Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Faculty Highlights: Professor Jim Babcock

With the start of 2014, I am proud to be serving our students with such outstanding faculty as Professor Jim Babcock in the Bachelor of Science program. Professor Babcock demonstrates purposeful, intentional commitment to the calling of a scholar-practitioner. He embraces social responsibility in the work he does within the academy and in his service to the community outside the university, and I am honored to feature him for this month’s newsletter. 

Professor Jim Babcock is in his ninth year with UI&U, teaching in the Criminal Justice Management, Emergency Services Management, and Public Administration Programs. Prior to UI&U, Professor Jim Babcock served in law enforcement for 40+ years. Jim retired from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department as a Chief Deputy and retired from the Santa Clara County Department of Correction as its Chief.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from California State University in Sacramento and a Master’s of Public Administration degree from Golden Gate University. He is a graduate of the FBI’s National Academy and California POST Command College.

Chief Babcock has been a long standing member of the Large Jail Network of the US National Institute of Corrections in Longmont, Colorado, and Special Committee member and trainer for the California Board of Corrections. Chief Babcock also served as a member of and presenter for the California State Sheriffs’ Association, California Peace Officers’ Association, the American Jail Association, and the American Correctional Association. 

Over the course of his career, Professor Babcock acted as a private consultant in long-range strategic and technology planning, and he contracted with the Sacramento County District attorney to facilitate the County’s Technology Master Plan.  

Professor Babcock is a full-time Professor and mentor in the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership program for Union Institute & University and serves as a member of the university’s Faculty Council. In addition, he served as a member of the BS Steering Committee and as Chair of the Academic Review Committee.

Jim is also a student in the University’s Ph. D. program, Cohort 14, and is in the Public Policy and Social Change concentration.

Social responsibility is a high priority to Jim. Not only does he teach this as a college professor, but also lives by example as a member of his communities.

Jim resides in Elk Grove, just south of Sacramento, California, with his wife Maryl Lee. They raised four children and now have four granddaughters. They are very active in their grandchildren’s lives.

Jim and Maryl Lee have hosted three foreign exchange students, two from France, and one from Brazil. One of their “French kids” has been back several times for visits and is currently here for a few months doing an internship with an Architectural firm.

Jim is very involved with community groups and has served on the Board of Directors for Volunteers of America and other non-profits. Jim is President-elect of his local Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. One of the club’s many special projects is to assist sister city, Conception de Ataco, El Salvador by building homes (41+, so far) and assisting with school and water treatment/delivery services.

When asked what he felt were important concepts for his students, he said, “Considering my background and academic interests, the major concern and research interest I have is the state of our penal system in the United States. We have the highest ratio of prisoners to population than any other country in the world. There is no pride in this number one distinction.”

Addressing issues such as high prisoner-to-population ratios is, for Professor Babcock, ultimately a question about how we treat other people. Much of Jim’s extensive experience in law enforcement and corrections consisted of being a manager-executive officer. He understands that successful leadership grows out of knowing how to respect others.

Professor Babcock asked rhetorically, “Most budgets of organizations are over 85% for human beings (wages, salaries, and benefits). Doesn’t it make sense to devote most of our efforts to learn people skills and ways to fairly address the needs of our fellow human beings?”


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