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Southern University System

Dr. Ronald Mason Jr. Biography

SU System President Ronald Mason Jr.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 system.

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.