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Marcus Jones becomes first Black president of NSU

(Northwestern State University)
Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 10:03 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2021 at 1:35 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (KSLA) - On Monday, Nov. 8, the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System announced the university’s next president.

Marcus Jones, who was serving as the college’s interim president, will now officially hold the title, effective Nov. 15. He is the 20th president to serve, and the first Black president.

“I am honored to have been selected to serve Northwestern during this transitional period,” Jones said back when he was selected as interim president. “I look forward to returning to the university I have called home for so many years and working with Dr. Maggio and university leaders to continue executing our mission.”

The school says Jones has an extensive legal, academic, and business background. He served as executive vice president and COO for the University of Louisiana System for the last year. During that time, he oversaw business finances, internal/external audit functions, EEO and IT for the school system, plus handled important matters on behalf of the UL System president.

Marcus Jones has been selected as the new president of Northwestern State University. He's also...
Marcus Jones has been selected as the new president of Northwestern State University. He's also the university's first Black president.(NSU)

Jones was also NSU’s executive vice president for university and business affairs from 2017 to 2020. Prior to that, he served as the school’s vice president of affairs from 2007 to 2017.

“Northwestern is home to me. I know Northwestern and Northwestern knows me. This is about fit and timing for Northwestern, and I will hit the ground running,” Jones said Monday, Nov. 8 after being selected.

Jones attended NSU and earned a bachelor’s in business administration and finance. He also earned a master’s in international trade and finance from Grambling State University. Jones’ law degree is from Southern University Law Center. Jones also studied international business and finance at the University of Plymouth in Plymouth, England.

Jones beat out finalist, Kim LeDuff, for the position after the Northwestern State Presidential Search Committee interviewed six semifinalists.

“It’s an historic day for Northwestern State. Marcus is an authentic leader of character, integrity, and vision. His familiarity with the community, his passion for student success, and his commitment to excellence will advance our alma mater for the next generation,” said UL System President and CEO Jim Henderson.

The school says Jones has worked with them since 1994 as an instructor in business, assistant professor of business law and international business, associate professor of business law and international business, and has held the Ben D. Johnson Endowed Professorship since 1999. Jones is also proficient in speaking Spanish and French. He’s also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, the American Bar Association, and the Louisiana State Bar Association.

Governor John Bel Edwards released a statement Monday afternoon congratulating Jones. It reads:

“Congratulations to the new president of Northwestern State University Marcus Jones, who is making history today as the first Black president of the university. Earning his undergraduate degree at Northwestern, his master’s degree at Grambling, and his law degree at Southern, Mr. Jones is a testament to Louisiana’s higher education institutions. Mr. Jones has served the NSU community for many years, and I have no doubt he will continue to succeed in his new role.”

Jones is from Winnfield, La. and is the 18th of 20 children in his family.

Click here for more on Jones’ background.

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