New JSU Trustee Randy Jones Seeks to Alleviate Students' Protests
on His First Day at the Job
By David ClemonsJones Begins Term as JSU Trustee
Reprinted here in its entirety.
A rare protest by students greeted Randy Jones on his first day as a
Jacksonville State University trustee.
Gov. Bob Riley nominated Jones, an
Albertville insurance agent, to represent north Alabama on the JSU board of
trustees. The state Senate confirmed Jones, who will serve until
About 30 students showed up at Monday’s board meeting to protest
the decision to upgrade campus athletic facilities.
Jones met with the
students afterward to allay their concerns. He said private donors had given
money given for the project to improve Paul Snow Stadium.
coming in any way, shape or form out of academics,” Jones said. “The majority
cost of the stadium is the dorms. Those are going to be financed by people
paying rent in the dorms. So (the student) said, ‘Oh, I didn’t know
The stadium expansion includes construction of 200 dorm rooms.
The school will spend $20 million for the residence hall and about $17.5 million
for the stadium expansion.
Trustees meet once a quarter “and just
basically plot out the future for Jacksonville State,” Jones said.
serves on the trustees’ academic committee with Randy Owen, the country music
star from Fort Payne.
Jones said that by the time his term ends, he wants
to see a “true honors program,” and he and Owen are collaborating on
He also wants to see a Jacksonville State education accessible to
more local students.
Jones noted that Marshall County has the
third-largest base of Jacksonville State alumni anywhere.
He wants to
serve as a voice for those alumni if they have concerns about the
He said Jacksonville State has more accredited classes than
any other regional university in the state, and that Princeton Review has said
JSU has a business school in the top 10 percent in the country.
the nursing program is “busting at the seams,” and he noted that JSU offers a
fifth-year master’s program for education and an online master of business
Jones, 54, said he was a “typical” Jacksonville
State student in the 1970s. He worked during the day and attended classes at
night before graduating in 1976. That gives him an appreciation for the life of
“A large amount of our students are what you call day
commuters,” he said. “We have a lot of folks up here that go to
Jones said the chance to hear from students this week was
“We are there for one purpose, and that’s to make sure that
Jacksonville State offers a quality education for our students,” he said. “If we
don’t have the students first in mind, then we’re not doing our
“Our mission is to provide a quality education.”
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