Dr. Para M. Jones Named President of Spartanburg Community College
Spartanburg Community College (SCC) has named Para M. Jones, Ph.D. to the position of president, effective October 5, 2009. The Spartanburg County Commission for Technical and Community Education selected Dr. Jones after a national search. She will be SCC’s fifth president and the first woman to lead the college.
“Dr. Jones was the unanimous choice of the 13 commissioners because her background and talents align very well with our College’s goals,” said Mr. F. Gary Towery, chairman of the Spartanburg County Commission for Technical and Community Education. “We look forward to working with her to take Spartanburg Community College to the next level in serving our students, business and industry and community needs in Spartanburg, Union and Cherokee counties.”
Dr. Jones has nearly 22 years of experience in community college leadership, most recently serving as vice president for advancement, planning and college/community relations at Stark State College of Technology in North Canton, OH. She also held the positions of vice president for student services, executive assistant to the president and director of marketing at Stark State.
At Stark State, Dr. Jones provided oversight and leadership to the areas of development, grants, marketing and communications, Web communications, community relations, alumni, foundation, institutional research and planning, enrollment management, student services, admissions, disability support services, minority recruiting and retention services, and career services. She helped lead the college to nearly 10 years of dramatic enrollment growth; led strategic planning; helped lead accreditation and institutional effectiveness; and worked with her team to raise approximately $50 million in federal, state, local, public and private funding to support academic programs and operations.
Prior to her academic career, Dr. Jones worked in corporate advertising and communications for Roadway Express, Inc. in Akron, OH. She also worked as an editor of technical publications at Goodyear Aerospace Corporation and as coordinator of public relations for the city of Canton (OH).
Among her many community activities, Dr. Jones led Jackson Township’s successful police levy campaign, served as chair and board member of the Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce and the Jackson Township YMCA, vice chair of the Jackson Township Comprehensive Planning Committee, president of the Northeast Ohio Naval Academy Parents’ Association, and is a Leadership Stark County graduate and volunteer.
Her professional accomplishments include national publications and presentations at the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and Council for Resource Development (CRD) annual conferences.
“I was attracted to Spartanburg Community College because of the institution’s many strengths, including economic development partnerships with business, industry and the community,” said Dr. Jones. “It is that aspect of the community college mission that drew me to academia in the first place and continues to drive my professional and personal work.
“As a comprehensive community college with high-quality and affordable technical and transfer programs, SCC is uniquely positioned to impact the lives of people and the economic development in the three counties we serve,” she pointed out. “I look forward to working with SCC’s board, faculty, staff, students and the community to carry out that important mission.”
Dr. Jones has a B.A., magna cum laude, in English, communications and Spanish from Mount Union College; an MBA from Ashland University; and a Ph.D. in higher education leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Dr. Jones and her husband Greg have been married 29 years and have twin sons Christopher, a graduate of the University of Dayton and financial analyst for Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, and Kyle, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and Naval Flight Officer in Pensacola, FL.
Dr. Jones replaces Dr. Dan L. Terhune, who has been SCC’s president for the past 13 years. SCC is a public, comprehensive community college that offers a full range of technical and transfer associate degree programs, corporate and community education and training programs to meet student, business and industry and community needs in the Upstate South Carolina counties of Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union.