Ronald Mason Jr., J.D., became the seventh president of the
nation's only historically black university system on July 1, 2010. As
President of the Southern University and A&M College System, he serves as
the Chief Executive Officer and provides oversight for the System's five
campuses. President Mason brings nearly 30 years of experience in the higher
education, community development, and legal fields.
Prior to his appointment as Southern
University System President, he served as President of Jackson State University
in Jackson, Mississippi.
During his tenure at Jackson State University,
the campus and surrounding community experienced unprecedented transformation
and growth pursuant to a five-year strategic plan developed in 2002. The
academic and business units were reorganized, information technology was infused
throughout the campus, more than $150 million in construction of new buildings
and improvements enhanced the JSU landscape, and public relations and
fundraising divisions were installed.
Under his leadership, JSU acquired a $20
million facility from Allstate Corporation for only $3 million and developed it
into the Mississippi e-Center
@ JSU, a
technological hub for corporate, community, and academic advancement.
President Mason's administration continued
its improvement initiative with the development of a five-square-mile urban
laboratory surrounding the JSU campus called e-City, a technology-based economic, housing,
and community development initiative. JSU also partnered with Jackson Public
Schools and state and federal governments to create the Mississippi Learning
Institute, a literacy-based, math-oriented professional development learning
In addition to his productive tenure at Jackson State
University, President Mason enjoyed a successful 18-year tenure at Tulane
University that encompassed several positions, including Senior Vice President,
General Counsel, and Vice President for Finance and Operations, prior to his
work in urban issues and community development. He also served as the Founder
and Executive Director of the National Center for the Urban Community at Tulane
and Xavier Universities in New Orleans.
President Mason has been involved in numerous public
service and professional activities including current membership on the White
House Board of Advisors for Historically Black Colleges, the boards of the
Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, and National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher
Education (NAFEO). He previously served on the boards of the American Council
on Education and the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and
Integrity, Office of Postsecondary Education.
He is a native of New Orleans and received his B.A.
and J.D. degrees from Columbia University in New York City. He is a graduate of
the Harvard Institute of Educational Management and is the recipient of the
Mayor’s Medal of Honor from the City of New Orleans, the Martin Luther King
Lifetime Achievement Award from Dillard, Loyola, Tulane, and Xavier universities,
and was one of five recipients of Columbia University’s 2008 John Jay Award for distinguished alumni.
He is married to the former Belinda DeCuir and has one
daughter, Nia, and two sons, Jared and Kenan.