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Dean Jones examines higher education on Charlotte Magazine’s #discussCLT panel

On Oct. 17, 2018 Dr. Brian M. Jones, dean of the College of Arts and Letters and the College of STEM, joined representatives from the state’s third-largest university, a renowned culinary school and the state’s biggest community college to discuss the state of education in Charlotte.

Charlotte Magazine hosted the discussion, part of a series called #discussCLT that brings local leaders and thinkers together to focus on the city's defining issues.

Despite remaining the largest U.S. city without a four-year medical school or law school, Jones didn’t think Charlotte has a higher education deficit.

“The diversity of the higher educational experience, the centrality of the location, the reach into both North and South Carolina, the job opportunities, the cultural and sports scene all represent Charlotte and the metro area quite well,” Jones said. “An increase in STEM opportunities at JCSU in our new Science Center bodes well for the future of STEM jobs in town, as does our focus on reaching students who either want the HBCU experience or how might not have as great opportunities at other places.  Our tradition and culture at JCSU makes our humanities, social science, and social work areas increasingly valuable to the New South City.  All of this serves directly the interests of a place seeking to expand economic opportunity across the spectrum.”

Jones said he’d like to see the city continue to expand its roots in higher education, especially at JCSU where that strong connection to the city, largely lacking in the past half century, serves all parties involved.

“Personally, I work hard daily to forge greater connections among the institutions in the city, to leverage our expertise and resources, our perspectives and traditions, and to support our students and the area,” Jones said.

Along with Jones, panel members Joan Lorden, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Keith Kelly, vice president of local and regional government for the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce; and Tony Zeiss, president of Central Piedmont Community College, weighed in.

The series is powered by OrthoCarolina and encompasses events, a podcast, a newsletter and articles. 

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