Judicial Administration at Michigan State University is a community of learners, scholars, and practitioners dedicated to the advancement of the missions, mandates, and purposes of judicial systems across the globe through expert management and timeless leadership principles and practices.
Program options offer a “start where you are” approach to building professional skills and credentials through a (1) non-credit bearing certificate, (2) a graduate certificate, or (3) Master of Science Degree in Judicial Administration.
Dr. Maureen Conner, Program Director
Catharine White, MS, Student Services and Course Administrator
Judicial Administration Program
Michigan State University
1407 South Harrison Road Suite 330
East Lansing, MI 48823-5239
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The mission of the Judicial Administration Program is to bring academic rigor and standing to the administration of justice through certificate programs and Master of Science Degree in Judicial Administration, research, publications, technical assistance, mentoring, and networking opportunities. The profession of judicial administration achieves greater recognition, status, and prestige through these credentialing mechanisms, which are made possible through partnerships with local, state, national, and international judicial branch education providers and online courses.
The idea of giving continuing education credits or certificates for ongoing professional education is not new. What is new is a top-level academic institution—MSU—developing a collaborative effort that establishes baseline content and contact hour requirements that can be delivered by MSU and/or a network of partner-providers which, when combined with online one-on-one student and MSU faculty member interaction, will result in a certificate that can also receive academic credit. If the student wishes to build further academic credentials, they can complete the Masters of Science Degree in Judicial Administration offered by the MSU School of Criminal Justice. If they are not ready for graduate school, they can complete the judicial administration specialization courses and apply those courses toward a bachelors degree at a college or university of their choice.
The origins of the Judicial Administration Program date back to mid-1990 when on behalf of the Michigan court managers, Nial Raaen, met with John Hudzik, Maureen Conner, and Terry Curry for the purpose of exploring the feasibility of MSU developing certificates and other academic options for court administration personnel in Michigan. All agreed that such an undertaking would help advance court administration and would also allow MSU to assist other judicial branch education organizations who had asked it to launch similar programs. However, the credentialing options were not developed at that time due primarily to the constraints associated with traditional delivery mechanisms. Additionally, the expert knowledge base required to launch such an initiative had not yet been empirically researched and consolidated in a way that would allow for an academically recognized field of study. The development of the National Association for Court Management Core Competencies filled that gap and the advancement of the internet opened the way to expand delivery options.
In early 2002, Dr. Maureen Conner and Dr. John Hudzik solicited and received financial support from Dr. Lou Anna K. Simon, MSU Provost (now MSU's president), to develop an academic home for judicial administration that would offer certificate and academic programs, information sharing, networking and mentoring, judicial administration research, and global engagement for working court professionals and those who aspire to build and dedicate their careers to the advancement of the rule of law through the expert administration of justice. The Judicial Administration Program made its academic home in the School of Criminal Justice along with another project that specializes in the judicial system--The Judicial Education Reference, Information and Technical Transfer (JERITT) Project. With the support of Dr. Ed McGarrell, director of the School of Criminal Justice, the online Master of Science Degree in Judicial Administration was launched in 2013.
The USAID FAIR Justice Project and the MSU Judicial Administration Program with its partners—Ukraine State Judicial Administration Office and the National School of Judges—graduated its 2015 class of Ukraine court administrators at a ceremony in Kyiv on June 17. The graduates were honored by Justice Valentyna Symonenko, Chair, Council of Judges; Mr. Zenoviy Kholodniuk, Chair, State Judicial Administration; Mr. Anatoliy Kostenko, Vice-Rector, National School of Judges; Mr. Jeffrey Meyers, Acting Director, USAID Office of Democracy and Governance; Mr. David Vaughn, Chief of Party, the USAID FAIR Justice Project; Dr. Maureen Conner, Director and Professor of the MSU Judicial Administration Program; and Mr. Timonthy Dibble and Dr. Jan Bouch, MSU Judicial Administration Program Adjunct Professors. Ms. Oksana Pidgaina and Ms. Olga Pasichnyk spoke on behalf of the Ukrainian MSU Judicial Administration instructors. The 2015 class spokesperson was Ms. Iryna Cherpak.
Dr. Maureen Conner, Professor and Director of the MSU Judicial Administration Program along with MSU Adjunct Professors Dr. Jan Bouch and Mr. Timothy Dibble held an instructor preparation program for Ukraine instructors in January 2015. The instructors are members of the 2013 class of graduates, as well as returning instructors from the 2013 judicial administration certificate program. The 2015 Ukraine instructor group taught with the MSU professors offering the Ukrainian context during the 2015 MSU Judicial Administration Certificate Program. They were recognized at a ceremony on June 16 in Kyiv. The instructor development program was developed by MSU and sponsored by The USAID FAIR Justice Project in collaboration with the Ukraine State Judicial Administration Office and the National School of Judges.