It’s Not What You Know
John Kallam graduated with a BA in criminology and entered the US Army. He served for 20 years beginning in the late 1930s. He was an investigator during the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals, and stayed in Germany for many years organising civilian police forces in the post-war era. He also wrote numerous books on criminal justice. He retired from military service in the late 1950s at the rank of full colonel.
Returning to Fresno, California, he began teaching criminology at what was then Fresno State College (later to become the California State University, Fresno). His work was well respected, but after about ten years of service, he was called to see the president of the college.
He was informed that he could no longer teach with just a bachelor’s degree. Times were changing, he was told, and the school demanded that faculty members hold a graduate degree. Merely having 20 years of distinguished experience was no longer considered sufficient qualification to teach. All new faculty were being required to hold a doctorate, it was explained, and the school was actually doing him a favour by letting him keep his job by getting ‘only’ a master’s degree.
So John enrolled in a summer program at an out of state college. Three months of intensive seminars and then nine months of home study would get him his MA.
On the first day of class, the instructor was taking roll. He stopped when he read John’s name.
“Are you related to the John Kallam who wrote the textbook we’ll be using?” he asked.
“I am the John Kallam who wrote the textbook you’re using,” came the dry response.
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