Senior Vice President, Academic Administration, University of Minnesota System
Contact: 612-624-3533, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert J. Jones is senior vice president for Academic Administration, University of Minnesota System, a position he has held since 2004. In this senior leadership role, he oversees a broad portfolio of programs and initiatives that provide core support for academic programs across the University of Minnesota system and that extend the University's academic mission statewide and globally.
Jones's leadership responsibilities include oversight of central academic support, statewide/systemwide academic programs and resources, and University-wide programs of public engagement and outreach. His portfolio includes the four coordinate campuses, international programs, public engagement and outreach, diversity and multicultural affairs, preK-12 and other youth and family programs, urban initiatives, planning and institutional research, information technology, human resources, institutional strategic leadership (including the System Council and shared leadership for capital oversight planning and legislative requests), University of Minnesota Extension, and other University statewide initiatives.
Prior to his current appointment, Jones served over 15 years in key administrative leadership positions at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, including vice president and executive vice provost for faculty and academic programs, vice president for campus life and vice provost for faculty and academic personnel, and interim vice president for student development.
A native of rural Dawson, Georgia, Jones has over three decades of higher education leadership experience as well as academic expertise spanning plant physiology and urban and international development. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Fort Valley State College, a master of science degree in crop physiology from the University of Georgia, and a doctorate in crop physiology from the University of Missouri, Columbia. After earning the Ph.D., he joined the University of Minnesota faculty as a professor of agronomy and plant genetics. He is an internationally recognized authority on plant physiology and has published numerous scientific papers, manuscripts and abstracts. His research focuses on the role of cytokinins in stabilizing grain yields of maize against environmental stresses and global climate change. Over his career, he has trained many students who have gone on to leading careers in higher education and research.
Jones is a fellow of both the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America. He has been a visiting professor and featured speaker in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa, and from 1984 to 1994 served as an academic and scientific consultant for Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s South African Education Program. In 2010, he was awarded a University of Minnesota endowed chair in urban and international development; he was also named a recipient of the Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU).
Jones holds a gubernatorial appointment as a commissioner of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact and serves on the boards of directors for the Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities, the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, and the Bush Foundation, among other leadership roles. He is also a member of the Grammy award-winning Sounds of Blackness, a Twin Cities-based choral ensemble.