Armstrong Atlantic President Thomas Jones to Retire in June 2009
Atlanta — September 29, 2008
Susan Herbst, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer of the University System of Georgia, announced today that she has accepted the retirement decision of Armstrong Atlantic State University (AASU) President Thomas Z. Jones, effective June 30, 2009. Dr. Jones has served the University System of Georgia in this role since August 2000.
Herbst praised Jones’ longstanding leadership that resulted in significant growth on the Armstrong campus in student enrollment, in the construction of needed facilities, and in creating academic programs to meet area workforce needs, particularly in health care.
“He has worked tirelessly to ensure that Armstrong Atlantic fulfills its higher education and public service responsibilities to the Savannah community and throughout southeast Georgia,” said Herbst. “His accomplishments are a capstone to a long and productive career in the University System that has benefited thousands of students. His leadership is an enduring legacy and will be missed.”
After the end of his tenure in June 2009, Jones will serve in the University System for one year developing projects related to institutional leadership at the request of Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr.
During his tenure as president, Jones has led the transformation of AASU from a commuter campus of 5,400 students to a residential university of more than 7,000 students.
He led an effort to establish the AASU Educational Properties Foundation, Inc. (EPFI) in 2001 as a public-private enterprise to fund capital projects without involving state funds.
The Foundation has allowed the University to create significant residence hall capacity at AASU. The 2006 purchase of the Armstrong Center – now home to the Department of Professional and Continuing Education – and the planned construction of a $16 million Student Union to be completed in fall 2009, also have been managed by the Foundation. In all, the University, in partnership with its foundation, has invested more than $75 million in instructional and student life facilities.
Additional milestones achieved by Jones during his tenure include the University’s growing collaboration with the area health care providers to educate medical professionals to meet growing workforce needs. Over the last few years, AASU has been able to double its number of nursing graduates and has added a wide range of new academic programs including nuclear medicine, cyber security, and graduate programs in teacher education.
Prior to being named president of Armstrong Atlantic, Jones served as a faculty member and vice president for academic affairs at Columbus State University. During his 37-year career in higher education he has held faculty and administrative posts at Indiana State University, Emory and Henry College (Virginia) and West Virginia University Institute of Technology.
Board of Regents Chair Richard Tucker will initiate a national search process to identify candidates to fill the post being vacated by Jones. Details of that process will be announced in the coming months.