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Jones Named President of Armstrong Atlantic State University

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Atlanta — June 14, 2000

Thomas Z. Jones, vice president for academic affairs at Columbus State University, today was named president of Armstrong Atlantic State University, in Savannah, Ga., by the Board of Regents and University System of Georgia Chancellor Stephen R. Portch, effective August 1, 2000.

Jones has served in his current role since 1988. Beyond serving as the institution’s chief academic officer, he has directed the university’s strategic planning efforts, coordinated the budgeting and strategic planning efforts and overseen the university’s efforts in institutional research and assessment. In addition, Jones has initiated new “select mission” efforts for the institution in the fine and performing arts, science, mathematics and educational technology. He also has played a major leadership role in economic development and international education. In particular, he provided leadership for the innovative and nationally recognized computer retraining program developed for Columbus-based Total System Services, Inc., under the auspices of the University System of Georgia’s Intellectual Capital Partnership Program (ICAPP).

“I am very pleased that Tom came out on top in a national search,” said University System of Georgia Chancellor Stephen R. Portch. “Tom’s previous experience at Columbus State has prepared him well for this position, particularly his roles in strategic planning and economic development. He is extraordinarily well-respected on the campus and in the community.”

Prior to joining Columbus State, Jones served at the West Virginia Institute of Technology, in Montgomery, for 15 years in several capacities, including as chairman of the Division of Engineering Technologies. From 1980-85, Jones served as chair of the Department of Mining and as the Westmoreland Professor of Mining, an endowed professorship in which he conducted research in engineering geology, rock engineering, and hydrogeology. In 1985, he became dean of the College of Technology and Applied Science, before becoming vice president for academic affairs.

For eight years, from 1980-88, Jones also served as president of his own company, Technical Evaluation Consultants, Inc., in Charleston, WVa., providing scientific, engineering and technical services to industry and legal firms and technical short courses for industry clients.

Jones began his academic career as an instructor of geology at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, in 1970. He served as acting chairman of the Department of Geology and instructor of geology at Emory and Henry College, in Emory, Va., from 1970-71, and during the summer of 1972, while working on his Ph.D.

Jones has chaired or served on numerous committees within the University System, and he is extremely active in community and civic affairs. Most recently, he has served as chair of the University System’s Administrative Committee on Academic Affairs (ACAA), and the Administrative Committee on Institutional Effectiveness. He also chaired the Instructional Technology and Distance Learning Policies and Procedures Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee’s Work Group on Education Technology, the Electronic Delivery Technology Committee, and the General Education Outcomes Assessment Task Force. In addition, he served as a liaison to the ACAA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Electronic Delivery Technology.

Among his many community involvements, Jones currently serves on the board of directors of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, the Columbus Literate Community and the West Georgia School to Work Program, Inc. He also has been an active member of Leadership Columbus and the Leadership Columbus Alumni Association.

Widely published in the field of geology, Jones also has served as editor of The Professional Geologist, the monthly publication of the American Institute of Professional Geologists.

Jones earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Fairmont State College, in Fairmont, West Va., in 1969. He earned his master’s degree in geology in 1970, from West Virginia University, in Morgantown; and a Ph.D. in geology from Miami University of Oxford, Ohio, in 1976.

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