College of Education and Human Development

School of Social Work

James Reinardy

  • Associate Professor Emeritus

James Reinardy

Areas of interest

Enhancing Autonomy and Decision Making of Older Persons, Alternative Models of Long-term Care, Multidisciplinary Geriatric Team Training, Long-term Care Policy, Social Welfare Policy and Community Organizing, Leadership and Organizational Change, philosophical approaches to social justice/human rights and the capabilities approach.


PhD, University of Minnesota, 
MSW, University of Minnesota-Duluth, 
MA, Education, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul MN, 
BA, Philosophy, St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul MN


Dr. Reinardy has been a faculty member at SSW-UMN since 1993 where he has served in administrative positions and well as teaching and research. His career-length exploration of older adults and decision making has taken a significant turnaround in the past few years. Although he has looked at the impact of perceived decision making on the heath, mental health, social life and satisfaction of older adults, he has done this through aggregate data and has discussed its implications for policy and system change. He took a hiatus in his work during his administrative work as director. Currently he is devoting his research efforts to exploring the meaning of social justice and its relationship to social work practice. In a recent article, he and colleagues argued that the capability approach provides a basis for social work to articulate social justice in its mission and its curriculum. His current project involves arguing that the capability approach provides a foundation and guide for social work in human rights practice.


Carlson, J., Nguyen, H., and Reinardy, J. (2016). Social justice and the capabilities approach: Seeking a global print for EPAS. Journal of Social Work Education, 52, Issue 3. 

Reinardy, J. (2008).  Giesla Konopka.  Encyclopedia of Social Work, National Association of Social Work.

Reinardy, J.R., and Zoff, Sara. (2006). Strategies for Implementing and Sustaining Gerontological Curricular Change in Social Work Education. In Burkman, B (Ed), Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging. Oxford Press.


Reinardy, J. (2017). Social Development and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals: Social justice from a capabilities perspective. 16th Biannual Conference on Social Development. Consortium on International Social Development, Zagreb, Croatia (July 3).

Reinardy, J. (2016). Capabilities theory as a grounding for social justice. 15th Biannual Conference on Social Development. Consortium on International Social Development. (July), Seoul.

Reinardy, J., and Morrissey, M. (2009). Leadership during budgetary crisis: A challenge for social work education. Council on Social Work Education Annual Program, November, 2009, San Antonio, TX.

Reinardy, J., and Morrissey, M.(2007).  Leadership for change in social work education: A systems perspective. Council on Social Work Education Leadership Conference, February,  Charleston, NC.