Public Administration, Criminal Justice departments announce new names

Two Green School departments have officially changed their names to reflect the new directions, degree offerings and numerous research topics that have expanded in recent years.

The Department of Public Administration has been renamed the Department of Public Policy and Administration and the Department of Criminal Justice is now the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Both name changes are in direct response to the growing breadth of intellectual interest within these departments. For years, the departments have been adding areas of study to their programs and faculty scholarship has been expanding to a variety of topics within the fields.

“Mainstream public administration connotes research and pedagogy dedicated to implementation, the daily routines associated with the business of government,” explains Howard Frank, chair of public policy and administration.

“We want our stakeholders in South Florida and beyond to know that our department is actively engaged in applied policy analysis that addresses what government should be doing in the first place.”

He adds, “In so many words, we are as interested in government and nonprofits doing the right thing as we are in them doing the thing right.”

Similarly, “criminal justice” is often associated with police, courts and correction. While the program still offers intensive study in those areas, it goes beyond that and also focuses on understanding and identifying the causes of criminal behaviors from multiple orientations, evident in courses such as Criminological Theory and Geospatial Crime Analysis. The rebranding especially reflects the latest degree offering in criminal justice: the bachelor of science in crime science, which is a STEM degree.

“As a science-based field, crime science is more appropriately associated with criminology in terms of crime analysis and prevention (using Geographic Information Systems) and detection (forensics and cybercrime),” says Lisa Stolzenberg, chair of the department.

To further enhance the technical and critical thinking skills of law enforcement professionals, FIU’s criminal justice department has also launched the first law enforcement apprenticeship program (LEAP) at a state university in Florida – combining classroom instruction with specialized police training and workplace experience.

Both Green School name changes are consistent with the top-ranked departments in each field and square perfectly with FIU’s aspirations and productivity at a top-tier Carnegie Research University.

The names have caught up with what the students have been studying – and align FIU’s programs with some of the best in the country.

“These new designations are more than just semantics,” said John F. Stack, Jr., founding dean of the Green School. “They complement the Green School’s approach of blending the social sciences and the humanities to successfully prepare our students to be the leaders and changemakers of tomorrow.”

“Just as our Master of Arts in Global Affairs has been named one of the top 40 programs for policy careers in the world, these two departments are providing our students with the kind of worlds ahead opportunities and experiences that rival those of the top institutions in the country,’’ he added.