Leading DASS: Harvey S. James, Jr., named to head Division of Applied Social Sciences

Appointment is effective March 1, 2024.

Harvey James

Harvey S. James, Jr., has been named director of the Division of Applied Social Sciences (DASS), effective March 1, 2024. He has served as interim director of the division since November 2022.

James joined the University of Missouri in 2001, and has had many roles over the years, including chair of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, associate division director in DASS, and chair of the CAFNR Promotion and Tenure Committee. Most recently he has served as professor and director of graduate studies, agricultural and applied economics. He will continue as a professor of agricultural and applied economics.

“I am honored to have been appointed as the director of the Division of Applied Social Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources,” James said. “I am excited to work with outstanding faculty, staff and students to shape the direction of the Division and make an impact on the lives of students and faculty alike.”

The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Division of Applied Social Sciences includes programs in agribusiness management, agricultural education, hospitality management and personal financial planning. DASS faculty, students and professionals work to improve agriculture, food, finance, hospitality and rural communities.

“DASS is an outstanding division with exciting programs,” said CAFNR Vice Chancellor and Dean Christopher Daubert. “Harvey has the vision to build synergies across all of the programs, which will take the division to new heights. We are thrilled to have him in this role.”

James said in the short term, he plans to focus on strengthening connections among faculty, staff, centers and programs for added cohesion.

“I want to get to know colleagues and students better so that we can leverage our expertise and build the Division’s innovation, inclusivity and dedication to excellence,” James said. “I also aim to develop a strategic plan that guides our growth in the coming years. By working collaboratively and with a vision of success, we can achieve our goals and create a Division that is a leader in agricultural education and research.”

James’ research focuses on applied ethics and the economic foundations of trust, ethics and happiness. He has a particular interest in the organizational structure of firms and markets and ethical issues relating to contracting and market competition. Much of his research is directed at the agrifood sector. He has taught courses including Applied Microeconomics; Ethical Issues in Agriculture; and Economics of Institutions and Organizations.

He was editor-in-chief of Agriculture and Human Values from 2007 to 2019 and is a member of the editorial board of Academy of Management Perspectives. James was editor of the Handbook on the Human Impact of Agriculture, published in 2021. He is a member of the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society; American Agricultural Economic Association; American Economic Association; and the Society for Business Ethics.

James has been part of MU Faculty Council, CAFNR Promotion and Tenure Committee and Graduate Faculty Senate. He received the Richard P. Haynes Lifetime Achievement Award in Sustainable Agriculture from the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society in 2020, and the CAFNR Outstanding Senior Teaching Award and Golden Apple Teaching Award in 2018.

He received his bachelor’s in economics and master’s in sociology from Brigham Young University, as well as a master’s and PhD in economics from Washington University in St. Louis.