Judicial Administration Program

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
Nisbet Building
1407 South Harrison Road Suite 330
East Lansing, MI 48823-5239

Phone: 517-432-1716
Fax: 517-432-3965

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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.

Program History

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.

National Advisory Committee

Field of Practice Community

Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA)

Marla Moore
Administrative Office of the Georgia Courts

Federal Court System

Terry Nafisi
District Executive and Clerk of Court
United States District Court, Central District of California
MSU Alumni

National Association for Court Management (NACM)

Pamela Q. Harris
Court Administrator
Montgomery County Circuit Court

William Simmons
District Court Administrator
Sixth Judicial District

National Association for State Judicial Educators (NASJE)


Michigan State University

Dr. Maureen Conner
Executive Director, JERITT Project
Director, Judicial Administration Program
Associate Professor, School of Criminal Justice

Terry Curry
Associate Vice President and Associate Provost
Academic Human Resources
Professor, School of Labor Relations

Dr. John Hudzik
NAFSA Senior Scholar for Internationalization
Former MSU Dean of International Programs and
Vice-President for Global Engagement

Catharine White
Course and Student Services Administrator, Judicial Administration Program
JERITT Project Manager

Cover MSU JA Program Brochure_Nov2014