Profile: Jim Delaney


The Visual and Media Arts Department is the perfect work environment for Jim Delaney, since he describes himself as someone who “watches movies in place of food and sleep.”

Delaney was hired as the assistant to the department chair five years ago. Two years ago, he took on the position of budget and operations manager. His job entails reconciling expenses for the department, which is the College’s largest academic department with approximately 100 full-time and affiliated faculty.

He helps set the budget and manage expenses for VMA’s academic operations, such as student support and faculty curricular programming, as well as events including the annual Emerson Film Festival, It’s All True documentary festival, Silversonic Music Video Showcase, and Bright Lights film series. He also places catering orders and venue requests for special events sponsored by the department.

Booking travel is another of his responsibilities. During faculty searches, he books travel and accommodations for candidates. He also books travel and accommodations for guest speakers who come to campus to speak in VMA classes or at Bright Lights screenings.

Full-time VMA faculty members receive professional development funds each year, and Delaney helps them book travel for conferences and for film shoots in such far-flung places as China and India. Because he is such a big film buff, Delaney said that he enjoys his job because he can learn from faculty where movies have come from and observe from students where movies are going.

Delaney is yet another staff member who is an Emerson alumnus. He graduated with a BFA in creative writing and moved to Los Angeles, hoping to make it as a screenwriter. He was an office manager at a few talent agencies, including International Creative Management. He then moved to New York City, where he was a production assistant on the second and third seasons of The Sopranos. He eventually returned to Boston, and before arriving at Emerson, obtained a paralegal certificate from Suffolk University.

Delaney grew up in various places along the East Coast and in the Midwest. He explained that movies are “his hometown.” He enjoys all genres and frequents all of the local movie theaters. When he was a student at Emerson, he worked at the movie theater in the Copley Place Mall. Over the years, he has written a movie-themed blog (then transferred to social media) and podcast. His top three favorite films are Apocalypse Now Redux, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Casablanca.

Fittingly, he lives in Davis Square in Somerville, Massachusetts, home of the Somerville Theatre.

Nancy Howell (Communications)