West Virginia State University Vice President Melvin Jones Announces Retirement

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363
Nov. 10, 2014
West Virginia State University Vice President Melvin Jones Announces Retirement

INSTITUTE, W.Va.—Today, West Virginia State University (WVSU) Vice President for Business and Finance, Melvin Jones, announced his retirement effective June 30, 2015. Jones has held a variety of leadership roles during his tenure at State including consultant, assistant professor and, most recently, Vice President for Business and Finance.

“From the moment Melvin stepped foot on this campus in 2008, he has been making a difference for the entire State family including our students,” said WVSU President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. “Before my arrival, Melvin was tasked with addressing how an unprecedented, national economic climate was impacting the University. When I met him in July 2012, I knew we needed Melvin to continue leading our budgeting, human resources, physical facilities and public safety in order for our vision, for this great University, to come to life. I am truly thankful Melvin has helped State weather the national fiscal challenges facing higher education today and the creation and relocation of Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College. In the past year alone, under Melvin’s leadership we built and opened a state-of-the-art residence hall as well as an athletic and academic facility for our students. We are poised to complete yet another needed facility in early 2015, the Gregory V. Monroe Athletic Complex. These investments are possible because of his leadership and I am thankful he has agreed to remain a reliable steward for the University over the next year to help with the leadership transition in business and finance.”

Jones began his service at WVSU in 2008 as a budgetary consultant. In 2009, he changed roles and served as an assistant professor of business management and accounting in the College of Business and Social Sciences. Then under the leadership of former President Hazo W. Carter Jr., Jones was appointed interim Vice President for Business and Finance in 2011 and he accepted the permanent position following the University’s administration change in 2012.

Prior to joining State, Jones’ career in financial services included Dow Chemical Company, Union Carbide and beBetter Health Inc. Jones’ also served as an associate professor of management and accounting at Marshall University in the late 1980’s. Of his career roles, Jones considers his role as educator to be among his most cherished.

“I had a student tell me, I gave him everything he needed to successfully pass the CPA exam—that’s the best thing I have ever done,” said Jones, who is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

“I have really enjoyed working with all the different departments at State and the people here. It is gratifying to know so many people at State strive to do their best and, at this University, so many are very good at what they do. It’s the people that I will miss the most—I have always gotten more out of my relationships with other people than I have had the opportunity to give. I have ended up being a better person because of others,” Jones said.

In addition to his professional career, Jones continues to serve the community. He founded the recently announced African-American Philanthropy in Action. This organization pools together individuals’ resources and invests the collected funds into Kanawha Valley area non-profits which are making a positive impact in the community. Current Vice Chairman of the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation Board of Trustees, Jones will begin serving as the organization’s next Chairman beginning January 2015.  Jones describes his philanthropic work as simply giving back.

“I pursue my philanthropic work much like my professional work—I see what is in front of me and I work on that. You would have to be blind to not see the needs of our community,” Jones said. “I have been really blessed and I have to assume there is a reason for that and the reason is, you have to pass it on. I am simply paying it forward.”

Upon retirement, Jones plans on traveling and spending more time with his wife, Eva, and their children and grandchildren.

West Virginia State University is conducting a national search for Jones’ replacement.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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