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Darden Mourns Loss of Assistant Professor James Rubin

- Friday, July 8, 2016

The following letter is the communication sent to the Darden community from Dean Scott Beardsley following the death of James Rubin, Assistant Professor of Management:

Dear Darden Faculty, Staff and Students:

It is with great sadness that I share with you the news that James Rubin passed away yesterday afternoon, July 6. His family informed us that he died peacefully at UVA Hospital, surrounded by their love. On behalf of all of us here at Darden, I have shared with his family our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy.

In James, we have lost a dear friend and colleague, a multi-talented scholar and musician who — over his 25 years as a Darden faculty member — made great and lasting contributions to the School and our community.

James was a dedicated teacher. He was the first faculty recipient of the Frederick S. Morton Award, which recognizes a Darden student for leadership excellence and the faculty member who contributed the most to the student’s experience.  

A hard worker with a curious intellect and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia’s prestigious program, James joined Darden in 1991 and became an expert in corporate communication. He helped build the area of Management Communication at Darden and served as Course Head several times and Area Coordinator for 20 years. James was committed to innovation in course development, launched several new electives, and wrote and presented many well-regarded academic articles, as well as field-based cases, working with corporations such as Aetna, Nissan, The Coca-Cola Company and UPS. One of his most creative efforts included an innovative multi-media case that compares the brands of The Doors and the Dave Matthews Band.

At the time of his death, he was finalizing a manuscript with Columbia Business School Publishing. His forthcoming book, Rebuilding Trust in the Age of Social Media, scheduled for publication in early 2017, represents his more than 20 years of research in the areas of branding, reputation and trust.

A classically-trained jazz musician, James delighted in music and performed as a bass player with a band in Boston and was a founding member of the Darden faculty and student band, Blues Jam.

James represented Darden on the University of Virginia Faculty Senate for five years and was a member of the Arthur W. Page Society for senior public relations and corporate communication experts.

We hold James’ family close in our hearts and thoughts. He is survived by his wife, Jane Perry, and son, Edward. When we receive more information on his funeral, we will share it, and we will also provide an opportunity for the Darden community to honor him later this summer.

James Rubin will be remembered as an innovative teacher, a friend, a mentor, a kind soul and a man of many talents — and we at Darden thank him for making our community and the world a richer place.


Scott C. Beardsley
Dean and Charles C. Abbott Professor of Business Administration
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia

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