State chancellor to recommend new FVSU president

Paul Jones
Paul Jones

Fort Valley State University could have a new president after Tuesday's meeting of the Board of Regents.

Hank Huckaby, chancellor for the University System of Georgia, is expected to recommend Paul Jones to the position, according to a news release. Jones was formerly the interim president for Darton State College, and he held the same position at Georgia College.

"Paul's success at Darton, combined with his leadership capabilities, have made it clear he is the ideal candidate to be appointed permanent president of Fort Valley State University," Huckaby said in the release.

Jones released a statement regarding the potential appointment, saying it was "an honor to be considered" for the position. He also said he enjoyed his term at Darton.

"Should I be chosen as president of Fort Valley State, I know that it is a calling that I am eager to fully step into," he said.

Darton, which is located in Albany, recently reported an enrollment of 5,471, more than double Fort Valley State's enrollment of 2,695. The college also added four online degrees during Jones' time at the helm and established agreements with Albany State University to allow students to move between the two institutions to earn degrees. Similar articulation agreements with other schools have become common practice at FVSU, as well.

In a statement on FVSU's website, interim President Jessica Bailey said Jones likely would start at FVSU in December, if the recommendation is approved. She also expressed her support for the decision and called Jones an "established leader" within the University System.

"I am confident and in support of the chancellor's recommendation," Bailey said. "I am excited about what this means for the future of Fort Valley State. This is a strong indication of the chancellor's commitment to the long-term strength and success of Fort Valley State University."

Bailey took the post on an interim basis when former President Ivelaw Griffith resigned after last school year.

To contact writer Jeremy Timmerman, call 744-4331 or find him on Twitter@MTJTimm.

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