Today@Sam Article

SHSU Ranks No. 1 For CJ Faculty Publications

March 24, 2016
SHSU Media Contact: Beth Kuhles

Faculty in the Sam Houston State University Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology are the most productive scholars in the field, authoring nearly 300 peer-reviewed articles between 2010 and 2014, according to a recent study.

SHSU topped 40 programs nationwide that offer doctoral degrees in criminology and criminal justice in the latest survey of article productivity, published in the Journal of Criminal Justice Education. This year’s study, “Article Productivity Among the Faculty of Criminology and Criminal Justice Doctoral Programs, 2010–2014” included articles in refereed journals covering science, social sciences, and humanities, rather than only journals in the criminal justice field.

“Academic programs are most often evaluated based on the quality of their faculty, and the most widely used quantitative method of assessing this quality is to measure the publications productivity of faculty members,” according to study authors George Kleck and Bethany Mims, of Florida State University. “This single dimension obviously cannot measure everything that contributes to graduate education, but scholarly productivity is certainly one important indicator of an intellectually engaged faculty, which, in turn, contributes to more effective graduate training.”

The College of Criminal Justice is one of the largest and oldest programs in the field in the U.S. During the five-year study period, faculty members teaching in SHSU’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology program produced 294 articles, earning a total credit score of 804.68.

The credit score consists of faculty authorships, the prestige of the journal, and the professor’s relative contribution to the articles, compared to co-authors. The total credit score for SHSU outpaced its nearest competitor by more than 100 points.

“It is an extremely proud moment for our department to receive such highly respected accolades,” said department chair Gaylene Armstrong. “Rising to the top in research productivity among our U.S. peer institutions has been a primary goal for us over the past several years. Not only are research-active faculty members contributing to a knowledge base for the development of more effective criminal justice programs, policies and practices, they are enlightening us all on issues facing society regarding criminal offending, drug use, victimization and many other important areas.

“Partnerships with local, state and federal agencies, strong support from our alumni working in CJ agencies, and the hard work of former faculty and administrators, including Dean Phillip Lyons and former dean Vince Webb, should also be recognized as key factors leading to our success. I could not be prouder of our faculty,” she said.

The success also is reflected in research grants.

“The faculty regularly secure more money in research grants than other Ph.D. programs in criminal justice,” said William King, associate dean of research and program development in the College of Criminal Justice. “These grant funded projects answer pressing questions, improve justice administration, and lead to publications.”

The college offers a wealth of graduate programs in criminal justice and criminology, security studies, and forensic science, focusing both on academic or professional pursuits. Options for most programs include online or face-to-face courses.

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