Prominent Utah pollster Dan Jones is retiring from his position as Political Science Professor at the University of Utah. Jones is stepping down after more than 50 years of teaching, but says he will continue his work in political polling.
The end of Jones teaching career was marked by a crowd of politicians, academics, and students at the U’s Hinckley Institute of Politics.
“Dan Jones has had the largest impact of probably anyone in Utah on civic participation,” said the institute’s Director Kirk Jowers.
Jowers says Jones is known all over the state for accurate and fair political polling, but also for his work with students. Jones says he measures his own success by the students he has helped to become more politically engaged.
“To be able to teach for 52 years young people who wanted to learn and especially to make themselves better citizens, that they could get involved in the process, not only vote, but run for office and help make public policy,” Jones told KUER.
Senior Neela Pack is one of many students who says Dan Jones turned her on to politics.
“Dr. Jones has literally been one of those perspective changing professors,” said Pack, “Going into school, I wasn’t thinking about politics, I was taking the class just for my requirement. And he really made me think about what civic duty is. I mean he really opens your eyes to how much more power citizens have.”
Pack says thanks to Dr. Jones, she is considering running for office herself.
The Hinckley Institute of Politics is trying to raise $40,000 for a biography about Jones and a scholarship fund.