Mission StatementThe primary mission of the Department of Criminal Justice is three-fold: to educate students about their responsibilities as scholars and practitioners of criminal justice, and as citizens in a pluralistic society; to maintain an academic and working environment where all faculty and staff are encouraged to develop themselves personally and intellectually and where faculty feel free to engage in teaching, research and community service in the spirit of academic and personal freedom; and to build a department that by its example of cooperation, teamwork and dedication to university and community needs serves as a model for citizen involvement. This primary mission is accomplished by:
1. Maintaining and encouraging a faculty, staff and student body that is intellectually and individually diverse; and to the greatest extent possible, a faculty, staff and student body which reflects the multicultural heritage and future of criminal justice.
2. Developing, implementing, and continually improving multidisciplinary criminal justice courses and curricula that not only inform students as to issues, but also, challenge them to be creative, compassionate problem solvers.
3. Emphasizing the creation of the "practitioner/philosopher," individuals with the ability and motivation to continually integrate practitioner and scholarly pursuits.
4. Maintaining and consistently enforcing the highest possible academic and ethical standards for faculty, staff and students. This includes, but is not limited to, resisting "grade inflation," dealing harshly with cheating or plagiarism, and demanding an ever increasing quality of academic performance.
5. Recognizing that "good teaching" and the setting of rigorous standards often involve risk taking on the part of faculty, the department commits itself to fairly evaluate faculty teaching competence on a range of factors beyond traditional student evaluations.
1. Conducting research that exemplifies the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary nature of the field of criminal justice. Research and publication which reflects this diverse nature of the discipline will continue to be strongly encouraged and rewarded. The department will continue to give credit for research and publication in applied areas, as well as purely academic arenas.
2. Recognizing that criminal justice is a constantly changing field, the department will continue to strongly resist the development of a criminal justice "orthodoxy," including pressure to recognize only a few journals or disciplines as representing the criminal justice community. Faculty are expected to exercise intellectual courage and to resist pressure to compromise unpopular views or stances.
3. Encouraging, as a matter of policy, research and writing in the area of criminal justice issues in a pluralistic society.
1. Recognizing that each faculty member in the department has an obligation to serve the university and the community. This obligation arises specifically from the many roles that the discipline of criminal justice plays in modern society and generally from the obligation of every scholar to contribute to the advancement of the university concept.
2. Being committed, as a department, to producing not only the idea but also the practice of the "criminal justice scholar." A criminal justice scholar is the individual who views teaching, research and service as co-equal responsibilities. To foster this perspective, university and community service will be evaluated and given substantial consideration along with teaching and research in annual evaluations and tenure decisions.
3. Encouraging and recognizing faculty who serve as role models and mentors, especially to traditionally disadvantaged individuals and groups, in teaching, research and service to the university and the community. Special encouragement will be given to faculty and staff for engaging in cooperative endeavors, in teaching, research and service, that present the department as a model for cooperation, teamwork and the sharing of credit.
4. Being committed to encouraging, aiding, and rewarding students who become involved in university and community service. Special attention will be given to students who become involved in diversity programs and issues.