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February 8, 2007
The University of Nevada, Reno has established the new School of Social Research and Justice Studies in the College of Liberal Arts, as of Jan. 1. The school provides a single administrative unit for the departments of sociology and criminal justice and the Grant Sawyer Center for Justice Studies to stimulate research, the development of new courses and degree programs, and to advance justice studies.
"Formation of the school represents a strategic development in the organization of the college similar to the creation of the School of the Arts and facilitates further collaboration with the National Judicial College and National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges," said Heather Hardy, College of Liberal Arts dean.
"The creation of the new school provides sociology majors and minors with more course offerings, promotes collaborative faculty research and grant activities and encourages development of future interdisciplinary programs," said Johnson Makoba, sociology chairman.
Sociology and criminal justice offer master's degrees. "Our hope is that if we are able to secure the resources, we could pursue doctoral programs with tracks in criminal justice, sociology and justice management," said Jim Richardson, interim director.
"The department of criminal justice looks forward to collaborating with excellent researchers and teachers in the College of Liberal Arts and justice studies," said Grant Stitt, criminal justice chairman.
The criminal justice department moves from the College of Health and Human Sciences. The College of Liberal Arts was created Jan. 1, 2004. The College of Arts and Sciences, its predecessor, housed criminal justice at one time.
Richardson, a sociologist, considers such issues as healthcare, globalization, minorities, gender studies, race relations and treatment of world religions to be justice issues. "The inclusion of sociology and criminal justice faculties in this school allows us to examine these systems in a larger context," he said.
"The School represents an exciting opportunity for its member units to collaborate on research and programming and to work with other units in the university as well as external organizations on issues related to justice," Hardy said. "The School will be able to explore frontiers that simply are not available elsewhere through the proximity and close collaboration with two respected national organizations, the National Judicial College and the National College of Juvenile and Family Court Judges."
The school's first faculty meeting will be Feb. 9 at which faculty from all the participating programs will meet to discuss plans for the new school's first year and beyond.