University Seeks Experienced Criminal Justice Professionals, Community Members with Related Experience to Serve on Criminal Justice Workgroup

July 24, 2020 | News Story

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato is conducting a review of its law enforcement, corrections and criminal justice programs, and the University is seeking approximately 20 people to serve on a workgroup that will identify areas in the programs that could potentially be revised or improved.

Workgroup candidates should be professionals or community members with at least 10 years of experience working in – or on issues related to – criminal justice fields. Those interested in serving on the workgroup should email a letter of interest to Henry Morris, Minnesota State Mankato’s vice president for diversity and inclusion, at by July 31.

The workgroup will convene from August to early October, at which time the group will forward its recommendations to University President Richard Davenport.

The workgroup’s University leadership team includes Morris; Matt Loayza, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; Pat Nelson, faculty chair of the Department of Government; and Sherrise Truesdale-Moore, associate professor of corrections.

The workgroup is also expected to include subject matter experts from various academic programs at Minnesota State Mankato.

Members of the media with questions about the workgroup should contact Dan Benson, Minnesota State Mankato’s director of media relations, at

According to a summary provided by the workgroup leadership team, the University is conducting a review of its law enforcement, corrections and criminal justice programs “to ensure that our students graduate from our programs as inquisitive, informed and culturally competent professionals that are ready to work and serve diverse communities throughout and beyond Minnesota. Our goal is to identify potential ​gaps, areas of improvement, and/or innovative curriculum opportunities to improve our programs.”

Morris said the workgroup leadership team believes that input from diverse, informed perspectives is essential to contribute input and advance recommendations to how the University’s existing curriculum could improve student awareness of structural racism, community engagement and other issues that criminal justice professionals will need to contend with on the job and as members of the community.

Earlier this month, Minnesota State Mankato invited the general public to participate in four online “town hall-style” community listening sessions about the University’s review of its criminal justice programs.

Minnesota State Mankato’s criminal justice programs are part of the University’s Department of Government, which is part of Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,297 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 30 colleges and seven universities.

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