Marywood expands services with Cocciardi and Associates

Brigid Edmunds, News Editor

Marywood has expanded its relationship with Cocciardi and Associates, a Pennsylvania-based organization that offers consulting and management services in safety, health, and emergency preparedness. The announcement has coincided with several changes in the Department of Campus Safety, including the departure of Mr. David Elliott, former senior director for university safety and security.

In an email to the Marywood Administrative listserv. on Nov. 11, Dr. Patricia Dunleavy, associate vice president for Human Resources, announced the expanded relationship: “Rocco DiPietro, Mike Baltrusaitus and their team of experts will now work directly with us to develop and enhance our safety, environmental, and emergency preparedness programs,” the email read.

When The Wood Word tried to reach Elliott a few days later for comment on how the new consulting firm would impact safety on campus, a campus safety officer said that he was “no longer at Marywood.”

Elliot’s name has been removed from the staff directory and the campus safety page on the university website.

Mike Finegan’s job title remains Chief of Campus Safety, according to the campus safety page and the staff directory. He declined to comment on Elliot’s departure.

Dunleavy also refused to comment on any changes within Campus Safety, citing personnel matters.

According to Dunleavy, Campus Safety will not be affected by Cocciardi’s new role, though there will be some overlap between the two. Cocciardi will train Campus Safety officers to assist with emergency actions.

In the past, Cocciardi has provided training sessions such as emergency preparedness drills.

Baltrusaitus, who leads the Scranton Hazardous Operations Group for the company, has an office located in the Human Resources Department.

“Our role in the university is multi-disciplinary,” Baltrusaitus explained. His team will be offering services like workplace safety, emergency preparedness, environmental compliance, and fire safety.

Dunleavy said the decision to bring in Cocciardi was an easy one.

“We looked at the services Cocciardi could provide for us; it was the right answer,” she said.

Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer, Joseph X. Garvey, explained the reason for expanding services with Cocciardi.

“We needed a representative more knowledgeable in OCEA [the Office of Trade and Economic Analysis] and certain other environmental areas,” he explained.

According to Garvey, a representative from Cocciardi will sit in on Safety Committee meetings and give advice on environmental and building issues, such as the construction of the Learning Commons and other building renovations.

“Someone of Cocciardi’s abilities could give us their advice as how to best service concerns that might arise and how to possibly reduce any liability that could arise in those areas,” Garvey said.

Garvey added that “Cocciardi will have no authority over Campus Safety.” Rather, their role will be to make recommendations for improvements to the department.

Dunleavy explained that the university has worked with Cocciardi in the past, but only in a limited manner. They have done training with faculty, as well as table-top exercises with local fire and police departments.

If members of the campus community have any questions for Mike Baltrusaitus, he can be reached at [email protected] or (570)-961-4530.