18 thoughts on “Jameson Doig

  1. joyce Rechtschaffen

    One of my favorite professors at Princeton. I often think back to all I learned in his class on criminal justice and to our incredible field trips, including one to visit Rubin Hurricane Carter in Trenton State Prison. Professor Doig’s interactions with students epitomized the best of the Princeton experience. Thirty two years after this class, when I came back to work at Princeton as director of the Office of Government Affairs, i was very excited to get back in touch with Professor Doig. He was so supportive and proud of my work.

  2. Denise Zapecza

    To Joan Doig: I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your husband. My sincere condolences to you and your family.

  3. Jeffrey Laurenti

    Jim Doig was one of the FAVORITE professors for my MPA class cohort (1974), and because I remained in the Trenton area thereafter I had many opportunities to continue to draw on his insights and research. He was the paragon of a professor of public policy, pushing students (and himself) for fresh ways of looking at policy problems and resolving them. He was also a warm and reflective human being, much beloved in Woo-dom. I have to believe that Joan and the rest of his family know what a precious gift they had in him, and that generations of Woo students share their loss.

  4. Michael Huerta

    Jim Doig was a gifted professor and a passionate public servant who practiced what he preached. For decades after I graduated (MPA 1980), Jim was always available to provide advice and counsel to me on policy questions of the day, public management, and on my career. No one had a better understanding of the unique history around the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the organization’s strengths and weaknesses, but his expertise did not stop there. How our nation develops and maintains transportation infrastructure (or does not lately) was something he cared a lot about. Jim was also a warm and engaging person, fun to talk with and always willing to to take time with students and alumni alike. My condolences to Joan and all of Jim’s family. While I know that you will miss Jim, please take comfort in knowing that he was a big influence in my life and the lives of many other Woos.

  5. Elizabeth D Laporte ‘75

    I wholeheartedly join in all the praise and affection for Jim Doig and his wife, Joan, which cannot be overstated, to whom I also extend my warmest condolences. He is truly irreplaceable and leaves behind an amazing legacy of supporting students like me over the years and keeping in touch with his ever lively and curious mind and valuable insights. Like so many others, he was one of my favorite professors and most generous and influential mentors when I was there in the early years of coeducation, and then years later was again generous with his time with my daughter when she attended Princeton. We often had the pleasure while she was there of staying at his and Joan’s home in Princeton and enjoying their warm hospitality. Truly unforgettable.

  6. Nancy Danch

    I first met Jim in 1991 at the Woodrow Wilson School. He was interviewing me for an employment position. That was the beginning of not only an 18-year working relationship but also a friendship that would extend over 25 years. Jim was a mentor both professionally and personally to me as well as my children. He appreciated the values he recognized in others, encouraged them to utilize these qualities, and was there to assist in whatever way he could.

    Over the years, I was witness to the many ways Jim’s thoughtfulness and willingness to help extended well beyond expectations. His students were very important to him, as was his valuable advice to them. He was constantly looking for new ways to encourage his students in their paths of learning. Jim, along with the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation, created a very successful summer internship program for Princeton and Columbia University students in the field of criminal justice and working with women and children who have been victims of domestic violence. He wanted to give students a “hands-on” experience that would help to improve their careers and future programs in crime prevention. As founding director of the Mamdouha S. Bobs Center, he continued on the path of creating a unique learning experience for not only his students but everyone involved with the Bobst Center. Working with Jim was so very interesting and rewarding; a unique position never to be duplicated.

    I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to spend a few days with Jim and Joan in Vermont this past summer. It was Jim’s 86th birthday and we had a wonderful celebration of family, food, and conversation. Over the years, we have shared many wonderful memories of Princeton and my visits to New England. I am forever thankful that our paths in life have crossed and I shall miss Jim very much. I will always remember him as one special and amazing person, as will all who knew him.

    *I remember one of my visits to Hanover, NH to visit Jim and Joan. Jim took me on a walk down memory lane at Dartmouth College. He asked me if I knew that Theodor Seuss Geisel graduated from the College…well, here is a quote I dedicate to you Jim, because it is totally you!

    “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss

  7. Doug Phillips

    He was one of the most important people not just in my life, but in the lives of many. Truly what a teacher and mentor should be. His was a life supremely well lived. His family will always miss him, but I hope they can take some comfort in knowing he was a great man.

  8. Emily Smith

    Jim was my JP and senior thesis advisor from 2016-2018. He was also a mentor to me and we continued to stay in touch after my graduation from Princeton in 2018. Jim was so thoughtful, kind and dedicated, and I am so grateful to have known him and learned from him these last few years. He made a huge impact on my education and development. Jim pushed me to think and argue more critically than I ever had done before, and he was exceedingly generous with his time and encouragement. I consider myself so lucky to have been Jim’s advisee, and I will miss him. My sincere condolences to Joan and all of Jim’s loved ones.

  9. Victoria (Taylor) Earls '03

    Professor Doig was a thoughtful and gentle professor who made deepened Princeton experience with his insight, dedication, and excellent, generous and engaging teaching skills. I was lucky enough to take his US/Canada comparison class in the early 2000s at Princeton and he was the reader on the my Senior Comprehensive Exam that touched on constitutional flex points in the US Constitution and Canadian Charter. I still reference many of the lessons learned in the US/Canada class and think fondly that the lessons that came out of his teaching still endure in modern politics. All my condolences to his family – I hope you are comforted by the fact that his spirit and generosity touched so many of us. He was a great man.

  10. Spencer Merriweather '00

    Jim Doig was my professor in a Freshman Seminar I took on Federalism in Fall 1996. He was the first college professor who ever engaged me in conversation on campus, and I found him to be remarkably generous with his time and attention. I remember him teaching in a way that preserved for his students their own moments of discovery. As raw and undisciplined a student as I was, Professor Doig rightfully tore my writing to pieces and was appropriately stern when I missed a deadline (or two), but I’m honored he took such a sincere interest in my learning. In his teachings on the design, function, and challenges of the Port Authority, he managed to bring a bunch of teenagers to the realization that the delicate inter-workings of government could prove just as complex as high-level math. He challenged us to assert our beliefs with clarity but to be as adaptable as a policy problem may demand. In the years that followed, Professor Doig never ceased to smile and call me by my first name when I saw him on campus. If I left Princeton with any sincere love for Life of the Mind and a belief in the possibility of Government, I have Jim Doig to thank for planting the seeds. I am saddened to hear of his passing, but I was truly blessed to have shared time with him in life.

  11. Cliff Karchmer '68

    Jim was a great scholar and often assisted my law enforcement research; I may be the reason he listed his assistance to the Police Executive Research Forum, where I worked for 19 years. He had such an easy way about him that it was often difficult to appreciate how much sage wisdom he packed into what came across as a passing thought. That was his way. I am so sorry to learn we lost him.

  12. Anthony Shorris

    A wise and kind man who never stopped caring for the people he taught and the institutions he improved through his work. I was among the many who turned to him time and again when I ended up running some of those institutions, especially the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, one of the entities about which he was the unquestioned expert and whose spirit he understood as deeply as anyone. Those of us lucky enough to have been his students at Princeton, and in life after, were given a great gift. Thank you, Jim.

  13. June DeRose

    I just learned about the passing of Jim today. I was lucky enough to be his Administrative
    Assistant from ’78-’82. He really was a wonderful man to work for. He was kind and caring,
    fair in his dealings and very loyal. We kept in touch all these years and took interest in
    each others gardening projects. I pray for comfort and blessings for Joan and their family.

  14. Larry Serra "67

    I was one of the original Politics Dep’t research assistants for Jim Doig and Mike Danielson my senior year (’67), and researched matters about the several NYC metro area regional authorities for their book, New York: The Politics of Regional Urban Development (Univ. of Calif. Press, 1982), which experience taught me to drill down when fact-finding, a talent that has served me well as a lawyer and law professor.
    We corresponded over the years about the sometimes outrageous and cash-hogging tendencies of the San Diego Port Authority, and of its child the San Diego Airport Authority. We talked occasionally about our careers as naval officers during Jim’s 1950s period and mine (Vietnam). I was happy to lunch with Jim while at Princeton when my son Chris (’97) graduated. Jim was pleased Chris had graduated MCL as an engineer. Jim was always a serious scholar and a kind man of goodwill. RIP Jim.

  15. Lynne Sagalyn

    Just recently I learned of Jim’s passing, and the loss makes me so sad but also realize again how much of a mentor he was to me as a scholar interested in the same urban issues. I learned a lot from his rigorous comments on my work and enjoyed many a conversation over policy over three decades. He left a special legacy to all of us who were lucky enough to benefit from his wisdom and kindness.
    Lynne Sagalyn
    Professor Emerita, Columbia Business School

  16. Victoria Nevel '16

    I had just returned to the Upper Valley and tried to reach out to Jim about making our annual Molly’s lunch tradition virtual this year when I learned of his passing. He was not only my independent research advisor while I was an undergraduate student, but an advisor and mentor throughout my career. While other professors would meet in their offices or simply over email, he took me out to lunch (Molly’s of course) almost every week and kept up with me long after graduation. He wrote recommendations for all of my applications and helped me win a full scholarship to Georgetown and American Law as well as a full scholarship to pursue a master’s in public policy in Europe. He believed in me so much, much more than I believed in myself—he was the first professor to give me a citation for meritorious performance and treated my paper on the topic of sexual assault worthy of serious academic and policy discussion and research. He was a family man through and through and spoke often of his wife and their summer home together in Vermont. When he met my family during graduation, he told them he was proud of me. I am so grateful for everything he’s done and I miss him dearly. My sincere condolences to his family. I wish I could thank him for changing my life.

  17. Dorian Needham '05

    Jim (which he insisted for several years that I call him, before I could finally shake my “Professor Doig” habit) taught a seminar my junior year on comparative federalism. A proud Canadian, I took the class because it was one of the only ways I could find to learn a little more about my country while at Princeton — but what I learned there was so much more. That semester, Jim taught me to write better, to read more closely, and to think harder — and he managed to do all of it with a self-effacing style that nudged the class toward clearer debate without ever seeming to demand it of anyone.

    I enjoyed the experience so much that I asked Professor Doig — I mean Jim — to advise my thesis the following year. As I spent time in Wales and Quebec to study the development and deployment of minority language policy, he demanded multiple drafts of each chapter and read each of them intensively, returning comments that made me rip everything up and start again — repeatedly — but which ultimately strengthened my arguments and left me with a product I was (and am) proud of.

    Over the fifteen years since, I fell into a rhythm of communicating with Jim in fits and starts, sending two or three emails back-and-forth every one or two years. I cherished that contact, though in retrospect I regret that it didn’t grow into the kind of consistent and sustained dialog that I know he would have welcomed. My loss, no doubt. And today, having learned of his passing on receiving an auto-reply to a ling-overdue message I sent him — full of job and life updates, and some comments on draft articles he’d sent me so long before — I feel the loss very keenly.

    He was a professor and a friend — and I’m very aware of how many others can and do say the same. We’ll miss you, Jim.

  18. Victoria Garcia Caffrey

    I was about to send Jim a family update when I happened on the notice of his passing. Ah me, I am sad, but filled with gratitude for having known him as advisor on my Ph.D. at Princeton. As with many of the above students, he bolstered my morale with respect and excellent, rigorous feedback. And continued mentoring me as I mentored my own students. What a life of meaning. If any of his family need similar mentoring in the future, count me in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *