Dean Buttram, Ed.D.

Dean ButtramDepartment Head and Professor

108 Brewer Hall
(256) 782-8179

Dr. H. Dean Buttram, III is currently Department Head and Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice & Forensic Investigation. Prior to transitioning into the academician's side of criminal justice, he spent a year as a white collar crime investigator with the State of Alabama Attorney General's Office. Then, for the next seven years, he served as a deputy sheriff, a member of Special Operations Response Team (SORT), and a criminal investigator with the Cherokee County, Alabama Sheriff's Office. During his professional law enforcement career he worked on numerous death scenes.

Since becoming a part of the Department of Criminal Justice & Forensic Investigation in 2002, he has taught the following undergraduate classes: Introduction to Criminal Justice (CJ 101), Introduction to Forensic Investigation (CJ 304) (on-line), Homicide Investigation (CJ 456), Homicide Investigation (on-line), Crime Scene Investigation (CJ 463), Criminal Investigation (CJ 460), and prior to becoming the Department Head he was the Director of the department's Internship Program (CJ 471/472). After receiving his doctorate in 2007, he became a member of the graduate faculty and began teaching Seminar in Forensic Investigation (CJ 516). He also has taught numerous advanced classes at the Northeast Alabama Police Academy on topics such as medicolegal death investigation and advanced investigation of homicide crime scenes to law enforcement, coroner, and medical and first responder personnel for continuing education credit for a number of years.

Dr. Buttram has also written numerous peer reviewed articles and presented several papers at the Academy of Criminal Justice national conference and goes to continuing education courses in the field to stay current. He has also committed his life's work to studying homicide trends as well as serial killers.

Dr. Buttram holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Forensic Science and a Master's Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Criminal Justice from Jacksonville State University, as well as a Doctorate in Higher Education with a cognate in Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama. 

Current Research & Projects

  • Public Relations between the Department of Criminal Justice and local, state and federal law enforcement.
  • Structuring & implementing scholarships for department of criminal justice students.
  • Assessing criminal justice degree program graduate's initial employability success.
  • Paper for Publication: A Case Study of Homicide Rates Across the United States.
  • A Biography of a Serial Killer.
  • A textbook on Medicolegal Death Investigation.
  • A Practitioners book on Medicolegal Death Investigation.