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Former Criminal Justice Dean, Leading Scholar Julie Horney Dies at 68

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 21, 2016) — Former School of Criminal Justice colleagues are mourning the death of Julie Horney, the school’s dean from 2002-09. Horney died while swimming on Oct. 10 in Puerto Escondido, Mexico.
Julie Horney, dean at UAlbany

Julie Horney, 1948-2016. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

“Beyond sad,” said Professor James Acker, who served as interim dean of the school before Horney took office. “Julie's tragic death has left a gaping hole in all of us who knew her as a national leader in the discipline, as dean and colleague at the School of Criminal Justice, as a friend, and as an enormously talented and caring individual.”

Dean of the School of Criminal Justice William Pridemore was friends with Horney and spoke with her just days before her death. “This is very jarring news and we are all so sad to hear it,” he said. “Julie played an incredibly positive and important role in our history and she remained a great friend of the School even after her departure for Penn State. We are heartbroken.”

“Julie was a lovely person and an excellent role model for junior faculty,” said Professor Frankie Y. Bailey. “I will always value the encouragement that she gave me.”

Writing in the guest book of the website, former UAlbany dean of undergraduate studies and interim dean of Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy Helen Desfosses said, “Julie was an extraordinary administrator . . . an imaginative participant in community-university social justice programs, and a wonderful friend to so many of us who were her contemporaries.

“Her death is an enormous loss to the field of criminal justice, and also to her family, and the many circles of her colleagues and friends throughout the U.S. and the world. We will miss her.”

Horney came to UAlbany from the University of Nebraska, where she was a professor of criminal justice. In addition, from 1998 to 2001, she was director of the Situational Dynamics Research Program Area of the National Consortium on Violence Research, a research arm of the National Science Foundation. A former judicial fellow with the U.S. Supreme Court, she was a fellow and past president of the American Society of Criminology, and received its Herbert Bloch Award for distinguished service to the society and the field of criminology.

She was a writer of peer-reviewed articles on a number of topics, including crime and rape law reform, criminal careers, plea bargaining, and the situational determinants of violence.

“She inspired and touched so many within and beyond the classroom and helped shape wide-reaching social policies integral to justice,” said Acker. “We will miss her deeply. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to her family.”

Horney received a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of California, San Diego in 1973. After leaving UAlbany, she became a professor of criminology and sociology at Penn State University, whence she retired in 2014. She is survived by her husband Wayne, children Will and Ellen, and a brother, Jim.

A celebration of her life will be held from 2 - 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, at Mountain View Country Club in Boalsburg, Pa. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her name may be made to Music at Penn's Woods, the Arboretum at Penn State, or Everytown for Gun Safety.

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