Arkansas Baptist College announced Tuesday that Joseph L. Jones has been selected to become the school’s 14th president, succeeding Fitz Hill, who is transitioning to lead the Arkansas Baptist College Foundation as its executive director.
According to Hill, his decision to step down as president was to allow the college to enter a "new era of growth and achievement."
Jones was selected after a national search, and the Arkansas Baptist College board of trustees confirmed his appointment with a unanimous vote.
"In addition to his impressive academic credentials is the teaching and administrative experience he has gained at four other HBCU [historically black colleges and universities] institutions," Beth Gladden Coulson, chair of the board of trustees, said in a news release. "Dr. Jones has become a serious student of higher education leadership through fellowships with both the American Council on Education and the United Negro College Fund."
Jones is currently a visiting professor of political science at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Prior to his role at UAPB, Jones was the founder and executive director of the social justice institute at Philander Smith College in Little Rock.
"My family and I are excited to join the Arkansas Baptist College family," Jones said. "I want to thank the board of trustees and the presidential search committee for this amazing opportunity. My promise to them and to the college is that I will do all I can do to continue the college’s efforts to remain steadfast in its journey of becoming recognized as an outstanding institution of higher education."
Jones will begin his term as president on Sept. 1