Beto Chair Speaker Series to host John Wright of Cincinnati

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The Sam Houston State University Criminal Justice Department will host noted conservative and visiting professor John Wright, Ph.D., as a part of their Beto Chair Speaker series.

George Beto, Ph.D., whom the Beto Chair and speaking series are named after, served as the head of the Texas Department of Corrections and as a professor of criminology and corrections at SHSU from 1973 to 1991.

The speaking series began in 1981 and has provided a number of opportunities for students to further their knowledge of the criminal justice system.

Publication Officer Elizabeth Kuhles said the Beto Chair Lecture series is a program that has hosted a numerous amount of highly respected people in the criminal justice field.

“The Beto Chair Lecture, a flagship program at the College of Criminal Justice since 1979, features renowned scholars from universities in the U.S. and abroad and presents emerging research in the fields of criminal justice and criminology,” Kuhles said.

Kuhles said the speaker series isn’t limited to criminal justice majors.

“All students are invited and encouraged to attend the free event,” Kuhles said. “For non-CJ majors, Dr. John Wright will debate the role of ideology in crime and criminal justice issues and examine how liberal ideology affects the study of crime, criminals and policies. He proposes a new conservative perspective on these issues in his new book Conservative Criminology.”

Wright will visit SHSU from the University of Cincinnati. He is a leader in the biosocial criminology and has published well over 100 articles alongside four books. At the School of Criminal Justice in Cincinnati Wright has been rated as one of the most productive professors in criminology.

Wright, who openly identifies as a conservative, says liberal professors tend to outnumber conservatives in fields like economics and the humanities.

In the first pages of his newest book, Conservative Criminology, he notes that nationwide college liberal college professors tend to outnumber their conservative colleagues anywhere from 3:1 and in those fields.

At SHSU the faculty across campus provide numerous opportunities to see both sides of every argument and Wright will bring a representation of criminal theory not presented in many CJ textbooks, according to Kuhles.

Kuhles additionally said Wright has a suite of accomplishments which precede him.

Wright serves as Assistant Chair of the Criminal Justice Graduate Program at the University of Cincinnati, a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Criminal Justice Research and as a Fellow at the Arlitt Child and Family Development Research Center.

He also serves as a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at King Abdulaziz University in Jedda, Saudi Arabia and taught at East Tennessee State University in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Kuhles said in addition to the speaking series, the university has also honored an alumnus with the position of Beto Chair Scholar in Residence.

“For the first time in 20 years, the College of Criminal Justice also is hosting a Beto Chair Scholar, Alumna Dr. Bitna Kim, for the spring semester.” Kuhles said. “Dr. Kim, an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, will teach graduate students, provide lectures and update research on a collaborative program between law enforcement and community corrections.”

Wright’s lecture will be held in the Hazel B. Kerper Courtroom in the Criminal Justice Department on Friday March 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 and the event is free of charge.