Dr. James Kauffman, dedicated his life to providing special education for emotionally disturbed children, as well as studying ways to improve the field. In his academic pursuits, Dr. Kauffman received a Bachelor of Science in education from Goshen College in 1962 and continued at Washburn University to receive a M.Ed. in teaching in the elementary school in 1966. In 1969, he concluded his formal academic training upon receiving an Ed.D. in special education from the University of Kansas. In the years since, he has established himself as a leader in the field, as well as an author. He served in such roles as Associate Dean for Research with the School of Education at the University of Virginia, and as a professor in the institution’s Department of Special Education. He was Chair of the Department of Special Education for the University of Virginia from 1977 to 1981. Prior to working at the University of Virginia, Dr. Kauffman garnered skills and experience at Illinois State University and with the Shawnee Heights Unified School District #450. He also taught within the Children’s Division of the Menninger Clinic at Southard School in Topeka, Kansas, a psychiatric clinic.
Dr. Kauffman became involved in his profession because of his mentor, Richard J. Whelan, at the University of Kansas. Dr. Whelan built a program there in special education which became the number one program in the country for many years. Dr. Kauffman was initially hired by Mr. Whelan to teach emotionally disturbed kids at the Southard School. While he knew he was destined to become an educator from an early age, Mr. Whelan was the most important factor in his decision to make special education a career.
Amidst a long list of editing and authoring books and papers, one of Dr. Kauffman’s most recent works is the book Cyber Abuse: The Dr. Laura Letter. Though retired, he is still active in the field. He enjoys traveling abroad to expand upon his work, and intends to visit Germany and Spain, among many other places.