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James Naylor

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Dr. James C. Naylor

Former Head, Purdue Psychology Department

Dr. James C. Naylor, 81, passed away on Friday July 12, 2013 in Columbus Ohio. An educator and psychologist, he had a distinguished career as a scholar and educational administrator. Known for his calm demeanor, great sense of humor, and ability to handle crisis and conflict with ease, he chaired both the Psychology Department at Purdue University, his alma mater, and the Psychology Department at Ohio State, where he retired as Professor Emeritus of Psychology in 1998. In 1976, he received a Fulbright Research Scholar Award at the University of Umea, Sweden and in 1982-83 he was the Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Flinders University of South Australia. Respected for his views on undergraduate and graduate education, he served as a consultant and evaluator of psychology programs to many universities, and was the Lead Consultant for the Florida State University System 1996 review of psychology programs in all Florida State Universities. In 1984 he was appointed to UNESCO to serve as a consultant to Hangzhou University, Peoples Republic of China, to aid in establishing engineering and management psychology programs after the end of the cultural revolution. He authored more than 60 articles, two books and numerous presentations. He founded the scientific journal "Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes" in 1966 and served as its editor for 32 years. He also founded the Society for Organizational Behavior in 1975.

Born in Chicago, Illinois on February 8, 1932, he spent his youth in Ripon, Wisconsin, where he graduated from high school in 1950. He then served four years in the U.S. Navy as an aviation electronics technician during the Korean War. It was during his time in the Navy while on leave in Memphis Tennessee that he met the love of his life, Georgia Lou Mason. He picked her photo out of a yearbook as the person he wanted to have a blind date with and they were married on Valentine's Day, 1953. Honorably discharged from the Navy in 1954, he attended Purdue University, receiving his B.S. in 1957 with highest distinction in economics and psychology, followed by M.S. (1958) and Ph.D. (1960) degrees in psychology, completing his entire college education within 6 years.

He then joined the faculty at The Ohio State University as an assistant professor in the department of Psychology and as a research associate at the Aviation Psychology Laboratory. By1961 his family had grown with the addition of three daughters. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1963 and to Professor and Associate Department Chair in 1967. In 1968, eight years after acquiring his PHD from Purdue, he returned to Purdue University, this time as Head of the Department of Psychology, a position he held for 11 years during which time he guided the growth and quality of the department, turning it into a prominent school with distinguished faculty and ratings. He returned to teaching and research in 1979, remaining a total of eighteen years at Purdue.

In 1986, he accepted the position of Chair of the Department of Psychology at Ohio State, returning to where he began his career. He served as Chair at Ohio State for 12 years, during which time he directed the development and growth of its department as it also substantially increased in size and reputation. He retired as Professor Emeritus of Psychology in 1998.

Although he retired from Ohio State his true love was always Purdue his alma mater. He was loyal to the Purdue Boilermaker's, until the very end, always wanting them to win and especially beat Ohio State when they played each other. He loved to go to games and sit with OSU folk but cheer for Purdue.

He is survived by his beloved wife of sixty years, Georgia, his daughters Mary Denise Naylor (Sam Sacco) of Oakland, CA, Diana Darice (Russell) Hirsch of Kailua, HI, and Shari Dalice Mogollon of Dallas, TX, as well as seven grandchildren and a great grandson.

There will be a celebration of his life on Monday July 29th at the OSU Faculty Club at 4pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in his honor may be sent to the Dr. Daniel Jolly and Dr. Greg Ness Student Research Fund (#603475), c/o The Ohio State University Foundation, 1480 W. Lane Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43221.

Published in the Journal & Courier on July 29, 2013
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