Departing New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas will take a teaching position in Loyola University’s Department of Criminal Justice, the university announced in a news release Monday afternoon.
The university says Serpas’ position is “not new, but is a replacement position because of recent openings due to attrition” in the department, which offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Loyola has been grappling with enrollment issues since last year, when the university fell 200 students short of its enrollment goal, resulting in a $7.5 million budget deficit. To make up for the shortfall, the university has moved three times to cut staff. The latest was just this month, when it offered buyouts to employees 55 or older with 10 years working for the school. It also said it plans to cut retirement contributions by half for the next two years.
Serpas, who has a doctorate from the University of New Orleans, has a long history with Loyola as well; he taught there from 1993 to 2001, when he left New Orleans to become chief of the Washington State Patrol, according to the university.
The school said Serpas “will offer the university’s students the real-world understanding needed to prepare them for careers ranging from police and correctional officers to FBI agents and U.S. Marshals.”
“Loyola is constantly focusing on ways to enrich our students’ learning and community engagement experience,” said Loyola Provost Marc Manganaro. “Having such a well-respected law enforcement leader as a faculty member in the Department of Criminal Justice will serve our students well in offering a forward-thinking, hands-on education that connects the classroom to the many exciting careers in criminal justice. We welcome Chief Serpas to the next phase of his career.”
According to the university, members of the Department of Criminal Justice are engaged in research on a wide range of topics, “including gang behavior, crimes of the future and criminal innovation, domestic violence as well as digital crime/forensics.”
Sources have told the New Orleans Advocate that Serpas would receive a tenured professorship; Loyola’s news release did not address the question of tenure.