Deb Wallace Joins Criminal Justice Degree Completion Program

Deb Wallace joined the Tennessee Wesleyan University staff this past week, assuming the role of Director of the Professional Leadership in Criminal Justice (PLCJ) program.


Deb Wallace Joins TWUA 30-year veteran of criminal investigative service, Wallace brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the budding online program. She most recently served as the Inspector General for the state of Georgia, serving a total of 18 years as Deputy Inspector General, Senior Deputy Inspector General, and Inspector General for Governors Perdue, Deal, and Kemp.


“Tennessee Wesleyan is thrilled to welcome Deb Wallace to the Criminal Justice team,” said Dr. Grant Willhite, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “The aim of the Professional Leadership in Criminal Justice program is to accelerate bachelor’s degree completion for a broad array of criminal justice professionals in the region. With her diversity of career experiences in criminal justice, Wallace is perfectly positioned to coordinate the program, recruit a diverse student population, and mentor students in the program.”


The Wallace name is nothing new to the TWU Criminal Justice program, as Deb’s father, Larry Wallace, started the program after an illustrious career in Tennessee law enforcement, including 11 years as director of the TBI.


The PLCJ initiative of the Criminal Justice program invites non-traditional students to complete their degree online. Wallace will head the administration and development of the PLCJ program, including managing recruiting of prospective students, advising current students, teaching courses, as well as running the daily operations of the program.


“I am impressed not only by (Wallace’s) qualifications to direct a Criminal Justice program, but also by the fact that she was a charter member of the Georgia State Inspector General’s office,” said Dr. Kerry Towler, TWU’s Chair of Social Sciences, which will house the PLCJ. “Her understanding of ground up program development learned through that experience is invaluable for the growth of the PLCJ.”


Before her position with the state of Georgia, Wallace served as Director of Education and Internal Affairs Investigator for the Tennessee Department of Correction. She has also worked for the U.S. Department of the Army Civilian Personnel Headquarters and the U.S. Department of Energy.


“Deb has always been a driving force at OIG and is irreplaceable,” the Office of the Inspector General said in a farewell letter posted to their website. “She is smart, well spoken, passionate, caring, incredibly giving, observant of those around her, relatable, understanding, and a true leader in all aspects of her life.”


A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Wallace retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. In that time, she also served as a Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Special Agent and Criminal Investigator, among a number of other capacities.


“Additionally, (Wallace) will be an integral link to our students who are military and former military,” added Dr. Towler. “Her career beginnings with the Navy NCIS and Army fraud investigations, coupled with her instructional experience with military personnel, will bring benefits to these students.”


The PLCJ is an online program designed for adult students with significant college or work experience to complete their bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. The program will provide skills for promotion and leadership within criminal justice-related organizations. Full program details will be released by TWU in early spring.