U VP named president at NY college

Robert Jones, senior vice president for academic admin, will leave the U in January.

by Tyler Gieseke

After serving the University of Minnesota for 34 years in various roles, Senior Vice President Robert Jones will leave the University of Minnesota to assume the presidency at the University at Albany effective Jan. 2.

Jones was the 18th highest-paid employee of the University of Minnesota system in 2011, according to salary data. He made about $300,000 in his role as senior vice president for Academic Administration, according to salary data.

In his role, he oversaw programs that extended the University’s reach statewide and globally, including with four satellite campuses.

Jones began working for the University in 1978 as an assistant professor of agronomy and plant genetics.

Since then, he has served in many administrative positions including for faculty and academic programs, campus life and faculty and academic personnel.

Unlike many other times the University has announced the departure of senior officials, in this case it didn’t include in the announcement details on how Jones would be replaced.

University spokesman Chuck Tombarge told the Minnesota Daily on Wednesday that there wasn’t yet a timeline for the search for Jones’s replacement.

Jones’s different duties during his time at the University varied, from running a plant physiology lab on the St. Paul campus to hearing student services fees suggestions or organizing the search for a new administrator.

“By being in a number of roles, I have been able to make a difference,” he told the Daily in 2001.

The Georgia native made a significant impact on the University’s international programs by expanding programming and internationalizing curriculum across colleges.

He more than doubled funding for international research and study, according to a University news release.

Jones will serve as the 19th president of the University at Albany, a public research institution with an enrollment of about 17,000 students.

Jones told the University’s news service he looks forward to his new position but said after serving the University community for so many years, his decision to leave was difficult.

A few years ago, it wasn’t a decision he was prepared to make.

Jones was one of two finalists for the presidency of the University of Hawaii system in 2009 but withdrew himself from consideration because it wasn’t the right “time or fit” for his family, according to a previous Daily article.