Robert H. Jones, dean of West Virginia University’s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences since 2010, on Wednesday was named executive vice president of academic affairs and provost at his alma mater, Clemson University.
Jones, also a professor of biology, will serve as Clemson’s first-ever provost beginning Sept. 16, the university announced. He will lead the land-grant university’s undergraduate and graduate programs, academic support programs, research and public service activities.
“Bob Jones is a highly regarded dean at our largest college,” said WVU President Gordon Gee, “and well known nationally as an environment scientist and superb leader. And while we are sad to see him go, Clemson is a university that holds a special place in his heart—and we wish him the very best.”
Joyce McConnell, who was recently named WVU’s provost after serving as dean of the College of Law, said, “As a fellow dean colleague and now the provost, I know Bob Jones to be an outstanding administrator, scholar and friend. He is also someone who understands and appreciates the land-grant mission, a calling many of us cherish. I wish him well at Clemson and look forward to continuing our friendship as we serve our universities in similar roles.”
In announcing the appointment, Clemson President James Clements, who left WVU last year to lead the South Carolina school, said, “Dr. Jones is an accomplished scholar and researcher who understands the land-grant mission and knows Clemson well. He is highly regarded by faculty, staff, students and alumni at West Virginia. During his tenure, the college has seen significant growth in private support, research, increased faculty resources and a strong record in competing for national scholarships and fellowships.”
Jones earned his bachelor’s degree in forest management and master’s in forestry from Clemson and his doctorate in forest ecology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse University. He has previously served as a department head and professor at Virginia Tech and a faculty member at Auburn University.
“I am thrilled with the opportunity to work with Clemson University’s amazing students, faculty and staff, and with its energetic new president, Dr. James Clements,” Jones said. “There are many appealing elements of Clemson for me, including its strong sense of community, positive momentum and track record of success in all three of the land-grant missions: learning, discovery and engagement. It’s also the place where I launched my life in academia and met my wife, Jeri. Truly, this is a chance of a lifetime!”
Jones’ wife, Jeryl “Jeri” C. Jones, will also be joining Clemson. Jeri earned a bachelor of science in zoology from Clemson, a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. and Board Certification in veterinary radiology from Auburn University. She has worked in private practice and has held faculty positions at Virginia Tech and West Virginia University, where she has conducted research and has taught undergraduate, graduate and professional students.
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