Dr. Janis W. Jones, who served as Dean for the Executive Office and as Vice President of Student Development at York College from fall 2005 to spring 2011, died last week.
Dr. Jones, a dedicated teacher and higher education administrator, passed away on Dec. 27 in Powder Springs, Georgia, where she had retired to be close to family members. In addition to York College, her impressive career included tenures at New York University, where she was an assistant in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Roxbury Community College in Boston, as provost and chief academic officer; SUNY Manhattan Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), where she was responsible for a $4.7 million budget; and more than 20 years at Borough of Manhattan Community College in numerous roles including Dean of Academic Support Services; and a member of the faculty. There, she also achieved the rank of tenured professor before assuming administrative responsibility for the college’s uptown campus.
As Dean of the Executive Office at York under President Marcia V. Keizs, Dr. Jones wore many hats as well, including oversight of Continuing Education, Career Services; the Center for Students with Disabilities and the TRIO York Enrichment Services. Following a national search, Dr. Jones in 2006, was selected as Vice President for Student Development and served with distinction until her retirement in 2011.
One of Dr. Jones’ many achievements as Dean for the Executive Office was her role in editing the college’s decennial Middle States Accreditation Self-Study. As Vice President for Student Development, she was also known for her role in providing staff and managers with professional development opportunities in the interest of students’ success; and for professional growth and career advancement.
Dr. Jones, who always encouraged students to pursue excellence, clearly practiced what she preached. She earned a BA in French from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee; her MA in Linguistics from New York University and the Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from Nova/Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
A graduate of Andrew Jackson High School in Cambria Heights, Queens, Dr. Jones, who still maintained friendships from those days, spoke fluent French and loved traveling – especially throughout the continents of Europe and Africa. Her travelling also included cruises, for which she had a particular fondness. Vice President Jones enjoyed a wide variety of other interests and especially delighted in board games, with a passion for chess.
The focal point of her office in the President’s Suite at York was an ornate chess set always at the ready.
“Dr. Jones was an educator’s educator,” said President Keizs, who had known and admired Jones’ leadership skills from their time as colleagues at BMCC. “Her contribution to York College’s success during the first six years of my tenure was important and highly valued.
Dr. Jones’ family has announced that funeral arrangements will be held on Friday, Jan. 6, at Allen AME Church.
–Courtesy of York College