Professor Emeritus James E. Jernberg served on the University of Minnesota faculty for 31 years, initially in the Department of Political Science (1964–1965), then in units that preceded the creation of the Humphrey School: the Public Administration Center from 1965 to 1967 and the School of Public Affairs from 1968 to 1977. He retired from the Humphrey School in 1995.
In addition to regular faculty teaching and research responsibilities, Jernberg served in administrative capacities for several years. While in the School of Public Affairs, he served as its first director of graduate studies (1969–1974) and acting director (summer 1973). He was director of graduate studies (1978–1981 and 1984–1993) and associate dean (1992–1993) at the Humphrey Institute.
Since retiring, Jernberg has been honored in many ways by the Humphrey School and the University of Minnesota. The student lounge on the ground level of the Humphrey School bears his name, reflecting his commitment to the student experience. The annual Jernberg Award honors a student, staff member, or faculty member recognized by students as having made the greatest contribution to student life. Two Jernberg Public Service Fellowships, fully endowed by an alumni couple, are awarded annually to Humphrey School students. In 2008, he received the University of Minnesota Alumni Service Award.