University Mourns Passing of Dr. James Barrum

Dr. James Barrum, College of Criminal Justice, 1969-2009
Dr. James Barrum, College of Criminal Justice, 1969-2009

Dr. James Barrum, an Associate Professor at the College of Criminal Justice from 1969-2009 and a former Internship Coordinator, lived the University motto “The Measure of a Life is its Service.”

“When I think about Dr. Barrum, I think about how he lived the Sam Houston motto,” said Ph.D. Student Bridget Hepner, who served as his assistant when he was internship coordinator. “He made sure that students would get the jobs that made life better. He would sit and talk with students about life in general. He raised money through golf tournaments and other sporting events. During our site visits, everybody from any branch of law enforcement loved him and loved how he was….Knowing him made you a better person.”

Dr. Barrum joined the faculty in 1969 when the College was known as the "Institute of Contemporary Corrections," and he continued his dedication to correction as he progressed through his career. Dr. Barrum was an expert on problems associated with substance abuse and crime as well as correctional counseling.

In 1991, Barrum received a Certificate from the Texas Governor for his outstanding contributions to the state’s War on Drugs, and he also earned a Certificate of Appreciate from the Texas County on Family Violence in 1994. He was a participant in the FBI’s Citizen Academy in 2002.

“His professional contributions helped our program remain true to its roots as a program dedicated to scholarly enlightenment of criminal justice practices with particular emphasis on the field of corrections,” said Dr. Dennis Longmire. “He took a special interest in all of his students and encouraged them to do their best. He was not only popular among the student body but he was respected as someone who was able to translate theory and research into useful and compassionate practice.”

He also served as the faculty adviser for Alpha Lambda Delta, the National Freshman Honor Society, as well as Lambda Alpha Epsilon, the American Criminal Justice Association, at SHSU.

Dr. Jerry Dowling said Dr. Barrum helped to ramp up the College’s Internship Program and successfully placed student in criminal justice internship across the nation and world.

“He did an exceptional job as the internship coordinator,” Dr. Jerry Dowling said. “Before it was an informal situation, but when James was put in charge, he ramped it up. He made a lot of contacts in the criminal justice profession in the state and across the nation and placed students all over the world. He took it not only to the next level but up the next three levels.”

Ann Broussard, coordinator of the Criminal Justice Center Conference Center part-time who began her SHSU career as a part-me secretary in the Internship Office, said Dr. Barrum always went the extra mile for students – and colleagues.

“If you were a good student, he would go to the ends of the earth to get you a good placement for your internship,” said Broussard. “He was just a good guy. He was a sweet guy that was always good to me.”

Cutty Gilbert, adjunct faculty member and director of Alumni Relations and Development, said Dr. Barrum encouraged her to come back to school to complete her Master’s degree.

“He gave lots of encouragement to me to come back to school and finish my undergraduate degree and was always there to support me while obtaining my Masters degree,” Gilbert said.

Member of The Texas State University System