Marcus Jones will serve as interim president of Northwestern State University effective July 1 while a search for the university’s 20th president gets underway. The appointment was approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System Thursday. NSU President Chris Maggio announced his retirement effective June 30, 2021. Information about a presidential search is forthcoming.
“I am honored to have been selected to serve Northwestern during this transitional period,” Jones said. “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.”
Jones has an extensive academic, business and legal background, having served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for the University of Louisiana System for the past year, where oversaw the areas of business finance, internal/external audit function, EEO and IT for the System and handled matters of system level importance on behalf of the UL System president. He also oversaw management of budgets, administration, policies and procedures and international relations and acted as the legal liaison for the System.
Jones served as NSU’s executive vice president for university and business affairs from 2017-2020 where he was a key administrator in the planning, operation and management of the University. He oversaw University Police, the Environmental Health and Safety office, Grounds Department and the Physical Plant and was responsible for construction, maintenance, custodial and general upkeep of all University facilities and grounds. He also reviewed and executed University leases and cooperative agreements and oversaw the environmental health and safety officer. He was NSU’s vice president for university affairs from 2007 to 2017.
Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from Northwestern State, a master’s in international trade and finance from Grambling State University and a law degree from Southern University Law Center where he was managing editor of the Southern Law Review. He also studied international business and finance at the University of Plymouth in Plymouth, England.
Jones has been a member of Northwestern’s faculty since 1994 as an instructor of 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. Proficient in Spanish and French, he led the university’s international recruiting efforts, which substantially increased the number of students at NSU from outside the U.S.
Jones has also been treasurer and a consultant to the Ben D. Johnson Educational Foundation and finance/accounts manager and consultant for the Ben D. Johnson Construction and Finance Co. In his role with the construction and finance company, Jones supervised subcontractors at construction sites, managed the company’s operating budget, provided financial oversight and worked in economic development. He has also served as treasurer and consultant of the Northwest Louisiana Athletic League and has served in several capacities including co-editor of “Callaloo,” a literary magazine based at Texas A&M.
He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., the American Bar Association and the Louisiana State Bar Association.