Northwestern State University has selected a new president of the institution.
The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System voted unanimously to name Dr. Marcus Jones the 20th president of Northwestern State University Monday.
Jones is the first Black president in the university's history.
According NSU, Jones has served the institution throughout his 23-year career in roles such as professor of business law and international business, vice president for university affairs, and executive vice president for university and business affairs.
Jones has most recently served as interim president since July of 2021.
“Northwestern is home to me. I know Northwestern and Northwestern knows me,” Jones said. “This is about fit and timing for Northwestern, and I will hit the ground running.”
The Northwestern State Presidential Search Committee narrowed the field to two finalists, Jones and Kim LeDuff, after interviewing six semifinalists on Northwestern’s campus last week.
“It’s an historic day for Northwestern State,” UL System President and CEO Jim Henderson said. “Marcus is an authentic leader of character, integrity, and vision. His familiarity with the community, his passion for student success, and his commitment to excellence will advance our alma mater for the next generation.”
During his interview, the university says that Jones spoke of the importance of a strong institution for university alumni and the Natchitoches community as a whole. He also discussed his vision for the university working more collaboratively with business and industry to ensure graduates have both the hard skills and soft skills to meet the needs of the global market.
Jones is a native of Winnfield, La. and is the 18th of 20 children. He is a graduate of Northwestern State, Grambling State, and Southern Law Center.
Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statement congratulating the newly-selected president. Since July 2021, Jones has served as the interim president of the university and will permanently take on the role starting November 15.
“Congratulations to the new president of Northwestern State University Marcus Jones, who is making history today as the first Black president of the university. Earning his undergraduate degree at Northwestern, his master’s degree at Grambling, and his law degree at Southern, Mr. Jones is a testament to Louisiana's higher education institutions. Mr. Jones has served the NSU community for many years, and I have no doubt he will continue to succeed in his new role.”
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