An email was sent to criminal justice majors on July 17 informing them that Dr. Robert Pallitto, chair of the department of political science and public affairs, will be serving as interim chair of the criminal justice department for the 2018-2019 academic year. This decision comes in light of Dr. Lonnie Athens stepping down as chair effective July 1.
A number of issues were raised during the spring 2018 semester regarding the criminal justice department. The Setonian reported on these issues, among them were concerns about the rigor of the curriculum and lack of stability within the faculty.
A number of students also raised concerns about the capability of the then chair of the criminal justice department, Dr. Lonnie Athens. Although Athens will not be serving as chair this coming academic year, he will still be teaching within the department.
Dr. Peter Shoemaker, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences thanked Athens for his service as chair in an email.
Shoemaker then commented on Pallitto taking over as interim chair of the criminal justice department.
“As an experienced chair and an accomplished scholar of political science and the law, he is well suited to lead the department during a time of transition,” Shoemaker said. “His focus will be on improving the criminal justice curriculum so that it serves the needs of students and their future employers.”
Pallitto commented on his new position in an email.
“There are really two parts to my work as interim chair,” he said. “Taking action in the short-term and planning for the long-term.”
According to Pallitto, the criminal justice department is focusing now on increasing internship possibilities for criminal justice students, programming events for the coming academic year and making advising more useful for students. Pallitto added that in the long run, changes to the curriculum and growth within the department faculty are anticipated.
Isabel Soisson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.