John “Jack” Jones, dean emeritus and research professor at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW), died Feb. 20, 2013, from pulmonary fibrosis. He was 83.
A native of Ireland, Jones earned a bachelor’s degree from the National University of Ireland. He then moved to the United States for graduate studies, earning a master’s in social work from the University of Michigan and a master’s in public administration and a PhD in social work from the University of Minnesota. Before he came to DU in 1987 as dean of GSSW, he served for 12 years as director and chair of the social work program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Before that, he was founding dean of the School of Social Development at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Jones also held short-term academic positions at Hong Kong University, the University of Wisconsin and Case Western Reserve University. At DU, he also was a research professor at the University’s Conflict Resolution Institute.
Jones was known internationally as a researcher and scholar of social development in developed and developing countries. His research was conducted under the auspices of the United Nations, nongovernmental organizations, foundations and federal agencies. At the Chinese University of Hong Kong, he assisted in the revision of the social work profession in China; at DU, he helped create GSSW’s partnership with the All China Youth Federation and the China Youth University for Political Sciences in Beijing. He also conducted research on human security among refugees and internally displaced persons in northern Kenya, a collaborative effort with the United Nations, GSSW and the University of Nairobi.
Jones served on many international boards and committees, including the Advisory Committee of the United Nations Center for Regional Development and the International Council of Social Welfare. He was vice chair of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and a member of the Hong Kong Advisory Committee on Social Work Training. His national and local voluntary service included the American Humane Association, Volunteers of America and the Colorado Governor’s Business Commission on Child Care Financing.
A member of the GSSW faculty from 1987 until the time of his death, Jones served as the school’s dean from 1987 to 1996. After stepping down as dean in 1996, he remained on the faculty as professor. He also served as project coordinator and liaison between GSSW and various international agencies, including the United Nations Centre for Regional Development.
Jones is survived by his wife, Lois, son, Sean, daughter, Kristin, and son-in-law, Nick Troiano. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 2, at Pax Christi Catholic Church, 5761 McArthur Ranch Road, Littleton. Instead of flowers, it is asked that donations be made to the Graduate School of Social Work or Catholic Relief Services.