Bruce Bovat to Head Champlain Campus Public Safety

Bruce Bovat, Director of Campus Public Safety

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Following a nationwide search, Champlain College has named Bruce D. Bovat of Georgia, Vt., to the position of Director of Campus Public Safety (CPS). The appointment will be effective August 8.

Bovat most recently served as the Deputy Chief of Police at the Burlington Police Department (BPD) where he oversaw the daily operations of 73 uniformed officers who serve as patrol officers, K-9 handlers, school resource officers, airport security officers and community service officers. Bovat also served as the Police Department's public information officer.

"Champlain College is fortunate to be able to bring on a person with Bovat's extensive experience in so many critical areas of public safety. His leadership skills, proven diplomatic approach to work in the community and his broad background in education, mentoring and coaching will all be valuable assets for his role on campus," said John Caulo, Associate Vice President of Campus Planning. Bovat replaces Rich Long, who left in April for a position in Florida.

As Director of the Champlain College Campus Public Safety Department, he will oversee six full-time CPS officers and additional contracted security officers. Public safety services include student and campus emergency response, educational and crime prevention programs, investigation services, and 24-hour, seven-day-per-week campus-wide patrols.

Bovat started his 21-year career with the BPD as a patrol officer and would later serve in a variety of roles to include: school resource officer, major crimes detective, patrol sergeant, Director of the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations, patrol Lieutenant, Deputy Chief of Administration and lastly as Deputy Chief of Operations. He has led numerous training programs, managed emergency communications and planned and executed security operations for numerous high profile city events to include the July 3rd Fireworks, the Vermont City Marathon and the Mardi Gras Parade. 

"From my days as a UVM student and later as a Burlington Police Officer, I've had the opportunity to watch Champlain College grow and evolve into the innovative institution it is today. During this growth I have been impressed with the steps taken by the college to ensure it remained a good neighbor within the community. It is because of this and much more, that I am excited to join the team of professionals and students that comprise the Champlain College family. I look forward to working with the staff, faculty and student body to continue building upon an already safe and thriving campus," said Bovat.

Bovat served as an aviation officer for more than 20 years in the Vermont Army National Guard before retiring at the rank of Major. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1991 with a degree in secondary education. He has also served as an instructor for the International Associations of Chiefs of Police and at the Vermont Police Academy.

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit