UALR Chancellor Joel E. Anderson announced today that Dr. Joseph L. Jones, founding executive director of the Social Justice Initiative at Philander Smith College and a 2013-14 American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow, will spend his spring 2014 fellowship at UALR.
Jones said his interest in working with Chancellor Anderson and his executive cabinet stemmed in part from a desire to learn more about UALR’s Carnegie Community Engagement Elective Classification.
“Dr. Anderson’s commitment to community partnerships and his leadership style will enable me to experience first-hand how to integrate best practices relating to community engagement and bring that back to Philander Smith,” Jones said.
“I am very pleased that Dr. Jones has chosen to spend part of his ACE fellowship year with us. His knowledge and background in higher education leadership, along with a demonstrated interest in community partnerships, are just a couple of the reasons that he will undoubtedly be a true asset to UALR,” said Anderson.
“UALR’s selection as a host institution is a sign of its high standing. An ACE Fellow typically chooses an institution for its rigorous academic environment and high-quality efforts to educate students,” said Margarita Benítez, interim director of ACE’s Emerging Leaders Group and the ACE Fellows Program.
Jones received his bachelor of arts degree in political science from Philander Smith College and his master’s degree and doctorate in political science from Clark Atlanta University. He secured fellowships in 2010 at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University and the Black Panther Party Research Project at Stanford University.
In 2012, his colleagues in the National Conference of Black Political Scientists awarded Jones the Fannie Lou Hamer Community Service Award. Jones also serves as a board member on the Arkansas Interfaith Alliance and the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
Fifty ACE Fellows were nominated by the presidents or chancellors of their institutions and selected this year in a national competition for the program.
Established in 1965, the program is designed to strengthen institutional capacity and build leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration.
Retreats, interactive learning opportunities, campus visits, and placement at another higher education institution condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single semester or year. The Fellows are included in the highest level of decision making while participating in administrative activities and learning about an issue of benefit to their nominating institution.
Jones’ learning goals are to study how administrators communicate and execute the school’s mission and to observe different leadership styles and administrative systems. He will also assess the way a university engages community nonprofits, as well as local and state government, and service agencies.
“Because UALR has mastered several of these areas, it can uniquely meet my learning goals as I shadow senior leadership and observe operational procedures and academic programs,” said Jones.
“I look forward to being involved with as many activities and learning experiences as possible with the ultimate goal of benefitting my nominating institution, Philander Smith, by bringing back best practices and new ways of functioning. Working with Chancellor Anderson and his leadership team will allow me to gain the necessary experience to complete my learning goals and one day fulfill my desire of becoming a college president.”