The Southern University System officially
welcomes Dr. Ronald Mason, Jr., the seventh
president of the nation's only historically black university system.
President Mason brings almost 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.
"I am impressed
with the level of experience that Dr. Mason brings to our System, and I am
confident that Mason's leadership and vision will propel our Southern University
System to greater levels of excellence," said Tony Clayton, Chairman of the
Southern University Board of Supervisors.
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.
married to the former Belinda DeCuir and has one daughter, Nia, and two sons,
Jared and Kenan.