Ronald L. Akers is Professor of Criminology and Sociology. He earned his Ph. D. in Sociology from the University of Kentucky, 1966, and after tenure at three other major universities, he joined the UF faculty in 1980.
Dr. Akers is author of Law and Control in Society (1975, with Richard Hawkins), Criminological Theories (lst-3rd ed, 1994-2000; 4th ed., 2004, 5th ed., 2009 with Christine Sellers), Drugs, Alcohol and Society (1992), and Deviant Behavior: A Social Learning Approach (1st-3rd ed., 1972-1985), Social Learning and Social Structure: A General Theory of Crime and Deviance (1998; paperback reissue, 2009), and co-editor with Gary Jensen of Social Learning Theory and the Explanation of Crime (2003). He is also author of over 100 book chapters and articles in major criminology and sociology journals. His major research and scholarly work has been on developing and testing his social learning theory of crime and deviance as well as other theories and on many substantive, empirical, and policy issues in crime, deviance, law, and justice.
Dr. Akers has served as Director of the Center for Studies in Criminology and Law (1994-2001), Chair of the Department of Sociology (1980-85) and the Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (2001-2004) He was UFRF Professor from 1998-2001. Over the years he has been member or chair of many committees and tasks forces in the College and University, including Chair of the College Tenure and Promotion Committee and President Pro-Tem of the CLAS Assembly. Since coming to UF, he has chaired 21 doctoral and 23 masters students and has served on 85 other doctoral and masters committees.
Dr. Akers was elected President of the American Society of Criminology and President of the Southern Sociological Society as well as Chair of the Criminology Section of the American Sociological Association and Coordinator of the Christian Sociological Society. He is recipient of the Edwin H. Sutherland Award by the American Society of Criminology and inductee into the Roll of Honor of the Southern Sociological Society. An endowed chair (The Ronald L. Akers Professorship in Criminology and Deviance) has been established in his honor at the University of Kentucky.