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James Fairfield-Sonn to Step Down as Dean of the University of Hartford’s Barney School of Business


Posted 11/30/2012
Posted by Meagan Fazio

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James Fairfield-Sonn, dean of the Barney School of Business of the University of Hartford, has announced that he will be stepping down effective June 30, 2013.

University of Hartford President Walter Harrison sent faculty and staff a letter about Fairfield-Sonn’s decision. In the letter he noted many accomplishments under Fairfield-Sonn’s tenure as dean.

“In 2011 the Barney School earned reaccreditation by AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), an achievement that places the Barney School of Business in a select group of business schools around the world,” Harrison said. “During Jim’s tenure as dean, the Barney School’s academic environment has been enriched by the addition of an actuarial science minor, implementation of the choice between online or in-classroom MBA classes, increased numbers of students enrolled in honors courses, and recognition of the work of top students through the Beta Gamma Sigma and Beta Alpha Psi honor societies.”

Fairfield-Sonn was appointed interim dean of Barney in July 2004 and dean in May 2005. He has been a valued member of the University community for 30 years, having been a Barney faculty member since 1982. He will be on leave in the fall semester of 2013 and return in 2014 as a member of the Barney School’s faculty.

“During my eight years as dean, it has been a pleasure to be part of the growth and development of the school in so many ways,” Fairfield-Sonn said. “After long and serious reflection, I believe it is now time for me to conclude this chapter of my professional life and to begin a new chapter.”

Fairfield-Sonn established the Barney Hall of Fame in 2008 to recognize Barney alumni for their outstanding achievements. In 2009 he oversaw the creation and opening on the Hartford campus of the Mali Global Center, a state-of-the-art video conference center that enables students to interact with other students around the world through live broadcasts.

In the fall of 2011, Fairfield-Sonn’s scholarly achievements were recognized by the United States Fulbright Program, which awarded him a prestigious Fulbright Scholar grant to participate in a two-week cultural exchange in Germany.

“I’m very pleased that Jim will return as a member of our faculty,” said President Harrison. “This will be of great value to our students and to our community. Jim is a noted scholar of management and was recipient of the Barney School’s first Outstanding Teacher Award.”