November 19, 1999
Tulane will be saying goodbye to Ronald Mason Jr. in February, but his career will continue in higher education as president of Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss. Tulane President Scott Cowen announced the news in a transmittal to members of the Tulane Board of Administrators on Nov. 9.
Mason, director of the Tulane-Xavier National Center for the Urban Community (NCUC), was out of town and not available for comment as Inside Tulane went to press. Cowen said he made the announcement with mixed emotions, adding, "Ron will be sorely missed at Tulane; however, we are very proud of him for achieving this recognition as he continues a Tulane legacy of administrators who have gone on to university presidencies."
Mason joined Tulane in 1982 and served as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary until 1998, when he founded NCUC and became its director. "We are very appreciative for all of his contributions through the years," Cowen said. "This appointment is a reflection of Ron's accomplishments."
Although specific search plans were pending, Cowen added that as an institution, Tulane is committed to the mission and goals of the NCUC and will move expeditiously to find Ron's replacement. Since 1996, Mason has also served as the executive monitor for the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO), acting as a liaison in the partnership agreement between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and HANO.
In that position, Mason took on overall responsibility for the HANO recovery effort, overseeing the planning and implementation of a $40-million operating budget and a $1 billion capital plan. He was appointed to the position by the U.S. Secretary of HUD and the mayor of New Orleans.
Cowen said, "Ron has exhibited a masterful understanding of the importance of community involvement for an institution of higher learning and he has helped Tulane fulfill this very important role in our region. Mason will continue his leadership of the NCUC and HANO until his departure," Cowen added.
The NCUC administers nearly $10 million in grants and contracts in areas of activity such as service learning and applied research on urban issues, public housing management, welfare-to-work and school reform demonstration projects, urban strategic planning and numerous community-based and community service initiatives.
Mason is a 1987 graduate of the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University. He holds both bachelors and law degrees from Columbia University. Prior to joining Tulane, he was a partner in the firm of Dennis and Mason in Lafayette and also served as executive counsel of the Southern Cooperative Development Fund, Inc.
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