Changing course: Judge appointed director of criminal justice program

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 Washtenaw County Circuit Judge Donald E. Shelton has been appointed associate professor and Director of the Criminal Justice Program at the University of Michigan - Dearborn, pending approval by the Board of Regents. 

 
The appointment is effective in the fall semester and Shelton announced that he will retire from the bench effective September 1. Shelton has been a Washtenaw County Trial Court judge for 24 years and was scheduled to leave the bench when his normal term expires on January 1, 2015. 
 
The Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Studies is one of the fastest growing and most popular degree programs at The University of Michigan-Dearborn. The program’s mission is to produce well-rounded, service-oriented graduates with the technical skills needed to meet the challenges of criminal justice professionals in the 21st century, according to Shelton. The program prepares students for diverse careers in law, justice, public administration, policy analysis, public security, and for graduate work in the social and behavioral sciences.
 
During his judicial tenure, Shelton has served as chief judge of the Trial Court from 2010-13 and is also the presiding judge of the Civil/Criminal and Juvenile divisions of the Trial Court. Born in Jackson, Shelton earned his undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University, a juris doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School, a master’s degree in criminology from Eastern Michigan University, and a Ph.D. in judicial studies from the University of Nevada. Shelton has been an adjunct criminology and political science professor at EMU since 1997, and an adjunct professor at Cooley Law School. He has written for and lectured at numerous academic and professional organizations throughout the U.S.
 
Shelton has a distinguished record of public service including serving as a member of the EMU Board of Regents from 1987-90, serving as mayor of the City of Saline from 1978-86, and chairman the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) from 1983-85. 
 
A long-time resident of the Saline area, he has also been a member of the city’s planning commission, urban design commission, economic development corporation, and tax increment finance authority. Saline’s “Shelton Industrial Park” was named in recognition of his community efforts. In 2007, Shelton received the Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Servant Award presented by the State Bar of Michigan. In 1994, he was nominated as a candidate for the Michigan Supreme Court. In 1992 he received the “Justice Blair Moody Judge of the Year” Award.

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