Brad Jones steps down as graduate dean

Jones’ successor, yet unpicked will also serve as Dean of the College


Courtesy of Wake Forest

Brad Jones has been dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for 12 years.

Eli Leadham, Contributing Writer

Brad Jones, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, announced on Nov. 1 that he will step down on June 30 after 12 years in the position to go on a year-long research leave with the Wake Forest Department of Chemistry, where he was previously a faculty member. 

Jones was a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry since 1989 and served as chair of the department for eight years.  While in the department, Jones specialized in the emergence of new spectroscopic instruments used to identify and quantify the amounts of inorganic species in complex real mixtures. 

Jones’ replacement, who will be selected by a search process, will also serve as Dean of the Undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences, according to a Nov. 3 announcement by the university.

Jones received his undergraduate degree in chemistry in 1984 from Wake Forest, where three of his children would later attend as undergraduates. 

While serving as dean, Jones not only impacted the lives of many students but the Wake Forest community as a whole. 

I tried to enable others to make their own decisions,” Jones said. “We had a low-key but effective work environment, and we had a blast! Of course, we doubled graduate school enrollment, moved into off-campus spaces and launched Wake Forest’s first online program — online counseling now with an enrollment approaching 400.” 

Jones’ also impacted the student body through his efforts to diversify the student population. Jones visited historically Black colleges and universities while on recruiting trips. During his tenure, the fraction of underrepresented minority students nearly tripled, and it is currently at just over 20%, according to Jones. 

Provost Michele Gillespie shared that Jones has been a dedicated leader to the university and is supportive of his next steps. 

“Jones is currently the longest-serving dean in the university, and so I am delighted he will be taking a well-deserved research leave in the next academic year, before returning to the Department of Chemistry to teach and continue his research,” Gillespie said. ”He is a consummate teacher-scholar and university-citizen, and we are fortunate to have been able to benefit from his committed leadership.”