OWU's Rock Jones Named NCAC President

OWU's Rock Jones (L) & Allegheny's Jim Mullen (R)
OWU's Rock Jones (L) & Allegheny's Jim Mullen (R)

Story contributions courtesy of Allegheny College & Ohio Wesleyan University

Ohio Wesleyan University President Dr. Rock Jones has been named president of the North Coast Athletic Conference and Allegheny President Dr. James H. Mullen, Jr., has been selected to serve as the vice president for the 2017-18 academic year, it was announced by NCAC Executive Director Keri Alexander Luchowski.

Jones, who has served as the NCAC's vice president since July 1, 2015, replaces former Oberlin President Marvin Krislov, JD, as the president of the NCAC after Krislov announced his resignation from Oberlin, effective August 1, 2017. Krislov will continue his career in the 2017-17 academic year by serving as the president of Pace University in New York City. 

Jones, who was elected as Ohio Wesleyan's 16th president on July 1, 2008, has created a University-wide strategic plan to renew its curriculum and solidify Ohio Wesleyan as a national leader in liberal arts education. Prior to joining Ohio Wesleyan, he worked for Hendrix, serving in roles that included executive vice president and dean of advancement, vice president for enrollment and dean of admission and financial aid, interim vice president for student affairs, and chaplain.  

He has undertaken several projects to enhance the overall student experience on campus since 2008, including an $8 million, donor-funded restoration of Merrick Hall to create a physical hub for students to learn more about the OWU Connection and all of the educational opportunities available to them during their four years on campus. He also created a long-term Student Housing Master Plan that completed a $14 million, donor-funded restoration of Stuyvesant Hall, OWU's oldest residence hall. 

Jones has also made a concerted effort to improve the athletic facilities that support OWU's 23 men's and women's varsity sports as well as many intramural and club sports. Some of the major improvements to the athletic facilities during his time include creating the new Simpson Querrey Fitness Center, building the Meek Aquatics and Recreation Center, the restoration of Edwards Gym, adding stadium lighting to Selby Stadium and opening the Luttinger Family Tennis Center. 

Locally, President Jones serves on the boards of the Strand Theatre and the Community Foundation of Delaware County, where he chairs the Investment Committee. 

He also is a board member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association, serves on the Tax Policy Committee of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, is a member of the Executive Committee of Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio, is chair of the Ohio Campus Compact and serves on the University Senate of the United Methodist Church.  

Mullen, who became the 21st president of Allegheny College on August 1, 2008, guided the institution through its bicentennial celebration and also publicly launched the largest comprehensive fund raising campaign in College history, both in 2015. In addition, one of his key initiatives has been the establishment of the Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life, which was created in 2011 to annually recognize two political figures, one liberal and one conservative, who argue passionately but with civility for their beliefs.

Dr. Mullen has served as chair of board of directors of the American Council on Education (ACE), the nation’s most visible and influential higher education association with a base of more than 1,800 member institutions. He continues to serve ACE as a representative of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), which represents more than 1,000 private nonprofit institutions of higher learning on higher education policy issues with federal and state governments. He also serves on boards for the Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh and the Meadville Medical Center. 

In addition to his leadership roles in higher education and civic organizations, Dr. Mullen has been a sought-after lecturer in public policy and civility in public discourse, where his work focuses on the American presidency, as well as history and political science. Dr. Mullen is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He holds a master of public policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a doctorate in higher education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. 

Founded in 1983, the North Coast Athletic Conference consists of 10 academically selective colleges and universities - Allegheny College, Denison University, DePauw University, Hiram College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College, Wittenberg University and the College of Wooster along with affiliate member Earlham College (field hockey). The NCAC sponsors 23 championship sports, 11 for men and 12 for women.