Short’s expertise serves, inspires WSU for 50+ years

PULLMAN – “One of the most renowned social science faulty members to ever work at WSU” will be honored in September when a hall in Pullman is rededicated in his name.
A leading expert on juvenile gang behavior whose work is known worldwide, sociologist and professor emeritus James F. Short, Jr. has spent more than a half-century inspiring colleagues and students at WSU. They will thank him in a public ceremony to rededicate Wilson-Short Hall at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, on Glenn Terrell mall.
“I am grateful beyond words for those who have made possible, and enjoyable, whatever contributions I may have made,” said Short, crediting his wife Kelma, colleagues, former students and university administrators for their support.
“I know this honor would not have happened had it not been for the support of WSU presidents such as Glenn Terrell and Lane Rawlins – and the guy who hired me in the first place, Wallis Beasley,” he said.
Short served as co-director of research for President Lyndon Johnson’s Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence. He was a member of the advisory board for the Social Science Research Council Task Force on Hurricane Katrina and Rebuilding the Gulf Coast.
 “Dr. Short’s work is known worldwide,” WSU regent Connie Niva said when the board of regents voted in May 2007 to approve the change to the building to recognize Short’s teaching, scholarship, service and dedication to the WSU community.
“Professor Short has inspired young scholars, has received numerous university and national honors, and has advanced knowledge in the areas of criminology and delinquency and the sociology of risk,” she said.

Short, 85, joined the Washington State College sociology faculty in 1951. He served as dean of the graduate school 1964-1968 and was founding director of WSU’s Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC). 
He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a past president of the American Sociological Association and the American Society of Criminology.  He has served as editor for the American Sociological Review.
He retired from active teaching in 1997 but has continued in his role as a graduate student mentor.  In 2006 he received the WSU President’s Award for Lifetime Service.
“Retirement, for me, has been much like being on permanent sabbatical,” said Short, who can still be found working in his office on most days. “I enjoy the company of younger colleagues and the rhythm of the academic year.”
His awards and honors include a John Simon Guggenheim fellowship, a National Institute of Mental Health fellowship, the Edwin H. Sutherland Award (American Society of Criminology), the Bruce Smith Award (Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences) and the American Sociological Association’s Award for Distinguished Contribution. 
“Jim Short is one of the most renowned social science faculty members to ever work at Washington State University,” said Doug Epperson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “Following a faculty career of more than 45 years, he has remained a loyal and productive emeritus professor who continues to publish and make important scholarly, service and philanthropic contributions to the College of Liberal Arts and WSU.”
Short has authored numerous books, including “Delinquency, Crime and Society” (University of Chicago Press, 1976) and “Poverty, Ethnicity and Violent Crime” (Westview Press, 1997).
He and his wife live in Pullman and continue to be active members of the community.

About Wilson-Short Hall
Wilson Hall was designed by WSU architecture professors Rudolph Weaver and Stanley Smith as a twin to Carpenter Hall. It was named for former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson.
When the building opened in 1917, it was used to teach vocational skills to soldiers and served as a military barracks. After the war ended, a third floor was added (1920) and the hall became headquarters for nine agriculture departments; it was the agricultural information and resource center for the entire Pacific Northwest. 
In 1970, when nearly all of the agriculture departments were relocated to the newly constructed Hulbert Hall, Wilson became the hub for social sciences. 
Wilson-Short Hall is home to SESRC; the departments of comparative ethnic studies, history, community and rural sociology (the remaining agriculture program), sociology and women’s studies; and the programs in American studies and Asian studies.

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