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University of Minnesota Renames its Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center in Honor of UAlbany President Jones

City Of Minneapolis Declares May 20 Robert J. Jones Day

UAlbany President Jones is hailed by Minnesota as an outstanding academic, visionary administrator and devoted champion of diversity across that state.

ALBANY, NY – (May 20, 2015) — The University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) today will honor University at Albany President Robert J. Jones at a naming dedication ceremony in recognition of the Center’s fifth anniversary. Commemorating Jones’ service and commitment, University President Eric Kaler renamed UROC The Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center.

Acknowledging the event, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges declared May 20 Robert J. Jones Day in Minneapolis to honor Jones’ work in bringing transparency, accountability and trust to relations between the University and the Minneapolis community. Before joining UAlbany, Jones served as University Professor and Senior Vice President at the University of Minnesota.

“Doctor Jones’ legacy runs deep through the University of Minnesota as an outstanding academic, visionary administrator and devoted champion of diversity across the state and in urban communities,” said Kaler. “The naming of UROC in his honor is an especially fitting tribute—as a leader in the development of the University’s Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center and many other urban initiatives, Dr. Jones has been crucial to community understanding of the University as to who we are, who we serve, and what we value.”

"The University of Minnesota's commitment to community engagement and outreach through university-community collaboration has been key to its success in addressing the disenfranchisement that plagues our society. Universities can be, and should be, the first path taken toward educational, economic and social transformation,” said Jones. “I am proud to have been a part of their journey and laud them for their continued dedication to this cause."

A former north Minneapolis resident, Jones was named president of the State University of New York at Albany in 2013. An internationally recognized professor of agronomy and plant genetics, Jones spent more than 15 years in key administrative leadership positions at the University and is nationally recognized for his work to advance university-communication engagement.

Jones’ vision of a place-based, community-engaged research and outreach center that addresses critical urban issues through university-community partnerships lead to the creation of UROC’s foundation in 2006. In alignment with the University’s broader public engagement agenda, UROC is now home to more than 50 partnerships – involving more than 35 University academic programs and 40 community organizations.

Since being appointed the 19th president of UAlbany, Jones has elevated the University’s commitment to public engagement and made it a core value in its mission.

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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.