In Memoriam

James R. Woodworth
Professor Emeritus of Political Science

James Richard Woodworth, professor and chair emeritus of political science and former associate dean of the College of Arts and Science, died Wednesday, Oct. 8, at the age of 95. He retired in 1985.

Woodworth, of Oxford, also served in other capacities during his time at Miami. He came to Miami as an instructor in government in 1948. He was associate registrar from 1952-1956, director of the honors program from 1960-1963, chair of the department of government (now called political science) from 1963-1970, associate dean from 1971-1980 and consultant to the provost in his last two years of service.

He served on the Oxford City Council and helped write the city’s original charter; served on the board of McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital; wrote manuals for the Ohio Township Trustees group and, with the late Robert W. Gump (political science emeritus), co-authored two government textbooks, Atlantis (on national government) and Camelot (on city government), now in its fifth edition.

“Jim was not only an active scholar, he was an engaged participant in state and local politics throughout Ohio. Jim was an invaluable resource in the early years of Miami's Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs because his reputation among local elected officials was that of a respected expert in local government,” said Phil Russo, professor of political science and director, Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs. “As a true exemplar of the ‘teacher-scholar,’ Jim Woodworth made Miami's political science department a wonderful place for young faculty like me to start a career. Most importantly, Jim was a wonderful human being: honest, compassionate and always helpful. He will be missed.”

“Jim had a wonderfully helpful way of discussing the day-to-day life of Miami. Whereas some viewed weaknesses in the university’s operation as intractable problems that would inevitably undermine the university’s excellence, he saw such frailties as offering new opportunities for strengthening that excellence,” said Steven DeLue, professor and former chair of political science. “Whereas some saw strengths as indicative of the university’s invulnerability to any prospect of decline, he saw such moments as warning signs that, if left unheeded, would feed decline. His unique and constructive way of assessing all that he saw is a legacy that those who knew him well will always remember.”

Woodworth also served in the Army Air Force from September 1941-1945 in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. He obtained a six-month leave of absence in 1964 to conduct a regional survey of food and drug regulations for the Public Administrative Service.

In his retirement, Woodworth wrote several mystery novels.

He is survived by his second wife, Marilyn Throne, daughters Deborah (Norman Schiferl) and Viki (Robert Genheimer) and two granddaughters.