told they will not be rehired, according to a Security official who requested anonymity to avoid jeopardizing job prospects.

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“Security is going to change dramatically, and not for the better,” the official said.

Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith, who oversees campus security, declined to comment on the results of the search process but said only laid-off security personnel can apply for the four new patrol positions. She also said she is aware that some Security officials have been upset about the changes.

“People are always anxious about their jobs,” Highsmith said.

She said she cannot predict how many of the 13 people who were laid off will be offered new positions. Still, she said, Yale Security is actually growing and will eventually have two more employees than before the reorganization.

But two Security officials said the changes have made campus less safe by eliminating personnel with years of valuable experience.

The University has moved on to interviewing external candidates, one of the officials said, adding that the laid-off workers have a combined 110 years of Yale Security experience and one had been at Yale for 26 years.

Highsmith said she has held four town hall meetings with security workers, two in December and two January, to make sure they understand and can adapt to the changes, which she expects to be completed in the next month.

As part of the reorganization, Yale Security has been split into two forces: one that manages the University’s technical security systems and one that manages the guards. The changes do not affect the day-to-day operations of the Yale Security guards, administrators said.

One of the security officials who opposes the changes said the reorganization has unnecessarily convoluted the department’s chain of command. But administrators say Security employees will now be able to better develop the specialized skill for patrol and technical services.

University Secretary Linda Lorimer said budget cuts were the main reason for Yale Security’s reorganization.


  • KEJ8

    Pardon me if I’m wrong, but if budget cuts are the reason why will security have more positions than before the layoff? And if according to the story the experiemnced people are being laid off who’ve been here for years, Yale is going to hire people from the outside? How does this help security? Having people in charge who need to be trained themselves and have no knowledge of our community? And what career opportunities were opened if they’re hiring from the outside or getting the chance to take a lower position? So let’s see, we get 2 new security departments, all new management with no experience, most likely a disgruntled security force fearing foe thier jobs, I feel safer already. They’ve already cut security on the Medical School side. Seems the story changes every week in regards to Yale’s concern for our safety. Yale shuttle complaints, a retread security chief with a checkered past and half assed security. Yeah, at least the tour guides will have a few more talking points.

  • Insecurities

    Why, for the love of God, are eleven managerial positions being created but only four patrol positions? This imbalance seems rife at Yale. When the Army wants to secure an area, they don’t send in 4 infantrymen and 11 generals.

    What positions did the 13 laid-off staff have?

  • Justice

    The security guard in Bass who’s been systematically lying to students about consequences of having food and duping students with fear tactics should be the first one laid off.


    Ah, the Security Guard in bass and his “duping students with fear tactics” including telling students that they could get fined for eating in the library. That man’s a regular one-man gestapo. Yes indeed.

  • SM

    If they have laid Bob off, I will cry. He is the sweetest, most helpful guy ever – and fluent in Korean (he talks to the Korean tour groups that are so often visiting). SO COOL.

  • GRD12

    Lay off 13, hire 11 new managers. Hire 4 more guards who get overtime. So 13 morphs into 15. How again is this cutting staff and saving money? Yale seems top heavy in the extreme. Maybe some of the new managers can drive a shuttle so I don’t have to wait half an hour for a pick up. How about less attendees looking for meeting to go to and more people to actually make sure I’m safe on the street.

  • LOL

    With the way the economy is going. You will be laying off everyone soon.

  • YalePersonality

    I have to say that almost 90 percent of the security layoffs needed to be done. The management staff that they got rid of were lazy and did not care about the Yale community. Maybe Yale should take a lesson in this and try it all around the university in other departments like physical plant.

  • Fletch a Sketch

    I think i met or saw “Korean Bob” , in the Korean store. He strongly resembled some person of interest,or just looked familiar. I tried to start a conversation but he shied away, and literally covered his name tag and walked sideways away.

  • joey2cents

    I’ll never forget the incident when my Chinese neighbor came home and asked me to help with her car in an urgent fashion. She was a business grad student.
    I went to see what the issue was and fix it or give some advice. When as we were conversing a middle aged white male came out of nowhere and stated he was Yale security.She told him everything was fine ,”as was before”. I looked at his Yale security ID . He said “have a good nite ”
    She told me he approached her when she left the business school and was walking to her car, he said “good nite” then too
    And was creep-ed out by his reappearance in the east rock nabe,virtually out of the bushes.I thought it might have been good intentions then after it permeated.
    A little overdone and obviously unwelcome, but,maybe seeing her safe was the intention

  • the Yale way

    #2: this is the way things work at Yale these days. No money for faculty or other things that would advance teaching and research. But plenty of money to hire more managers who manage managers and eventually need managers to manage them.

    Count the number of vice-presidents the University now has.

  • ChaChing

    …but then after it permeated my noodle,and enlightenment began…

  • Public Safety

    When these layoffs occur it is the public safety that is at danger in a large understaffed security force to begin with i`m sure this is news Annie Lee`s Family would appreciate to hear!

  • stiles10

    Security at Yale is a widow dressing to make us feel good. The students don’t want security as it’s inconveinient to thier lifestyle. Security is a hassle to employees. Security isn’t something you can account for on a balance sheet, how do you cost out what was prevented? Yale will do the mere minimum possible until the next tragedy. If they were really concerned about costs, the Police, security, transit and other safety groups would be combined in one department with one layer of management. But that would put quite a few underemployed management staff out of work. Ever see how many people you have to go through to get a room unlocked for an event? Or try to get something fixed? You still wind up calling the 5 number and hoping they can solve your problem as apparently no one else can. Shake the management tree a little more, theres more from the harvest left.

  • @#9 and #13

    #9: I hope you realize Bob isn’t actually Korean…

    #13: Except that the suspect in the Annie Le case had legitimate access to all of the areas where her murder was committed, and thus, even extra patrol men wouldn’t have blinked an eye at seeing him in the building…

  • harry

    i dont think anyone who has commented on this article has any idea how to manage let alone talk about security. its like a lawyer trying to talk about chemical biology.

  • Elm City

    13 layoffs and 14 comments, who’s the other guy? Seriously though, Yale isn’t the least concerned about security until something happens.

  • grad12

    What else can you expect from an office that’s going to make everyone safer by having everyone carry around expired IDs that say “invalid if sticker removed” on them? From an office whose answer is to put in gated corrals for people to swipe through to enter a building and ignore the 18 other ways to enter a building?

    Yale Security is a joke.

  • ken keniff

    So many individuals in our community think that police and security are a waste. When left out in the cold and needed to be let in our rooms security responds. When we need a ride to a specific destinatoin we have security guys assist us. They go as far as jumping our cars batteries and give us walking escorts. I do know we need more security officers around the clock especially at our colleges which are 24 hour safety concerns in our eyes. We need to care for our safety more than our top heavy white collar folks who make some serious cash to do little as past community members have touched based on.

  • By the ones who know

    First of all there is not one of you that has a clue of what you are talking about,second you all come running when you need help (please mister security officer can you help me)third there is not one of you who know the unjustice that went on in the security dept.
    The wroung doings that went on the friends that where hiried with out a lick of experiance in security, hiried because they are someones son or cousine or just somebody taking care daddys little friend it’s all a joke.
    The false accusations of officers,the spying of 2 or 3 other officer being brought in just to hide in certain areas and take names of people going to H.R. and reporting them back to certain managers and what is more disturbing is these so called brother officers (RATS) where getting paid overtime for this.
    So before you judge the security dept.that right now is going in the right direction and has a respected leader at last that I see as a commander that will take this dept. and get the respect back that it deserves.
    So again before you judge get the story behind all the crap that went on in the security department.

  • By Concerned Yale Parent

    I am not happy to read that there will be layoffs of security staff when the crime rate is increasing in and around Yale. I am concerned that have been deaths on campus and more breakins this year alone. I want a safer campus. I did not think there was enough security before when I came to visit. Please reconsider where you cut!

  • OWG93

    There must be something we’re not being told. Yale is laying off 13 security officials with a combined 110 years experience. But we’re hiring 11 supervisors back and 4 new guards if I read this right. Someone doesn’t know how to count if this is how they figure the University can save money. And if only two of the laid off staff are going forward, who’s career is progressing? It seems to me also that the University is replacing the entire guard management with a brand new one. Why is what I want to know. Either we’ve had an incompetent security staff that Yale was finally forced to do something about, or it’s a sweeping regime change for the new security director to bring his loyalists aboard. What plans does Yale have to effectively manage security during this transition? If the old group is being laid off, the new group replacing them will have quite the learning curve. This whole scenario just doesn’t add up. Either something happened and Yale is burying it, or it’s a regime change by people who shouldn’t be allowed near a checkbook.

  • gary O

    @ #20- If things are as bad as you say we can see why there’s the shake up in security. If this individual represents the people protecting us, I think some more house cleaning is in order. I’ll reserve judgement on the new chief. He seems to have been in hibernation since Yale hired him, and he appears to have brought some baggage with him from New Haven. I was surprised to find out the security staff isn’t unionized. Maybe that’s what you need to solve your problems if you feel so mistreated.

  • Voice of reason

    Yale Security
    Let me tell you how Yale Security works, I know because I was there in the trenches. Basically they hire you on the premise of who you know not what you know. This includes even at the management level. Martha Highsmith who is one of the top dogs there I’m sure is well aware of it but will probably deny it. Why? Do you ask, because one manager Rick Maffei should have been on the chopping block. Here is a guy who prior to being a manger in the security department was a custodial services manager (maintenance) boy that is a lot of security experience. So what is one of the first things that Mr. Maffei does, he has a revelation that if students or faculty or anyone else who has a janitorial issue (clogged toilet, leaky faucet, etc.)they can call the security dispatch center that then has to call the correct physical plants who are then told by the lazy physical plant personnel that security will have to call the on call manager so that they can approve sending someone to fix the issue. Meanwhile the dispatcher still has to monitor the burglar/fire alarm system, the CCTV monitors and answer calls for service. Some of these calls included students looking for rides because the Transit department who for some reason were made part of the security department couldn’t handle the volume. Why? you ask. Well basically because some genius didn’t think to put multiple extension numbers for transit. So they basically had one number to call for a ride rather than 2 or 3 so of course the system was going to get backed up. Whose idea was this well none other than former Director of security George Alyward. You would think that an institution with such a prestigious reputation such as Yale would want to have a security department made up of the cream of the crop however this not the case. To quote a scene from Cool Hand Luke “What we have here is failure to communicate”. These are but a few things that I personally observed while at Yale Security if you want to read the rest lookout for my letter to the press.
    Oh and for “The One who Knows” you know nothing you think Francisco Ortiz is going to make a difference he is just another politician who ran when it got too hot for him in the New Haven P.D..

  • It’s the PR, Stupid

    So Yale’s reaction post-Annie Le is to… fire more than a dozen security folk? Brilliant move; that’ll really entice all the students who are already avoiding Yale because of the crime rate in New Haven. Don’t expect those app number to rise next year…

  • anyone who listens

    to the voice of reason,
    Talk about knowing nothing of what your talking about why don’t you stop crying because you did not get what you wanted.
    There are plenty of you who come in here and expect m-f day shift and then cry when you don’t get it.AS far as Francisco Ortiz you are the one who does not want to give him the chance but that does’nt seem to matter anyways your long gone and now want to bash everybody oh ya forgot you have nothing hiding in your closet(ya right) so get it together mister perfect. why don’t you apply for the directors job.

  • Voice of Reason

    Anyone who listens you must be related to By the one who knows because no where in my blog did I mention that I wanted a Mon-Fri gig. And as far as for Fransisco Ortiz is concerned if he had any say in this revamping that is going on he would have realized that the way security should have been structured was a director, 2 assistant directors one in charge of communications and one in charge of patrol. The rest would be lead officers and then with money saved by not having so many managers you could hire more patrol officers. I guess you don’t understand the concept of spending money wisely. As far as me no longer being there it has to do with finally getting tired of seeing unqualified persons both at the low end of the totem pole as well as the management level of security getting hired because they knew someone. Cisco my friend will be just another pawn in the system who will do whatever he is told to do. Sorry to say but if you think he will change things there you are highly mistaken.

  • hello out there?

    Like Im said they are so top heavey and we don’t need nnymore lead officers you give these a gold badge and a title which by the way means you are just a go between the managers and the officers and they think the university can’t run without them.
    And I will agree with you as far as savimg money it would be better just to higher everybody at full time then there is none of the cry babies saying I can’t work hoilday or I don’t work weekends, but the old managemet seem to succume to that and give them what they wanted, now that was a laugh them telling managment what they will work.

  • Looking from the outside in

    All of you need to unite and get a UNION to represent you. This would solve 90% of all the bs petty problems you guys fuss and fight about. This will also help with job preservation, MORE MONEY, seniority and the ability to move around. The who has this, who has that and the singing bird has to stop By the way, being a RAT is the worst thing in anyones book. Dont steak people out. Its not your job to run and say this person is doing this when your next to that person doing the same thing. You can only get but so far until you no longer have anyone who talks to you or above all trusts you. In my dept. we dont like those guys. They get weeded out very quick. I feel you cant blame a person comming in for all the existing problem. If he decides to do good and do by you guys thats a plus. Foster that. Have faith in your new Sheriff and give him a chance. If he doesnt, then acclaim him as the one who ran and didnt step up to the plate and became another pawn. Rome wasnt built in one day so give people some time work out the issues. I TOTALLY AGREE–The worst thing is having a person with no experience making decissions to run a dept. So whoever wrote about a custodial guy comming in and being in charge……well thats bs. I hear there is a lot of nepatism in the dept. How you are hired and how you achieve a gravy post. Hope the head hancho will change this and run things right.

    Hey guys and ladies….think about you future. Your medical can change, your time off can change and above all your employee status can change to “Not Employed.” Get a Union, grow some brass ones and have some type of back bone to protect you from those guys with power trips….I guess they are gone and still going. Stick together troops and get the dept. running right! A friend of ken keniff…..

  • Open your eyes

    Your brothers are too stupid to join a union. They have no clue what benefits that brings. Yale loves the fact your department doesnt have one. They strive on that. They could keep you making the same hourly rate for the next 5 years if they want. And yes your medical bennies can change. Who want to pay out the ying yang for bennies. That the reason you work there. If you “brother” are smart you should look into maintainning the same healthcare benefits and try to gain more pay and keep your time off. All this can be easily adjusted. All the accounting experts have to say is, “security” has no say. And there goes the best benefits around.

  • How disturbing

    I thought I was gonna retire and get a job with Yale Security. Guess not. My old chief wouldnt want me there anyway. I went against his grain all the time. Its all about the officer not the higher ups! He did what DeStefano wanted and forgot….well you figure it out. How is it that a department thats bigger than the Yale Police Department yet doent have a union. Thats a joke. Why is that. The only branch at Yale and doesnt function under true bi-laws. Think twice before walking down town or walking Jewish people down into the Kensington area with no protection. I dont think ill apply there. No true meaning. And you should hire the cream of the crop and not daddy’s boy or sister’s son. Dont look good especially when you dont have experience to back it up.