Three African Americans Who Are Retiring From High-Level Positions in the Academic World

Dowell Taylor is retiring from his post as director of bands at Jackson State University in Mississippi. He was appointed director of bands in 2012.

Taylor is a 1976 alumnus of Jackson State University and during his time on campus was a member of the Sonic Boom of the South marching band. Taylor also holds a master’s degree in music education from Jackson State. He also studied wind conducting at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.

Geraldine M. Jones announced she will retire as president of California University of Pennsylvania in January. Jones was named acting president of the university in 2012, after serving for nearly four years as provost and vice president for academic affairs. She was named interim president in 2013 and served in the role for three years before being named as the permanent president. Jones first came to California University of Pennsylvania in 1974 as the director of the Upward Bound program.

Jones holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from California University of Pennsylvania.

Alfreda Brown, vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion at Kent State University in Ohio has retired. She served in this role for more than a decade. Brown came to Kent State University in 2009 after working 21 years at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.

Dr. Brown holds a bachelor’s degree from Roberts Wesleyan College, a master’s degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a doctoral degree from Nova Southeastern University.


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  1. Dr. Darryl E. Harris, Sr says:

    Congratulations to you all for your collective grouping of accomplishments, but especially to Dowell Taylor, Great job!!!

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