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President Jones is the Region's 'Game Changer' of the Year

Business Review honors UAlbany's chief executive for engineering the institution's largest academic expansion in more than 50 years.

President Robert J. Jones, the Business Review's 'Game Changer' of the Year

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 6, 2015) — The Albany Business Review has honored UAlbany President Robert J. Jones with the paper’s "Game Changer" award. Presented to Jones by the local business newspaper at its annual Achievers Award ceremony, the awards are designed to recognize the area's prominent influencers and innovators.

The Business Review stated that while Jones won the Game Changer award this year, "…he could have also been this year's Newsmaker." Jones is being recognized for formulating the University’s largest academic expansion in more than 50 years.

This semester, under his leadership, UAlbany and Albany Law School signed an affiliation agreement that will create important new academic opportunities for students, novel research and grant prospects for faculty, and advance the Capital Region’s role as a leader in higher education and innovation.

In addition, the University has announced the creation of two new colleges: the College of Engineering and Applied Science and the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity, the first of its kind in the nation.

These initiatives are integral aspects of a major academic expansion that will help grow the University to meet the President's stated enrollment goal of 20,000 students by the year 2020. Growing the University’s academic portfolio in areas like health sciences, cybersecurity, engineering and advanced data analytics, will help him achieve this vision.

Jones has also served as president during two landmark philanthropic gifts. First, a $5.25 million gift from the Massry Family in honor of the University’s School of Business. Jones declared that its School of Business building will be named the Massry Center for Business in honor of the family and their longstanding support of the University. Also, a $10 million gift to support the University’s athletic programs from The Bernard and Millie Children’s Foundation, which was established by the son of Bernard and Millie Duker, William Duker ’75, of Westerlo and New York City, his wife Sharon (Casey) Duker, and their son William "West" Duker.

To learn more about the President’s vision for the University at Albany, click here.

Robert J. Jones became the 19th president of the University at Albany in January 2013 following 34 years at the University of Minnesota, where he was on the faculty in agronomy and plant genetics and later assumed a number of key leadership positions.

A native of Dawson, Georgia, Jones earned his undergraduate degree in agronomy from Fort Valley State College, a master's in crop physiology from the University of Georgia, and a doctorate in crop physiology from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

He is widely recognized both for his research in plant physiology and his work to advance university-community engagement.

Jones was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo as Co-Chair for the Capital Region Economic Development Council. He also serves on the boards of the Bush Foundation, the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, the Scholars at Risk Network, and the NSF Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering. In 2013, he was appointed a co-chair for Albany Mayor-elect Sheehan’s transition committee. Other regional boards on which he serves include the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the Center for Economic Growth, Capitalize Albany and Albany Promise.

In addition to honoring Jones, the Business Review recognized Robert Curley, director and New York Chairman for Berkshire Bank; Prime Cos.; Shmaltz Brewing Co.; Price Chopper/Market 32; and the City Mission of Schenectady.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.