Following the spring Finlandia University Board of Trustees meeting, Dr. Richard Gee was awarded Tenure Status. How does he feel about getting tenure? It’s a simple, but impactful answer, “Relaxed.” He continued, “It’s the pinnacle of academic achievement.” Gee is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Finlandia who has been with the university since 2012.
Both an advisor and a professor, he sees his students in different lights with the roles, but he pushes them to be their best all the same. “I tell my students that if they work hard and challenge themselves that they will be good candidates for the jobs that they apply for.”
During his time here, Gee has lead five groups of students to Europe. Each year he tries to make the trip a bit different. “It’s 5 countries in 18 days, but the students will have something unique to talk about.” Students can experience things such as a survival bunker, three international prisons and a weekend in the Finnish countryside.
On top of this opportunity he created for students, Gee has taught over 30 different courses. He gets to read up on a wide variety of subjects based on what his students want to learn. “The students are challenging me by saying this is what I want to do with my life. I get to learn something new as well.” This ability to have a self guided degree, is something he agrees wouldn’t happen at a larger university.
Gee wants to create a learning experience that has a larger scope than just a Criminal Justice degree. When joining the university, he made a conscious effort to strip away areas of concentration and develop a curriculum that hit many different skill sets and career paths.
“Dr. Gee encourages his students not to be close minded, to expand their knowledge on what they think they know,” said former student Brierra Ruska (‘15). Ruska is now a law student at the University of North Dakota.
“(This makes me feel), that I’m doing my job right,” Gee said. “Students have to go and do something with their life and for me it’s preparing them for that jump off, and if I don’t give them the appropriate skills they will either sink or have to figure it out on their own. I don’t want them to be in that position.”
While Gee does view this as the pinnacle of academic achievement, he is still incredibly humble about the impression he has left on his students and this University, “It’s just another step, I just do what I do,” finished Gee.
About Tenure Status at Finlandia
To apply for tenure, a member of the Finlandia faculty submits a portfolio exemplifying their accomplishments since their appointment at the university. Qualified candidates are eligible to apply for tenure after being with the university for six years.
Tags: Criminal Justice, Dr. Richard Gee, European Criminal Justice Trip, Suomi College of Arts & Sciences