In this early episode of the communications I am super excited to have a very warm conversation with Richard Jones of Rowan University. At Rowan, he is the Vice President of Student Life and VP of the Dean of Students and he’s the chief advocate for the students on campus.
Make sure you hear the entire podcast for a window into his struggles, and a great life journey of how he got here. But more importantly, listen in for the tidbits of super actionable advice he drops all along.
1:37: Dr. Jones gets into his college days, what his original plan for life was and how fate and his family economic situation made him change directions entirely.
3:22: Dr. Jones talks about how he landed in to his first job in a university administration career. He makes you believe that finding his job was extremely serendipitous but you could tell out of modesty he’s not mentioning that his prior work got him to his stage.
4:39: He talks passionately about how he helped high school students meet their college goals.
4:59: Dr. Jones talks about how he chose his college and contrasts with how his work changed the way his students found college.
5:50: I point out how his prior hard work and side jobs on campus have been helping him build on the foundation that led to his future career success.
6:35: Dr.Jones talks about how he re-evaluates his life after working for 7 years at Vanderbilt.
8:00: From there he moves on to how he got into Rowan after changing a few jobs along the way.
9:00: He talks about what attracted him to Rowan University.
10:42: Dr. Jones talks about the successes that he and his peers had at Rowan under the leadership of the current president Dr. Ali Houshmand.
11:15: The conversation now gets into specifically what works for students. He talks about housing and outside of the classroom experience.
12:46: Dr. Jones talk about how to measure success in the realm of student life and student success. He talks about learning outcomes based on bloom’s taxonomy.
14:16: The discussion steers around how various programs are created around the STEP UP framework for student success at the Rowan university.
15:00: Dr. Jones describes the reasoning behind creating a state of the art wellness center in the middle of the campus at Rowan.
16:00: We talk about communication and how these programs are found and identified by students.
17:44: We talk about the future of Student Life and student communications. Very interesting.
20:10: Dr. Jones spills advice for young professionals and students who might be aspiring to get into a career in higher education. He talks about having a plan.
21:38: The concept of “Unconditional positive regard”.
22:40: What’s student life got to do with Kerry Washington show “Scandal”.
23:45: We discuss how the Student life and services departments are the glue to make things work at universities. Dr. Jones flatters me about my knowledge in this space. I turn red.
24:40: The discussion revolves around empathy and back to “unconditional positive regard”. Dr. Jones talks about his training at Mississippi State prepared him to help students.
26:10: Dr. Jones’ advice for people already in college administration jobs. Not to be missed.
27:20: We end the podcast while looking at all the “Thank You” notes he has gotten over the years. He has proudly created a wall of these notes so it reminds him of the purpose of his work.