The University of South Florida (USF) Department of Criminology is mourning the sudden death on Dec. 27, 2022 of Associate Professor Emeritus Max Bromley. Max was the longest-serving faculty member of the department, his affiliation spanning six decades.
Max first became involved as an adjunct instructor from 1975 and taught courses in that capacity until 1986 when he was hired as an assistant professor in the USF Criminology Department. During the last 47 years, Max taught many courses particularly in the areas of law enforcement and campus security.
Following his retirement in 2008, Max continued to serve as the director of the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration (MACJA) and the Criminal Justice Administration Graduate Certificate, both programs that he developed in 2006. MACJA is highly respected by leaders in criminal justice agencies across the state and has educated hundreds of employees in the fields of law enforcement, corrections, probation, juvenile justice, and the courts. Max served as the director of this program from its inception to his untimely death. During his tenure, Max supervised approximately 300 MACJA students’ capstone projects.
“He opened doors for a lot of us at TPD [Tampa Police Department] who had unrealized educational goals,” said a MACJA alum.
Max was a gifted and inspiring teacher, as evidenced by continuous high student evaluations and being selected to receive a USF Outstanding Teaching Award. In addition to his undergraduate activities, Max served on dozens of thesis and doctoral committees. Max was also active in research. He co-authored two books, edited a third, and co-authored over 40 articles and book chapters. In addition to scholarly publications, Max wrote articles with practical applications for criminal justice practitioners; these articles appeared in national publications such as the Campus Law Enforcement Journal.
Max’s service to USF extends beyond his involvement in the Criminology Department. Prior to joining the department, Max served the USF Division of Public Safety (USF Police Department) in various roles from the time he was hired in 1974 under the direction of Chief Paul Uravich. When he retired from the USF Police Department in 1996, he was the associate director (AD) of a public safety agency with more than 100 personnel. In the AD position, which he held for more than 15 years, Max was responsible for assisting in the management of police and traffic control services at USF, a university community of 45,000 persons.
Max’s record of university, community, and professional service was truly extraordinary. He was recruited to serve as a consultant to, or participant on, law enforcement committees on the city, county, state, and national levels. Max was recognized on many occasions for his service; for example, in 1994 he received the President’s Award from the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators for contributions to the campus law enforcement profession.
“Max was the bridge between the department and local law enforcement agencies, and he used those relationships to advance the research of faculty and strengthen agencies’ ability to address crime,” said Associate Professor Ráchael Powers.
Max was particularly humbled and proud when he was selected to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from the Florida State University College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, his alma mater. The annual FSU-UF football game was always a big event in the Criminology Department with Max Bromley rooting for FSU while Department Chair John Cochran cheered for UF, his alma mater! Although both men were passionate on behalf of their teams, it was all in good fun. John cherished Max’s friendship, frequently sought his advice, and deeply appreciated his support.
Our faculty, staff, and students who had the good fortune to know Max, mourn Max for the man he was, the way he lived, the character he had, and the values he embraced. Office Manager Amanda Rausch expressed the feelings of the department when she said, “I have never met anyone that was loved by more people than Max.” As noted by Professor George Burruss, “Max was such a sweet man.”
Liz Cass, associate professor of instruction and graduate coordinator, captured Max’s impact on the Criminology Department when she said, “I can’t imagine the suite without him.” Professor Emeritus Lorie Fridell shared: “I was told even before I arrived in Tampa to start work at USF that my future colleague, Max, was the nicest man I would ever meet. It turned out to be true.”
Professor Kathleen Heide summed it up when she said, “Max provided the blueprint on how to live a successful, meaningful, and impactful life. His legacy enhances the lives of tens of thousands of people, including his wife and two children, whom he loved with all his heart.”
Thank you to professor Kathleen Heide, PhD and the Department of Criminology for contributing this tribute. An obituary from the family is available here.