James Fenton, Ph.D.

Dean of the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise, Professor of Management

James Fenton

Connect with
James Fenton

locationBecker Business - room 308
Phone 863.680.4277


I was born in Toledo Ohio the son of a military family. We traveled the world extensively due to change in military duty stations. I went to college at the University of Toledo (bachelors and masters) and the University of Iowa (Ph.D. and second area in Law). I was an entrepreneur having founded, operated and ultimately sold four companies in the steel industry. After doing business, I became an academic. I have held an endowed appointment in entrepreneurship and was promoted and tenured at three universities. I have been a dean for over 15 years with three colleges/schools of business.


I enjoy reading, writing, training and playing golf.


Ph.D. Business Administration, University of Iowa – Iowa City, Iowa (1981)                                     
Master of Business Administration, University of Toledo – Toledo, Ohio (1973)
Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Toledo—Toledo, Ohio (1970)

Publications and Exhibitions


James W. Fenton, Jr. & S. Timmins, “The At-Will Employment Doctrine: Implications and Recommendations for the Small Business Firm”, Journal of Small Business Management 20, (1), 1982, pp. 32-37. 

James W. Fenton, Jr., “Negligent Hiring and Retention Doctrine”, Nursing Management, 20 (9), 1989, pp. 28-32. 

James W. Fenton, Jr., “Negligent Hiring/Retention Adds to Human Resource Woes,” Personnel Journal, 69 (2), 1990, pp. 62-73. 

James W. Fenton, Jr. & G. Miller, “Foley. Interactive Data CorpLabor Law Journal, 41 (5), 1990, pp. 307-310. 

James W. Fenton, Jr., J. Kinard and F. David, “Negligent Hiring and Retention: Some Evidence of  Hospital Vulnerability,” Health Care Management Review, 16 (1), 1991, pp. 73-81.

Gary Miller & J.W. Fenton, Jr. “Negligent Hiring and Criminal Record Information: A Muddled Area of Employment Law in Need of Congressional Action,” Labor Law Journal, 42 (3), 1991, pp. 186-192.

Gary Miller & J.W. Fenton, Jr., “At-Will Employment Doctrine—Are Patient Care Employers Vulnerable?,” Hospital and Health Services Administration Journal, 36:2, Summer 1991, pp. 257-270.

James W. Fenton, Jr., W. Ruud & J. Kimbell, “Negligent Training Suits: A Recent Entry into the Corporate Employment Negligence Arena,” Labor Law Journal, 42 (6), 1991, pp. 351-356.

James W. Fenton, Jr. & K.W. Lawrimore, “Employment Reference Checking, Firm Size and Defamation Liability,” Journal of Small Business Management, 30 (4), 1992, pp. 88-95.

L. McTier Anderson & J.W. Fenton, Jr., “The Light at the End of the Human Resources Management Tunnel: Window of Opportunity or an Oncoming Train?,” BUSINESS HORIZONS, 36 (1), 1993, pp. 72-76.

James W. Fenton, Jr. & G. Miller, “Revising the Rules of Employment Liability – A Long Term Care Employment Dilemma,” Journal of Long-Term Care Administration 21 (1), 1993, pp. 36-40.

Jerry L. Kinard & J.W. Fenton, Jr., “Drug Testing Procedures Used by Hospitals: An Empirical Inquiry,” Health Care Management Review, 18, (3), 1993, pp. 75-80.

James W. Fenton, Jr. & J.L. Kinard, “A Study of Substance Abuse Testing in Patient Care Facilities,” Health Care Management Review, 18 (4), 1993, pp. 87-95.

Fred R. David, K. W. Lawrimore & J. W. Fenton, Jr. “Business Ethics Attitudes in Small Versus Large Firms,” Coastal Business Review, 3, 1994, pp. 31-36.

James W. Fenton, Jr., & D.E. Kelley, “Resurrection of an Old But Timely Proposal – Voluntary Arbitration of Employment Discharges,” SAM Advanced Management Journal, 59.

James W. Fenton, Jr., D.E. Kelley, W.R. Ruud, & J.A. Bulloch, “Employer Legal Liability for Employee Workplace Violence – Knee Deep in Big Muddy,” SAM Advanced Management Journal, 62, 4, Autumn, 1997, pp. 44-47. 

Ellen H. Loveland, J.O. Jasperson, J.A. Clark, J.W. Fenton, Jr. & M. Monson, “ADR Encourages Accurate and Timely Employment References in an Increasingly Violent Workplace,” Employment & Labor Law Quarterly10 (1), 2004, pp. 1-25. 

Scott C. Hammond, Susan R. Madsen & J.W. Fenton, Jr., “Strategically Increasing Faculty Productivity,” Academic Exchange Quarterly, 8, 4, Winter, 2004, pp. 152-57. 

J.E. Hoyt, S.R. Madsen, S.C. Hammond & J.W. Fenton, Jr. “Tracking Faculty Research Productivity: Analysis of a Survey Instrument,” International Journal of Applied Management Education and Development, (on-line journal), 2008.


L. McTier Anderson & J.W. Fenton, Jr., “Human Capital – The Only Sustainable Competitive Advantage,” Pee Dee Magazine, IV 

James W. Fenton, Jr., J. Kinard & F. David, “Negligent Hiring & Retention,” Health Care Labor Manual, Release 107, February 21, 1992 (Gaithersburg, MD, Aspen Publishers). 

James W. Fenton, Jr., J. Kinard & F. David, “Negligent Hiring & Retention: Some Evidence of Hospital Vulnerability,” Human Resource Management in Health Care, June, 1992 (Gaithersburg, MD, Aspen Publishers). 

James W. Fenton, Jr. and J. Kinard, “Drug Testing Procedures Used by Hospitals, Hospital Legal Forms, Checklists, and Guidelines, February, 1995, (Gaithersburg, MD, Aspen Publishers).

James W. Fenton, Jr. “Investing in the Student Experience,” Sequel Magazine, Spring, 2004, p. 29.