Criminologist Velmer Burton Named UM Dean of Applied Sciences

OXFORD, Miss. – 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.

Read the story …

Barney Brown Brings Message of Hope, Persistence to Campus

… Lecturer was wrongfully imprisoned for 38 years OXFORD, Miss. – In 1970, 14-year-old Barney Brown was arrested on false accusations of raping a woman and robbing her husband. It was the last time for nearly four decades that the Florida teenager would walk free. The next time would be upon his release from prison, finally exonerated, 38 years later. Brown will speak about his 38-year imprisonment – a message he said is one of hope and persistence – at 7 p.m. Tuesday (May 1) at the University of Mississippi as part of the Department of Legal Services Speaker Series. The presentation, which includes a question-and-answer session, is set for Farley Hall, Room 202, and is free and open to the public.

Read the story …

UM Professor Publishes Third Book in Series for Professional Paralegals

A University of Mississippi professor has published the third in a series of books aimed at improving the professionalism and sharpening the skills of paralegal professionals.

Robert Mongue, assistant professor of legal studies, is the editor of “The Empowered Paralegal Professionalism Anthology” (Carolina Academic Press), which is the third in a series. His “The Empowered Paralegal: Effective, Efficient, and Professional” and “The Empowered Paralegal: Working with the Elder Client” were published in 2009 and 2010, respectively. In 2012, he plans to publish “The Empowered Paralegal Cause of Action Handbook.”Read the story …

UPD Promotes Tutor to Detective Captain

OXFORD, Miss. – When University of Mississippi Police Chief Calvin Sellers pinned captain’s bars on Detective Lt. Peggie “Jane” Tutor’s uniform Tuesday, she not only received a promotion but also became the university’s first female to lead campus investigations.


University of Mississippi Police Chief Calvin Sellers congratulates Peggie ‘Jane’ Tutor on being promoted to detective lieutenant for the campus police force. UM photo by Kevin Bain.

Read the story …

Jeans for Justice Day, Clothesline Project Highlight Sexual Assault Awareness Month


OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi is observing 2010 Sexual Assault Awareness Month with several activities designed to raise public understanding about the problem of sexual violence and to educate participants on how to prevent sexual assault and rape.

Read the story …

Master’s in Criminal Justice Program Offers Opportunities for Professionals

OXFORD, Miss. – A new program at the University of Mississippi allows law enforcement professionals to pursue a master’s degree while holding onto their jobs.

The Master of Criminal Justice Executive Cohort Program is designed for students from such backgrounds as criminal justice, homeland security, public safety and the military. It offers four two-week residencies over the course of two years, which are held during intersessions on the Oxford campus, and consists of 30 hours of coursework and 6 hours of thesis or practicum.

“Some of the challenges of the program are that it’s very intense and requires a lot of work, as it should, but the rewards are that it accommodates my busy schedule better than regular classes,” said Capt. Libby Lytle of the Oxford Police Department. “It also gives me the opportunity to learn about a multitude of topics that can assist me with my present position serving the Oxford community.”

The 36-hour degree emphasizes homeland security and includes topics such as fraud, scams, intelligence planning and terrorism. These courses prepare students for work with law enforcement, private security and homeland security agencies, as well as careers as policy analysts. The curriculum also prepares graduates for doctoral programs and teaching at the community college level.

The first session began in January 2009 with 10 graduate students, said Michael Wigginton Jr., program coordinator and assistant professor of criminal justice. He said most students use their vacation time to attend class, and others are granted administrative time from their employers. While fulfilling their residencies, executive cohort students stay at The Inn at Ole Miss.

Shannon O’Toole, special agent with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, entered the program in August and plans to teach part time and eventually earn a doctoral degree. He said he likes that his classmates are fellow practitioners in the field.

“We all relate to each other very well, which will allow for what I can see being many long-term friendships,” O’Toole said.

For more information about the program, contact Mike Wigginton at or 662-915-1737. For more information on the Department of Legal Studies, go to



UM Launches Effort to Stem National Trend of Violence Against Women

OXFORD, Miss. – Armed with a $300,000 grant, the University of Mississippi is working to address a national problem of sexual assault on college campuses.

Read the story …

UPD Assistant Chief of Police Named Statewide Officer of the Year

OXFORD, Miss. – Ray Hawkins, assistant chief of police at the University of Mississippi, has been named Officer of the Year by the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Association.

Hawkins, who joined UM’s Department of Police and Campus Safety in December 1996, headed the security plan for the Sept. 26 presidential debate on the Oxford campus.

“During his tenure at Ole Miss, Ray has exhibited strong organizational and leadership skills; however, Ray truly showcased his leadership abilities when he headed the university’s security plan for the 2008 presidential debate,” said Chief of Police Calvin Sellers.

Read the story …

University Police Chief Named President of Law Enforcement Association


Calvin Sellers

OXFORD, Miss. – Calvin Sellers, chief of police at the University of Mississippi, has been named president of the Mississippi Campus Law Enforcement Officers Association.

Sellers, a member of the association for more than 20 years, said he’s seen the good MCLEOA does in helping support legislative endeavors that assist law enforcement. In his new role, Sellers said that “he hopes to keep the association moving and growing in that direction.”

“Although MCLEOA has representatives from all eight universities, private four-year and two-year colleges and numerous junior colleges, we’re such a small group that my major role will be to make sure we continue to meet and provide enforcement training, especially training that applies to campus issues.”

A longtime police officer, Sellers had been at UM for 14 years and was captain of patrol services in 2000 when he left to become police chief at Mississippi University for Women, the position he held before returning to Ole Miss as chief of police in July 2008.

Sellers is a 1997 Ole Miss graduate with a bachelor’s degree in public administration with emphasis in criminal justice. A certified Mississippi Law Enforcement Officer, Sellers has additional training in juvenile justice, domestic violence and cyber crimes investigation. He is a certified instructor in counterterrorism and courses in Community Emergency Responders Team and Basic Physical Defense for Women.

Sellers and his wife, Diane, reside in Calhoun County.