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James R. Whitley, J.D.

Dean, The John P. Burke School of Public Service and Education

Contact info
Email: [email protected]

Academic Background

Juris Doctor – 2001
Northeastern University School of Law (Boston, MA)

Master of Science, Social Epidemiology – 1998
Harvard University School of Public Health (Boston, MA)

Master of Public Health – 1994
Boston University School of Public Health (Boston, MA)

Bachelor of Arts, Linguistics – 1988
Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)

Teaching Background

Adjunct Faculty Member (2015-2017)
Springfield College Professional and Continuing Studies

Courses taught:

  • Advocacy and Policy Analysis (graduate)
  • Conflict in the Workplace (graduate)
  • Strategic Planning (graduate)
  • Graduate Research Project (graduate)

Adjunct Faculty Member (2005-2015)
Springfield College School of Human Services

Courses taught:

  • Fiscal Management of Non-Profit Organizations (undergraduate and graduate)
  • Data Systems for Human Services (undergraduate)
  • Group Research Project (undergraduate)
  • Senior Seminar: Capstone (undergraduate)
  • Nutrition, Fitness and Health Promotion (undergraduate)
  • Exploring Racial Perspectives through Literature (undergraduate)

Adjunct Professor (2012-2014)
Excelsior College School of Health Sciences

Courses taught:

  • Ethics of Healthcare (undergraduate)

Teaching Assistant (1999-2000)
Northeastern University School of Law

  • Tort Law (graduate)

Professional Background

Assistant Dean/Campus Director 2013-2017
Springfield College School of Professional and Continuing Studies (Boston, MA)

Adjunct Professor/Founding Member, Governing Faculty Committee 2012-2014
Excelsior College School of Health Sciences (Albany, NY)

Assistant Dean/Campus Director 2006-2011
Springfield College School of Human Services (Springfield, MA)

Co-Founder/Principal 2004-2007
Innovative Healthcare Consultants (Boston, MA)

Staff Attorney/Advocate 2002-2004
Community Catalyst, Inc. (Boston, MA)

Teaching Philosophy

Decades ago, I was working as a manager of a homeless shelter in Cambridge, MA and I came across this quote credited to the renowned philosopher/writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being.” So much of the spirit and wisdom of that assertion has guided how I interact with people generally and students more specifically. When I work with students, I see my role as a facilitator and a support to them as they decide which next steps they will take on their individual educational journeys. It doesn’t matter if they are more traditional-aged undergraduate students taking courses on campus or more mature adult learners and graduate students taking online courses, all learners respond positively to encouragement, validation, and information they can use, and that is definitely how I approach teaching. 

Professional and Community Activities

Member, New England Organization for Human Services (2011-present)

Member, Association of Writers and Writing Programs (2003-2014)

Member, American Bar Association (1998-2004)

Member, American Public Health Association (1994-present)

Board Memberships

United Somali Youth, Board of Directors (2013-present)

Springfield YMCA, Community Advisory Board Member (2008-2011)

Springfield Museum, African Hall Committee (2007-2010)