Meet Interim President Jones

After nearly 2 decades on The United States District Court for the middle district of Pennsylvania, Judge Jones made the difficult decision to leave his lifetime appointment to become Interim President of Dickinson College. 

When asked what his biggest take away was from this new job, President Jones said, “Judges are really isolated, and your chambers become like a bubble, this was particularly the case during COVID, and it was almost maddeningly isolating.” Further, he said, “this job is the exact reverse of that, and I feel so invigorated because even though I am scheduled pretty much wall to wall, I still have a lot of time to interact with students.” 

Leaving his lifetime appointment on the bench was an extremely difficult decision initially. “When the invitation was initially extended to me, my first reaction was to say no,” he said. “I couldn’t get my head around it, because it was such a stark change.” 

“I talked to Beth, my wife and thought about it. I spent the weekend completely unsettled, but intrigued. I thought about how much I loved this school and about how my job on the bench was becoming stale after almost 20 years and decided that I was up for the challenge.”  

Since becoming the Interim President of Dickinson College, President Jones has pleasantly surprised students with his dedication to the college by attending many college events and interacting with students at these various events. 

When asked about volunteering in the cafeteria and encouraging other professors to do the same, President Jones said, “It’s what I should do, you can talk the talk, but if you don’t walk the walk, it doesn’t work, and I shouldn’t be suggesting that people to do something that I’m not willing to do myself.” 

When asked what he was most excited for that he can do for the Dickinson community, President Jones said, “the opportunity to convene the strategy committee that will be formed this month and start operating in the fall and to really look hard at the opportunities that we have, to attract the very best students and to be progressive and to reimagine different things.” 

Due to COVID, the college faced surmountable financial challenges and President Jones’ primary goal is to decrease the financial deficit. “We have a resource realignment task force, it’s not a secret that we have a structural deficit for this year that we need to close and there are some decisions that we need to make, and we need to make sure to treat our employees well and to not bounce the budgets on the backs of employees.”