Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Helen Carroll
PORTALES — Dr. K. Paul Jones, vicepresident for Academic Affairs at Eastern New Mexico University, willsoon be moving to Santa Fe after his July retirement.
Jones came to Eastern from theUniversity of Tennessee at Martin, where he spent the bulk of hiscareer in various positions from professor of history to differentadministrative positions. Jones chuckles when he reflects about comingto Portales. "I came to Eastern from a university located in a town ofapproximately 10,000 people, and only a few miles away from theneighboring state line. Sound familiar?"
Jones began his higher educationat the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He graduated in 1959 witha bachelor of arts in history and government. It was also there that hemet his wife, Keytha, whom he married in October of 1958. Jones sayswith a smile, "I did a very smart thing. I married her on her birthday;that way I am assured not to forget either one."
Jones continued his education atColumbia University, attending the School of International Affairs.Upon beginning college, Jones intended to become an attorney. He firstmajored in English, then changed to history and government, stillintending to work toward a law degree. However, courses ininternational relations and European history interested him so much hedecided to teach.
Because of his master's degree ininternational affairs, he considered a career in Foreign Service, butdecided to teach at the college level instead. He attended school on afellowship, but says that a fellowship, while very helpful and muchneeded, was not enough with a growing family. "My wife took a positionwhile I was earning my master's degree," Jones says. "I like to tellpeople I earned my degrees by the sweat of my frau."
In 1961 Jones took a position atMansfield College in Pennsylvania teaching European history. Heremained there for four years, leaving to pursue his doctorate.
Jones earned his 1970 doctoratein European history at the University of Wisconsin. It was then hebegan his 30-year career at University of Tennessee at Martin. He beganas a full-time faculty member and then moved into part-timeadministration. "Looking back, it's ironic. Earlier in my career Iworked for the Higher Education Administration while in Wisconsin, andhad decided that I was not interested in administration. I wanted toteach," says Jones.
One of Jones' favoriteexperiences was teaching history on a Fulbright Scholarship at theJohannes Guttenberg University at Mainz, Germany, for one year in1974–75. "It was a great experience; I wish I could have stayedlonger," he says.
Though Jones did continue toteach for a number of years, he gradually worked his way into full-timeadministration. He spent 12 years as the assistant and then associatevice president of Curriculum and Assessment. This position came toinclude the responsibilities of the dean of Graduate Studies anddirector of Institutional Research. His last two years at theUniversity of Tennessee he served one year as interim vice president ofAcademic Affairs and the other year as the interim dean of Arts andSciences.
In August of 2000, Jones joinedthe Eastern family and has enjoyed his position here as vice presidentfor Academic Affairs. Living in New Mexico appealed to him, in part dueto the fact that he has an identical twin brother who also lives in thestate. He has found satisfaction working at ENMU because, "Thisposition is a way to facilitate the learning process through the deansand department chairs."
The Jones are retiring to SantaFe, where they look forward to many things, including more time withfamily. Of his future plans, he says, "I don't want a second career.Perhaps I will research and write, or be a docent for a museum. I wouldlike to do something along those lines; perhaps a professional leveltour guide, but only on a volunteer basis."