Capstones Fall 2013 - page 7

“One of our priorities is to position
ourselves for the future,” Jones said.
“We’ve had tremendous growth,
but that’s not how we’re going to be
evaluated in the future. Darton State is
very important to this community, not
just Southwest Georgia, but to the whole
state. Jones said his early impressions of
Darton State have been positive, and
he said that his early impression of
the faculty and staff is that they are
passionate about the school.
“They really care about themselves
and about the students. They want to
do a good job,” he said. “We are about
teaching. It’s my job to get the resources
to help continue to provide a high level of
teaching.” Darton’s newest president said one of
his most important jobs will be forging
relationships with the surrounding
community.
“That’s vitally important to re-engage
the greater community and to connect
in extraordinary ways,” Jones said.
“People care deeply about this institution
and they want us to be a part of this
community.”
Jones has begun engaging the campus
community through a series of listening
sessions. Jones, who holds a strong
belief in servant leadership, wants to
understand how the institution has been
functioning in order to help provide a
path forward.
“I think a lot of times, people get
service and leadership backwards,” Jones
said. “I want to speak to the faculty and
staff members who have chosen to be
here, to find out about the trends, the
accomplishments, and the challenges
that the institution faces. What do they
say is a top priority? You can learn a lot
by listening, and sometimes it’s just as
important what you don’t hear.”
Jones is not concerned about
problems that may have occurred in the
past. His focus is on the present and the
future. “We can spend all of our time staring
into the rearview mirror, but if we do we
will miss the blessings we have going
forward. I can’t do anything about the
past, but I can do something about the
future,” he said.
“Whatever happens, however long I
am here, I want to have a great tenure. I
am here to give this institution my best.”
Jones has been clear that he doesn’t
know how long his tenure at Darton
State College will last, but that he doesn’t
consider the interim title to mean his role
is any different than any other president
in the university system.
“In honesty, all presidents are
interim—we serve at the pleasure of the
chancellor,” Jones said. “I’m here to help
advance the institution going forward.
That is my top priority. “
It took Dr. Jones 27 years to make his
way from Los Angeles to Albany. His hope
is that he’s arrived just in time.
“I’m here to help
advance the institution
going forward. That is
my top priority.”
Fall 2013
DARTON.EDU
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