CU-Boulder announces key hires in the Division of Administration

December 17, 2013

University of Colorado Boulder Vice Chancellor for Administration Louise Vale today announced the appointment of Carla Ho-a as assistant vice chancellor for administration auxiliaries and Melissa Zak as police chief for the University of Colorado Police Department.

Ho-a, who joined the Boulder campus last March as the director for administrative projects, will oversee Parking and Transportation Services, the CU Bookstore and Imaging Services effective Jan. 1, 2014. Previously, Parking and Transportation Services reported to the executive director of public safety, who also oversaw Police Services and Emergency Management.

“Chancellor DiStefano has asked the campus to examine the fundamental ways we conduct business,” said Vale. “I see this as an opportunity to bring Division of Administration units providing customer service and revenue generation under one leader and organize around efficiency and functionality. In addition, this allows the police chief to focus on the safety and security of the campus.”

Prior to coming to the Boulder campus, Ho-a served as the associate dean for finance and administration at the University of Colorado College of Nursing at the Anschutz Medical Campus, where she oversaw the strategic planning and day-to-day operations of the college including human resources, payroll, budget, finance, facilities, marketing, communications, alumni relations and information technology. Ho-a’s experience also includes budget and planning for the Denver campus, the Colorado Community College System and the Facilities Operations Department at the Anschutz Medical Campus. Ho-a holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Colorado Denver.

“Bringing these areas together strengthens our ability to serve the CU-Boulder community,” Ho-a said.  “I am excited to have the opportunity to build on best practices within these enterprises and develop a shared vision for the future.”

Zak, who came to CU-Boulder last July as the deputy police chief, is a 21-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department. She will oversee both police and emergency management services. The full-service police agency with 46 commissioned officers provides the university community with round-the-clock police patrol and dispatch communications, criminal case investigations, crime prevention programs, emergency and disaster preparedness planning, hostile threat assessment and response, and event security oversight.

“During my six-month tenure as deputy chief, the campus experienced several significant events, including September’s floods, that demonstrated its ability and depth to come together as a community to respond to these incidents. As police chief, I look forward to building upon the established partnerships and finding ways to improve our communication and responsiveness to CU affiliates,” Zak said. “Ultimately it takes each and every one of us to keep our community safe and ensure our students have an environment that is free from distractions to their academic success.”

As a captain in the Southwest Area of the LAPD, Zak oversaw gang operations, detective operations, community relations, critical incident and special events, and administrative investigations for a territory that included the University of Southern California and more than 400 LAPD employees. Zak has experience managing safety at large incidents and events including USC football games, the Academy Awards and LA Marathon. In her LAPD position, she worked very closely with USC’s Police Department on reducing theft and investigating major crimes. She is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy and Senior Management Institute for Police.

Zak holds a master’s of arts degree in conflict negotiation from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and a bachelor’s of arts degree in criminal justice from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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