Commemorating the life and work of SFU Professor Emeritus Simon Verdun-Jones
By Adhil Naidu
In commemorating the many contributions of Professor Emeritus Simon Verdun-Jones to the School of Criminology and to Simon Fraser University, a plaque has been installed next to a Japanese Maple tree in the Saywell Hall Courtyard.
Dr Verdun-Jones has been affiliated with Simon Fraser University over many years, playing a significant role in turning what was a Department into the School of Criminology in 1985.
With his strong leadership, vision and dedication, Dr Verdun-Jones increased the School of Criminology in size to more than 30 faculty members during his time.
From 1978 to 1985, he was Chair of the Department of Criminology, and subsequently Director of the School of Criminology until 1990, during which time he took a one-year break from the School as Acting Dean and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies. In those years, Dr Verdun-Jones was an active member of Senate and chaired the Senate Committee on the University Budget.
As a Chair of the University's Research Ethics Board from 2008 to 2013, Dr Verdun-Jones received a letter acknowledging his contribution to the University's Research Ethics Policy from Dr Mario Pinto, V.P. Research.
Dr Verdun-Jones regards his teaching and supervision among his major contributions for which he was awarded the University's Excellence in Teaching Award (2004). Over the years, he acted as a senior supervisor in helping approximately 50 graduate and honours students complete their theses.
Dr Verdun-Jones’ impact in shaping the School of Criminology has been immense. Some of his other significant contributions:
- Awarded the Dean of Arts' Medal for Academic Excellence in 1999 for his research and publishing.
- Member, Board of Directors, International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy, 1998 - 2019.
- Member of the Board of the B.C. Institute against Family Violence Society from 1985 to 2005.
- Vice-President, SFU Faculty Association, 1992-1993, President, SFU Faculty Association, 1993-1994.
- Past-President, SFU Faculty Association, 1994-1996.
- Founding member, International Association for Forensic Mental Health Services (2001).
- Editor, Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, June 2014 – May 2019
With the installation of the plaque and tree, we celebrate a milestone in acknowledging the many achievements of Professor Verdun-Jones — a prominent figure in the history of the School of Criminology at SFU.