Velmer S. Burton Jr., a noted expert and author on criminology, has been named the new dean of the University of Mississippi’s School of Applied Sciences. Burton is special assistant to the senior vice president for system academic administration and professor of social work at the University of Minnesota at Twin Cities. He officially joins the UM faculty Aug. 1, pending approval from the Board of Trustees of Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.
Besides serving as dean, Burton will hold a joint appointment in the departments of Social Work and Legal Studies.
Before joining the University of Minnesota at Twin Cities, Burton was chancellor of the University of Minnesota at Crookston campus and a tenured professor in the Department of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. He also was dean of the graduate school at North Dakota State University, associate provost for research and graduate studies and dean of the graduate school at Southeast Missouri State University and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice at Ferris State University.
Burton is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice in 1985 and 1986, respectively. He also earned a Ph.D. in sociology from UC in 1991, and in 2003 earned a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2004, Burton earned a certificate of completion for new presidents from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.
He is co-author of the book “Contemporary Criminology Theory” and has also written many research and scholarly articles for various publications, including the journals Criminology, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Justice Quarterly, Journal of Criminal Justice and Women in Higher Education. His primary research involves testing theories of crime with adults, social work with offenders and criminal justice agency program evaluation.