Stratford resident named dean of Fairfield University's College of Arts & Sciences


Image: Jim SimonJames Simon, Ph.D., of Stratford, Conn., professor of English and associate dean of Fairfield University's College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), has been named dean of the College. He is serving a one-year term that began June 1.

"Dr. Simon demonstrates proactive leadership, strong organizational skills, and the ability to resolve difficult challenges through collaboration and alliance building," said Lynn Babington, Ph.D., senior vice president of academic affairs. "He will bring these characteristics to his new role as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences."

Dr. Simon received his Ph.D. in public affairs and M.M.C. degree in journalism & telecommunication from Arizona State University, where he co-founded The Cactus State Poll. He also holds a B.A. in community development: urban journalism from Rutgers University. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Simon worked as a reporter and editor for The Associated Press, where he wrote 4,000 news stories and was elected president of the Massachusetts Statehouse Press Association. He worked as assistant secretary of the environment in Massachusetts and in public relations in both the public and private sectors.

Dr. Simon came to Fairfield University in 1997 to direct the journalism program and serve as the faculty advisor to The Mirror, the student-run weekly newspaper, after having served on the faculty at the University of the Pacific and Rutgers. He was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2001 and was promoted to professor in 2006. He was chair of the English Department for five years before becoming associate dean.

Dr. Simon has a strong interest in student development. As an associate dean, he created the nationally acclaimed Classroom To Career program to help students use co-curricular activities to complement their work in the classroom. He created the CAS Student Advising Checklist to improve advising and encourage more mentoring of students by faculty members and launched an internship program with Bridgeport City Hall that has placed more than 40 students over the past18 months.

Dr. Simon currently serves as vice chair of the University's Task Force on Outcomes, part of the Fairfield 2020 Strategic Plan, appointed by the president to co-lead a working group tasked with making recommendations that will ensure students are well prepared and well positioned to capture and fulfill their aspirations in the workplace, graduate school or in public service.

Dr. Simon is a nationally recognized expert on college newspapers, frequently serving as consultant, program reviewer, and evaluator. Active as a presenter, program organizer, reviewer, and in a variety of professional service roles for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), the Society of Professional Journalists, and the association of College Media Advisors, Dr. Simon was honored as Teacher of the Year by a division of the AEJMC in 2003. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles, reviews, and presentations on political and environmental journalism, serves on two journal editorial boards, and has been featured in more than 100 interviews with the news media. He is co-author of the book Environment Reporters in the 21st Century (Transaction Press, 2010).

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, mguinness@fairfield.edu

Posted on June 5, 2014

Vol. 46, No. 314