From the Fantastic Four to the Fab Four, it’s clear that the best things in life come in groups of four. And Baker is no different. Baker University’s School of Professional and Graduate Studies has four instructors named Jeff, and each one took a unique path to teaching. In this series, you will learn how each Jeff is truly #BakerBuilt.
Becoming an instructor at Baker was the perfect ending to Jeff Brandau’s long career in law enforcement.
Brandau didn’t begin his career in criminal justice, but it’s where he ended up. After earning his bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Utah, Brandau returned to his roots in Salina, Kansas, where he owned a fertilizer business and farmed. But five years later, he had to listen to his heart.
“I sold the fertilizer business and became a police officer, as that is what my heart desired, not necessarily my pocketbook,” he said.
Soon he embarked on a long and varied career in law enforcement. Brandau’s career spanned service as a sergeant in Salina, Kansas, to special agent in narcotics for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. During his tenure at the KBI, he earned his Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas.
Brandau was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 for 14 months as a law enforcement advisor. When he returned home, he took on the role of Chief of Police of Tonganoxie, Kansas, where he stayed until retiring in June of 2018.
“I have been in law enforcement a long time and have been involved in almost every kind of felony you can think of,” he said.
Before his deployment, Brandau had taught at Washburn University in Topeka. After returning and working in Tonganoxie, he was approached by the former dean of SPGS, Dr. Jake Bucher, to apply to teach at Baker.
“So I did, and here I am,” he said. “I have enjoyed it a lot.”
Brandau has taught a variety of courses, including Management Issues and Society, Project Management, Policing, Criminal Investigations, and Introduction to Criminal Justice Concepts.
“I enjoy interacting with young adults as they improve their education to further their careers,” he said. “I love hearing their ideas and learning about their aspirations. Teaching is a wonderful experience.”
Brandau hopes his students gain a perspective about how government interacts with their lives, both as individuals and in business. He also wants his teaching to give his students perspective.
“I hope to provide some guidance for their future so they can make the best decisions for their families and themselves,” he said.