Marcus Jones Is the First Black President of Northwestern State University in Louisiana

The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System voted unanimously to name Marcus Jones the twentieth president of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, He has been serving as interim president since July. Jones is the first African American to lead the university.

“Northwestern is home to me. I know Northwestern and Northwestern knows me,” Jones said. “This is about fit and timing for Northwestern, and I will hit the ground running.”

Northwestern State University enrolls more than 10,000 undergraduate students and about 1,100 graduate students according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education. African Americans make up 27 percent of the undergraduate student body.

Before being named interim president, Jones was executive vice president and chief operating officer for the University of Louisiana System. He was executive vice president for university and business affairs at Northwestern State from 2017 to 2020. Jones has been a member of Northwestern’s faculty since 1994 and has held the Ben D. Johnson Endowed Professorship of business since 1999.

President Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from Northwestern State University. He earned a master’s degree in international trade and finance from Grambling State University in Louisiana and a law degree from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, where he was managing editor of the Southern Law Review.


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