Following a unanimous recommendation from the university search committee, Dr. L. Gregory Jones, formerly senior strategist for leadership education at Duke Divinity School and the Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams Jr. Professor of Theology and Christian Ministry, has been appointed executive vice president and provost. His wife, the Rev. Susan Pendleton Jones, associate dean for ministerial formation at Duke Divinity School, also will join Baylor as senior fellow in the Institute for Faith and Learning.
Jones is a prolific and distinguished scholar with diverse experiences in strategic and collaborative leadership at Duke University, where he has gained insight into many of the challenges facing higher education.
As the university's chief academic officer, Jones will lead Baylor's academic enterprise, which includes 12 schools and colleges, its research centers and institutes and the University Libraries. He will work closely with the Executive Council, Council of Deans, department chairs, faculty, staff and regents to articulate a unified academic vision and to foster excellence in teaching, learning and research within the context of a Christian worldview.
"I am deeply honored by the opportunity to serve Baylor University as its executive vice president and provost. My wife, Susan, and I have long admired Baylor's commitments, aspirations and leadership role in Christian higher education, and we have developed deep affection for the Baylor community and the rich history that inspires it," Jones said. "I also believe that Baylor's best days are still ahead, and I welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively across the University and beyond to help Baylor realize its promise as a leading Christian research university."
A theologian whose work centers on the nature of forgiveness, the significance of Christian ministry and pastoral leadership, and social innovation and entrepreneurship, Jones also has provided strategic vision for leadership education at Duke Divinity and served as senior strategist for the Fuqua-Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics at Duke's Fuqua School of Business. He has served as Duke's chief international strategist to advance and coordinate the university's global engagement. From 1997-2010, Jones served as dean of Duke Divinity School.
Jones earned his BA magna cum laude in 1980 from the University of Denver, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his master's degree in public policy and administration, also from Denver, later earning his MDiv summa cum laude and PhD from Duke University.
The author or editor of 16 books, Jones also has published more than 200 articles and essays. His most recent book, Christian Social Innovation (Abingdon Press, 2016), focuses on faith communities and their own need for innovation. Jones is an active contributor to both scholarly and popular publications. He also is an ordained elder in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Jones succeeded Interim Provost Todd Still, PhD, The Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran Delancey Chair of the Dean of Truett Seminary and professor of Christian Scriptures.
Dr. Jon E. Singletary is now dean of Baylor's Diana R. Garland School of Social Work.
Singletary served as the School's interim dean and succeeds the School's inaugural dean and namesake, Diana R. Garland, who passed away in September following a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
In addition to his role as interim dean, Singletary has served the School as associate dean for graduate studies (2014-15), associate dean for baccalaureate studies (2011-14), director of the Baylor Center for Family and Community Ministries (2005-11), professor and associate professor. He holds The Diana R. Garland Endowed Chair in Child and Family Studies.
"It is an honor to continue the legacy of our founding dean, namesake, and my mentor, Diana Garland, while also partnering with our faculty in a new way as we prepare social workers to care for others in a hurting world," Singletary said. "We will continue to be known for our commitment to the ethical integration of faith and social work practice, and are already looking at new ways to incorporate the same sense of calling in our research efforts."
Singletary earned his BA degree in speech communications from Baylor in 1993; MDiv from Baptist Theological Seminary in 1999; MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1999; and PhD from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2003.
His research interests include: strengthening congregational community ministries, community development advocacy and social justice. Singletary has collaborated with faculty and staff to develop new structures for the future of the School, with a focus on strengthening graduate programs, expanding scholarly capacity and organizing the structure of leadership to achieve goals in support of Baylor's strategic vision. He has focused on increasing endowed scholarships for social work students in Waco and the new Houston MSW campus, as well as endowed faculty positions in Waco and Houston.
He has worked to strengthen faculty research initiatives to promote new cross-disciplinary team members and externally-funded graduate students, including projects in gerontology, trauma and mental health, congregations, and global mission leadership.