Longtime instructor Whittle retires


Longtime instructor Whittle retires

A number of people from Missouri Southern and the Joplin area came together on Tuesday to honor a man with a history of service to the school and local law enforcement.

The occassion was a retirement ceremony for Dr. Phil Whittle, a Southern instructor and employee for the Missouri Highway Patrol.

Whittle studied at the Univeristy of Kenucky, Iowa State University and the University of Colorado.  He came to Southern on July 1, 1970.

So after going to a handful of schools around the country, why did Whittle settle down in southwest Missouri?

“Jobs were scarce back then,” Whittle said. After finding a job here in Missouri, Whittle didn’t leave.

“I’ve never been sorry for that,” Whittle said.  

He taught chemistry for 28 years, and also spent much time working for local law enforcement in the crime laboratory. As of Monday, his time with the Highway Patrol has come to an end.

“With all of the efforts to cut cost, I wanted to do everything I could to maintain service to the area we have,” Whittle said.

He has seen crime labs change over the years.

“When we first started, I don’t think that the term ‘forensic science’ was even used at that time,” Whittle said. “There were not so many crime labs throughout the country.”

Whittle would like to thank Don Ceneker, former director of law enforcement, and Jim Maupin, former dean of the school of technology. They were both instrumental in getting Whittle involved with criminal justice.

What’s next for Whittle?

“I’ve got hobbies, and there’s other things I’d like to be doing,” Whittle said. “I suspect that I’ll still be involved with Missouri Southern from time to time.”