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Russell Jones Named President of Arkansas Tech

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Russell Jones was elected as the 13th president of Arkansas Tech University in Russellville by the ATU Board of Trustees June 20.

Jones, who is from Marianna, is the first native Arkansan elected president at Arkansas Tech since Kenneth Kersh was hired in 1973. His appointment as president is effective July 1.

Jones had served as interim president at Arkansas Tech since August 2023. During that time, he hired an executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, as well as permanent leadership for four ATU colleges that were operating under interim deans.

He joined ATU in July 2020 as dean of the College of Business, which has since been renamed the ATU College of Business and Economic Development. Jones’ faculty rank is professor of accounting. He came to ATU from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, where he held multiple roles, including the Kathy White Endowed Professor of Management Information Systems, chair of accounting and information technology and Master of Business Administration director.

Under Jones’ leadership, ATU addressed deferred maintenance issues by committing to $15.5 million in enhancements to university facilities and equipment. Two campus buildings were razed to save approximately $7 million in renovation costs so those funds could be utilized to improve student spaces.

He also worked with a committee of student leaders to determine the final square footage and features of the forthcoming Ferguson Student Union, which will be constructed in the center of the campus and serve as a new focal point for campus life at ATU.

Jones also led the development and implementation of new scholarship tiers for the university.

“It’s humbling, and I’m honored at the same time,” Jones said in a press release. “The trust that the Board of Trustees placed in me in this important position at this particular time in the university’s history…I’m very humbled by it, but I’ll tell you what was even more honoring to me than that. The board recently completed a survey of the faculty and employees, and the majority of them supported me and thought I was the right person for the job. It means so much when your peers and the people you work with every day say that.”

ATU enrolled 9,487 students in fall 2023 for its first increase in fall enrollment since 2018.

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