Georgia sharecroppers’ son now NY university president

A son of Georgia sharecroppers and now an expert in crop physiology was inaugurated Saturday as the 19th president of the University at Albany in New York.

Dawson native Robert Jones said his goal at the university, part of the State University of New York system, is to expand degree programs, increase recruitment of out-of-state and international students and strengthen the university’s financial resources.

The university, founded in 1844 and located in the state capital about 135 miles north of New York City, has about 17,000 students and a faculty of more than 1,000.

Jones received his bachelor’s degree in agronomy, the science of soil management and crop production, from Fort Valley State College and his master’s degree in crop physiology from the University of Georgia in Athens. He also received a doctorate in crop physiology from the University of Missouri at Columbia.

Before joining the SUNY system, Jones was senior vice president for academic administration for the University of Minnesota System.

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