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The Division of Justice and Law Administration (originally called The Department of Criminal Justice) was founded by Prof. Solomon Gross and Dr. Frank Muska in 1976, with a $14,000 grant from the Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. The entering class numbered fourteen students. The department wobbled for a few years before broadening its academic focus to a multi-option format, e.g., law enforcement, legal studies, criminology, corrections.
Dr. Muska chaired the department from 1978-1982, followed by Dr. Harold B. Schramm (now Professor Emeritus), 1982-1991. Succeeding Chairs, Dr. David Whelan, 1991-1993, Dr. David Machell (now professor Emeritus), 1993-2003 and Dr. Michael Foley, 2003-2009 grew and managed the department to its current status as the largest major at Western Connecticut State University. Prof. Charles P. Mullaney is the incumbent Chair.
Over 500 students currently major in Justice and Law Administration. They are taught by a faculty of 10, assisted by 14 part-time faculty. JLA typically offers 45-50 courses each semester, catering to a diverse body of students who seek to enter the varied fields of law and justice. Indeed, JLA graduates work in law enforcement at the federal, state and local levels, the legal profession, corrections services, social service agencies, private security, education and myriad other professions.