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UAlbany’s #2 Ranked School of Criminal Justice Joins Rockefeller College

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 27, 2020) — Strategically restructuring and uniting two of its nationally ranked academic units, the University at Albany, SUNY announced that the School of Criminal Justice will join the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy effective June 1, 2020.

In the new interdisciplinary structure, Rockefeller College Dean R. Karl Rethemeyer will continue to shoulder the role of dean, while Provost Carol Kim has appointed Associate Professor Dana Peterson as the Senior Executive Director of the School of Criminal Justice (SCJ). 

“I am excited about the possibilities created by this change. We are bringing into the Rockefeller fold a productive, respected, and highly ranked unit with research interests and capabilities that complement many areas of excellence in the Departments of Political Science and Public Administration and Policy,” said Dean Rethemeyer. 

UAlbany’s School of Criminal Justice is home to the 2nd-ranked PhD program and 3rd-ranked undergraduate program in the nation. Founded in 1968, the School was the first doctoral-granting criminal justice program in the nation. Its interdisciplinary and innovative curriculum, focusing on all aspects of crime and societal reactions to crime, has been emulated by many other doctoral programs founded since then. SCJ brings together scholars from criminology, criminal justice, sociology, law, public policy, political science, and related fields, creating a program that looks beyond the offender to explore the nature of crime and the entire criminal justice system.

“The move to Rockefeller College will offer collaborative possibilities and new opportunities for SCJ faculty and students to build on our strengths, successes, and influence,” said Dana Peterson.

For 25 years, the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation's premier schools of public affairs. The College offers undergraduate- and graduate-level study in public administration, public policy, international affairs, political science, and now criminal justice.

Rockefeller College is the highest ranked public affairs college at a public university in the Northeast region and ranks in the top 15 for four public affairs specialties:

  • 4th in Information and Technology Management (2020)*
  • 12th in Public Management and Leadership
  • 12th in Nonprofit Management
  • 14th in Public Finance and Budgeting

“At base, the new Rockefeller College will be committed to the same mission: to help our students be effective participants in political and policy processes and to generate knowledge that helps improve governance so that we can collectively create freer, fairer, more inclusive, and more bountiful outcomes for everyone,” stated Dean Rethemeyer. 

“We can collectively achieve this mission through a recommitment to our core values: research excellence, high-quality graduate and undergraduate instruction, responsive student advising and services, commitment to experiential learning, and continued engagement with the public sector writ large.”