May 18, 1998

Contact: Elizabeth Latt, 615-322-2706



Robert Wheaton named head of Vanderbilt University safety office


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Robert Wheaton, an 18-year veteran in the environmental health and safety profession, has been named the new director of institutional safety for Vanderbilt University, according to Judson Newbern, associate vice chancellor for campus planning and institutional safety.

The appointment ends a six-month national search after the retirement of Bill Twaler, who had served as director since 1991.

"This department's goal has always been to make Vanderbilt a safe place to work, learn, deliver health care and conduct research," said Newbern.

Wheaton, who joined Vanderbilt in early May, has served in various environmental health and safety capacities at Digital Equipment Corporation, Liberty Mutual and Harvard University. While at Harvard, he served as assistant director of environmental health and safety, where he directed and managed the industrial hygiene, biosafety and environmental programs.

He holds a master's of public health degree in environmental health from Boston University, a bachelor of science in environmental chemistry from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and is a board certified industrial hygienist.

"As director, my focus will be on delivering quality safety, environmental and radiation protection programs that contribute to the success of Vanderbilt University's mission," said Wheaton. "My customer service orientation and ability to get the job done have been the foundations of my career. I'm looking forward to serving the Vanderbilt community."




Vanderbilt University is a private research university of approximately 5,900 undergraduates and 4,300 graduate and professional students. Founded in 1873, the University comprises 10 schools, a public policy institute, a distinguished medical center and The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. Vanderbilt offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education and human development, engineering and music, and a full range of graduate and professional degrees.

For more news about Vanderbilt, visit the News and Public Affairs home page on the Internet at

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Document updated June 1, 1998.