The retired president of a Colorado liberal arts college was named interim president of Salisbury State University yesterday.
Joel M. Jones, 62, takes over from William C. Merwin, who left this month after three years at Salisbury State to become president at Florida Gulf Coast University. Jones will not be a candidate for the permanent job.
"We love the Southwest and want to remain there," said Jones, who teaches a course at Fort Lewis College, a public institution, in Durango, Colo., that he headed for 10 years until he retired from the presidency a year ago. "Durango is our home.
"Taking this job was a matter of timing. I realized that it is hard to stay on campus after you have left the presidency," he said.
Jones is expected to arrive at Salisbury in late September and will probably stay for a year.
In a statement announcing the appointment, Donald M. Langenberg, chancellor of the University System of Maryland, said, "Joel Jones has an outstanding record of keeping institutions on the right path. I have every confidence that Joel will make sure that much ground is gained during his tenure as interim president."
This is not the first time Jones has worked in Maryland. His first job after receiving his doctorate in American studies from the University of New Mexico was on the faculty of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, when it opened in 1966.
Jones, who received his bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1960, returned to New Mexico in 1969 and advanced within the administration until he left to become president of Fort Lewis in 1988. As president, Jones continued to teach and will use the Internet and other electronic access, as well as return trips, to continue teaching this semester. He might teach a course at Salisbury State in the second semester, he said.
"This is one of the most beautiful campuses I have ever seen," Jones said during a visit this week to Salisbury State. "It is so well maintained, and that shows a real commitment to the school by everyone involved."