J. Wesley Jamison, PhD, will receive the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service on Saturday, April 29, as part of the Commencement ceremony at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.
The President’s Award for Distinguished Service is in recognition of Jamison’s leadership and collaboration with faculty that led to the development of 9 new majors over the past 10 years. In addition to the newly announced Nursing major, Pitt-Greensburg has added majors in Biochemistry, Chemistry, Early Childhood Education, Secondary Education, Information Technology, Public Policy, Spanish, and Spanish Education. Under his direction, the total number of majors offered increased to 28.
“Wes has been a tireless advocate for academic excellence and a passionate supporter of the interests and rights of faculty, students, and staff,” said Sharon P. Smith, PhD, president of Pitt-Greensburg. “He has built confident teams who, under his humble leadership, built successful programs—all while combining visionary ideas with practical financial acumen.”
Last spring, Jamison retired from his duties as vice president for Academic Affairs to return to the classroom as an associate professor of Information Science. He had served in the vice president’s role since 2006, including one year as interim vice president for Academic Affairs.
Jamison also marshalled three certificate programs through the approval process, including Arts Entrepreneurship, Digital Studies, and Manufacturing Management, bringing the total number of certificate programs to five.
As vice president for Academic Affairs, Jamison’s administrative responsibilities included curriculum planning and course scheduling, recruitment and evaluation of faculty, planning and budgeting for academic affairs, data analysis for academic planning, as well as supervision of the Registrar, Academic Advising Center, Admissions, and Financial Aid.
“We knew we needed to design programs that would attract and keep students,” explained Jamison, who describes himself as a strategist when looking at what his overall role for the campus had been. “Adding our new majors has done that.
“The new majors and faculty development are the main things,” he noted when asked about the milestones that marked this past decade. “We increased the number of course releases that allow faculty time to take on special projects, developed the Green Scholar program to give undergraduate students research experience, and were able to put more money toward faculty travel [for professional development].” He also sees the recent revision of the tenure and promotion process by the Faculty Senate as an important accomplishment that occurred during his watch.
While he was ultimately responsible for resolving student academic problems and complaints, he notes that a highlight was getting to choose the student graduation speaker. Looking at the top academic students each year, he would try to balance the number of men and women, as well as majors represented when making his choice.
Jamison began his career at Pitt-Greensburg in 1987 when he was hired as the first full-time faculty member to teach information science, serving as an assistant professor of Behavioral and Information Sciences for five years. He served a joint appointment with the Department of Information Science & Telecommunications in Pitt’s School of Information Sciences from 1989 through the mid-1990s. Prior to 1987, he taught there as a lecturer and teaching fellow.
Early in his career, he served as a programmer and analyst for the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and received tenure at Eastern Michigan University where he attained the level of associate professor of Psychology.
Jamison earned his BA in Psychology from Allegheny College and an MS and PhD in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University. Later, he earned an MS in Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh.
Jamison and his wife Margaret Signorella reside in Mount Lebanon, PA. They have one son, Alexander Jamison.