Since arriving to campus in late December 2015, Dr. Paul Jones has had a whirlwind of activities, including several small-group listening sessions, a host of special meet-and-greet events and informal chat sessions with faculty, staff and students.
Jones’ goal is to do lots of listening and engaging with various constituency groups on campus and attended a special meet-and-greet with local and state lawmakers. He’s holding a series of listening sessions for both internal and external constituent groups. Future plans also include Brown Bag lunches with faulty and staffers and Fireside Chat sessions with FVSU students.
Dr. Jones shared with the campus how he is eager to learn of their accomplishments, their dreams and goals for Fort Valley State and in particular, their ideas on how the campus can soar to new heights.
“I want to become intimate with your aspirations and drill down to the real underlying issues on how we are serving or not serving our students’ needs,” Jones said. “I want to see how student-centered we are at Fort Valley State.
Essentially, being a student-centered institution is what determines our level of growth, advancement and the level of success we achieve. Being student-centered and fostering academic excellence must be at the very core of our existence!”
While listening is essential to what the president is seeking to accomplish, he noted that it is equally important to be simultaneously operating with a quickened tempo to put into place some changes that are necessary to better position our university. Jones said operating under the banner of excellence is critical to building a stronger infrastructure. It also ensures that we take the steps necessary to improve enrollment in addition to other services provided.
Some of Jones’ strategic decisions have already occurred, including the appointment of Kendall Isaac as his new chief of staff, as well as restructuring some of the departments for better coordination, including compliance, legal affairs, human resources and the police department. Additionally, the university have also launched a national search to fill two critical leadership positions, including the vice president for Business and Finance and the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
Following these first weeks and months, Dr. Jones plans to analyze all the information gleaned from these gatherings; look at the themes that emerge and communicate back on the direction our campus needs to take.