The Criminal Justice program was established in 1972 as a unit within the Department of Political Science, Edmonds Classroom Building under the leadership of Dr. Jesse Bowe, Director and the only faculty.
In 1973 a second faculty member, Joseph Sroka was hired. Due to the disparate allocation of resources with the University of North Carolina system, a Consent Decree was enacted in 1978 to help foster the development of HBCU/predominantly black institutions.
As a result of student enrollment in criminal justice and the Consent Decree, the University of North Carolina system allocated funds to build what is now known as the Albert N. Whiting Criminal Justice Building in 1981. The Graduate Program was established in 1984 to offer the Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. The Department of Criminal Justice has evolved from a program in Political Science in 1972 to a free standing department in spring 1992.
Over the past six years the number of undergraduate criminal justice majors increased 98%, i.e. from 291 in Fall 2001 to 575 in Fall 2007. The number of graduate students increased from 44 to 49 during the same time period. Criminal Justice is the second largest academic unit within the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
Student learning and outcomes serve as the cornerstone for the Department's academic and learning opportunities beyond the classroom. Students are challenged to be critical and analytical consumers of information and advocates for social justice in order to be competitive in seeking employment in criminal justice and related agencies.
To this end, the Department has a commitment to self-evaluation in order to meet the changing workforce demands and changing demographics of the student population.