Chancellor Robert J. Jones reaches out to students in massmail


Yangwentao (Ryan) Fang

An university faculty member congratulates new chancellor Robert J. Jones in the Illini Union on Wednesday, June 20th, 2016.

By Karen Liu, Staff Reporter

Chancellor Robert J. Jones sent out a massmail to the students at the University Monday, regarding his newly appointed position.

Seven days into the job, Jones said he has witnessed “sadness and tragedy” due to the unfortunate event of the campus shooting, followed by the “hope and support” demonstrated by the “tremendously caring community” here at the university.

In the massmail, Jones said that being the 10th chancellor of the school is his dream job because it brings his “career and life full circle”.

While he was picking cotton in a field at nine years old, Jones said he was inspired to enter the field of agronomy. He then went on to get a degree from Fort Valley State College as well as the University of Georgia and University of Missouri. Jones then had a 34-year-long career as part of the faculty at University of Minnesota.

“The land-grant mission is in my blood,” said Jones in the email, “and I am a proud product of it.”

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    Now as chancellor of Illinois, one of the original land-grant universities by the Morrill Act, Jones can ensure that all students have the chance to share his experience.

    He said he aims to help students fulfill their educational needs, regardless of their origins or their backgrounds.

    “We need to find ways to make that story possible for everyone,” said Jones. “We need to find ways to make that story one that isn’t limited to four or five years of life, but to the educational needs of a whole lifetime.”

    In respect to the University’s 150-year milestone anniversary celebrated in February, Jones is dedicating his first 150 days as the Chancellor of the University around what he calls his “shaping the future” tour.

    Jones will be out meeting the students, faculty, staff and alumni and listening to what they have to say about what makes this university great, and they can “ensure the excellence continues for another century,” he said.

    Jones expressed his excitement in starting his position as the chancellor here at the University.
    “Together, we have the opportunity to redefine what the world can and should expect from a great public research university,” said Jones. “I’m excited to get started and I look forward to all that we will achieve together.”

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