Professor Emeritus Simon Verdun-Jones (Photo credit:


Commemorating the life and work of SFU Professor Emeritus Simon Verdun-Jones

August 17, 2020

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.

A Japanese Maple tree has been planted to commemorate the many contributions of Professor Emeritus Simon Verdun-Jones. “With the admiration, affection and gratitude of your colleagues and students in the School of Criminology” - ancora imparo

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.