Dr. Jon Darling, Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, has been named Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Darling’s appointment was announced Monday by UPJ President Jem Spectar.
In announcing Dr. Darling’s appointment, President Spectar offered, “Dr. Darling is a fine scholar whose work has received national recognition in his field. He is highly respected by his colleagues and students for his deep commitment to excellence in teaching and his longstanding record of distinguished service to our institution. He will be an integral part of our leadership team as we continue enhance our students’ readiness for the real world and work toward achieving a new dimension of excellence.”
Dr. Darling joined the UPJ faculty in 1977 as an Assistant Professor of Sociology. He was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 1981, and Professor in 1992. He received his PhD and MA in Sociology from the University of Connecticut and a BA in Psychology from the University of Maine.
Dr. Darling co-authored the book Children Who Are Different: Meeting the Challenges of Birth Defects in Society. Additionally, Dr. Darling’s research has appeared in several professional publications including The American Sociological Review and Teaching Sociology. He has also delivered more than 20 papers and addresses on topics including civil rights, social justice, and bullying prevention. He is currently Chairperson of the UPJ Inclusive Community Task Force.
During his tenure at UPJ, Dr. Darling has been actively involved in campus service, having served as Vice President of Faculty Senate, Chair of the Sociology Department, Chair of the Full Professor Review Committee, Chair and Vice Chair of the College Status (Tenure and Promotions) Committee, Chair of several Peer Review Committees, and a member of over a dozen faculty committees. From 1997 to 2001, Dr. Darling served as Director of the Office of Community Outreach.
Dr. Darling created the Civic Action Network, a community leadership partnership involving UPJ and several local organizations. The project resulted in the creation of a web-based public database that is now serving the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Pennsylvania Community Action Association. He has served as the President of the Association for Humanist Sociology, the Pennsylvania Sociological Society, and the Allegheny Valley Sociological Association. Dr. Darling received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award in 1996 and the UPJ Advisory Board Service-to-Community Award in 2003.
Founded in 1927, UPJ is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. A vital knowledge center and a foremost contributor to the area’s educational, social, cultural, and economic environment, UPJ offers a first-class educational experience that is purposefully designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century.