Criminal Justice Professor Buzz Hoffman to retire

Photo courtesy Dan Ivis

Buzz Hoffman, a full-time criminal justice professor since 2006, is planning to retire at the end of this spring semester.
Hoffman got to experience many different kinds of people and cultures throughout his lifetime, especially when his father got appointed by President Johnson to come to D.C. for politics. Because of this, he spent his summers and vacations in D.C.
Even with his father big into politics, Buzz had his sights on a different career field. Growing up as a farm boy, his love for animals inspired him to go to veterinary school at Iowa State.
“To make it into Vet school, good grades aren’t good enough. You’ve got to really have good grades. So they said ‘you don’t cut it Hoffman.’ So, that hurt. Can you believe that? I cried,” said Hoffman.
Even though veterinary school did not work out for him, that very same day he got stopped by someone he went to highschool with. His friend introduced him to a Sociology professor at Iowa State who was a probation officer, and got him to start taking classes. Thirty-five years later, Hoffman is still loving criminal justice.
Hoffman spent 35 years with the department of corrections. With his many different cultural experiences, it helped him relate to all sorts of people through his corrections career.
“Loved it, loved corrections. Absolutely loved it everyday, never two days the same. Could hardly wait to see what those offenders were gonna try to do to me that day. So, life was fun. Retired, and flunked retirement so that’s why I came out to DMACC.”
Hoffman started his teaching career in 1981 and became a full time DMACC professor in 2006. He and Larry Neighbor, a trooper for over 33 years, took over the criminal justice program and year by year they have continued to improve it.
Since they took over the program, they have changed the entire curriculum. When they first took over the program they only had one major emphasis and now they have four; law enforcement, corrections, electronic crime, and homeland security. They also added many people onto the advisory board, including local sheriffs and officers.
Not only does Hoffman teach criminal justice, but he also does many things outside DMACC.
Hoffman also has a criminal justice club sponsored by the Polk County Sheriff. He also started an activity called “Lunch with Criminal Justice instructors,” where students can eat and talk with different instructors and professionals in the criminal justice career field to get even more insight on the career field.
Hoffman is unsure of what all he plans to do after his retirement from teaching. He has a few trips planned already with his family to explore different areas. His first plan is to participate with DMACC in the Climb for Air fundraiser for the American Lung Association, where he and many other DMACC students and staff will climb the stairs of four of the tallest buildings in Des Moines.

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