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Text of Board Motion Naming Charles M. Friel Distinguished Professor

Charles Friel
Charles Friel

The designation "Distinguished Professor" is the most prestigious recognition that Sam Houston State University can extend to a member of the faculty. It is not to be construed as the next step of promotion in the faculty rank structure beginning with instructor and ending with professor. The distinguished professor appointment differs substantially from the university's academic career structure. It is awarded to those members of the faculty whose professional accomplishments are held in high esteem beyond the boundaries of the campus, the local community, and the state. It is assumed that any person considered for a distinguished professorship must excel in the traditional criteria by which faculty are evaluated. Only faculty members with nationally recognized scholarly and/or creative achievements may be considered as candidates for a distinguished professorship. Any Sam Houston State University faculty member who already has held the rank of professor at least five years is eligible for a distinguished professorship.

Dr. Charles M. Friel, professor of criminal justice at Sam Houston State University, has earned a rare distinction in his field as both a superb scholar and dedicated and effective teacher. He is also the definitive role model for doctoral students and young faculty members. His colleagues in the College of Criminal Justice hold him in the highest esteem; they enthusiastically support his nomination to the rank of distinguished professor. Included in the details of his nomination are numerous awards and fellowships, an impressive list of grants and contracts, publications and government reports now numbering 154, and over 500 addresses and presentations to professional groups. Moreover, his Sam Houston State University colleagues stress that while Dr. Friel has achieved a reputation of national and international prominence, he has given selflessly to the university therein he has not only met his obligation for service to the university, but also far exceeded it.

Apart from Dr. Friel's highly impressive curriculum vitae and publication record, he is considered, within the academic criminal justice community, one of the three or four most visionary scholars who have understood and articulated future needs in criminal justice long before these needs have been understood and embraced by the mainstream. Further, Dr. Friel became a national expert on corrections data and forecasting correctional populations before it was widely understood how important such data and forecasting are. Dr. Friel is recognized as a pioneer and strong leader in the creation, development and growth of national and international criminal justice statistical and information systems for more than 30 years, a role that continues to the present day.

Dr. Friel is recognized as a national authority on the development and use of statistical information systems for prison population forecasting and for working closely with local and state officials in the application of these techniques. Through the years, Dr. Friel has been a valued advisor to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Corrections, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the National Association of Probation Executives, and the Texas Association of Court Administrators, among others. He is much sought as an articulate, compelling and thoughtful speaker who always manages to intrigue, educate, and enlighten attendees at meetings, conferences, and symposia. Through his expertise and knowledge, his uncanny ability to communicate, his fierce dedication and his unswerving devotion to the justice information management and identification technology arena, he has made significant, enduring and beneficial contributions.

Information is an integral part of a successful criminal justice system. Internet technology holds the promise of achieving the integration of information across criminal justice functions and among levels of government. Pioneering work in criminal justice information exchange is the foundation of these future integration efforts and Dr. Friel has been a leader in this area. He was one of the intellectual leaders in the momentous redesign of the nation's crime reporting system. He was the chair of the committee that developed a wholly new systems approach to managing corrections, and he was one of the most influential advisors to the Federal government during the period that they were establishing a comprehensive collection of criminal justice statistical information. These achievements form a legacy for criminal justice.

A universally respected true expert on criminal justice, he has in that capacity represented U. S. interests and perspective in any number of international meetings and conferences. He also has served as senior advisor to foreign governments and agencies on a variety of criminal justice matters.

He is widely considered by his peers to be long overdue for this designation as distinguished professor. He is considered the epitome of a professor, a teacher, a mentor, a citizen, and a friend. The high standards of scholarship that he applies to his classroom carry over to his work beyond the campus. His outstanding leadership and participation in crucial committee work is motivated, not by personal aggrandizement, but by his strong sense of commitment. Among the numerous awards bestowed over three decades in recognition and appreciation for service is the 1997 Excellence in Service Award from the university, the 1997 Service Award from the Supreme Court of Texas, and in 1998, the Ron Beattie Award from the Association for Correctional Research and Management.

His academic credentials are impressive: first, he spent three years of undergraduate study of Philosophy and Latin, then pursued the Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, the Master of Arts in Experimental Psychology, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Experimental Psychology from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D. C. Additionally, he pursued the study of Spanish, French, and German. In Texas, he became a certified psychologist in December, 1970, and a licensed psychologist in January, 1971. Included in his areas of expertise are statistical methodology and research design, program planning and evaluation, correctional forecasting and policy analysis, and management information and statistical systems.

Dr. Friel has obtained both a national and international reputation as a justice system teacher, researcher, and scholar. In recognition of an academic career marked by eminence, distinction, and excellence, Sam Houston State University unequivocally recommends Dr. Charles M. Field to the Board of Regents, The Texas State University System, for the designation as distinguished professor.

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SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
Aug. 31, 2001
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