Honoring 100 for the 100th: Jim Burke

Image of Jim BurkeDr. Jim Burke has dedicated himself, over a lifetime, to a career in social work, which has resulted in exemplary contributions to the social work profession and to the practice arena of social work. Jim has been an active and committed social work professional for forty-five years. He was presented the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Chapter of the NASW. He has committed himself to making a difference whether societally or institutionally, and in specific fields of practice—child welfare, mental health, and substance abuse.

Jim began his career in social work in Child Welfare at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services in Tulsa County in 1972 after graduating from the University of Tulsa in 1972. He earned his MSW from Our Lady of the Lake University of San Antonio in 1976. His talents and enthusiasm for social work were quickly recognized at the Department of Human Services, which led to his advancement within the agency, where he found his niche in teaching and mentoring new social workers.

Jim carried this love of teaching into higher education in 1978 when he joined the undergraduate social work faculty at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. His achievements have been many over his 38 years of practice in higher education. Jim has contributed to the education of over 1000 social work professionals, many of whom have obtained their MSW at OU. Dr. Burke was selected as the Col. Tom A. Thomas Endowed Chair in Human Resources in 2007, as well Chair of the Department of Human Resources. In 2015, he was appointed as Interim assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs. Jim has had an impact on the larger University through promoting excellence and engaging in activities that have a positive impact on not only social workers but other helping professionals. One of his achievements in higher education has been his promotion of teamwork within his department and across the University to achieve important goals and to further the improvement and enhancement of students’ educational experience and, ultimately, their positive impact on the larger society.

Dr. Burke’s has actively participated in the Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program (CWPEP) since its inception in 1995. Since then, he has provided leadership and helped shape this Program in countless ways. Though his leadership in the East Central CWPEP and his active and committed involvement in the OU-CWPEP State Advisory Board, he has had a direct positive impact on the emerging child welfare careers of myriad students. He is looked to for advice and advisement by CWPEP state leadership and other university participants in the Program—his wisdom and keen sense of emerging trends leads to invaluable input in CWEP development and opportunities for students. Dr. Burke was a clinical consultant for DHS-CW supervisors as a part of OU-CWPEP program for 22 years. He continues to provide critical incident stress debriefing for child welfare workers across the state.

Dr. Burke has previously served as a field instructor and adjunct instructor for OU’s School of Social Work, and is very appreciative of the contributions the school have made over the years. He is honored to be included as one of the 100 for the 100th!

3 comments (Add your own)

1. Janell Dial wrote:
I just read this article about yourself, and my daughter Alli Farris comment about how you influenced her career. I would just like to say congratulations and thank you for seeing the potential my daughter had in her career as a social worker. God has had a plan for her since the day of her birth, and you helped her realize that plan, and helped her become the woman she is today. The world needs more educators such as yourself. Thank you for your love and devotion to those who are in your care. Janell Dial

Tue, April 4, 2017 @ 7:58 PM

2. Carla Rogers wrote:
Dr. Burke pushed you to learn great example of social work in action.

Wed, April 5, 2017 @ 9:45 AM

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