Eugene Jones, a higher education administrator with more than 25 years experience, serves as the executive dean for Valencia’s newest and highly innovative campus located in downtown Orlando and in partnership with the University of Central Florida.
The campus is the anchor development for Creative Village, a nationally recognized collaboration between the City of Orlando, Valencia College, and the University of Central Florida. The vision for Creative Village focuses on developing a true “live, work, learn, and play” urban innovation district that supports a synergistic and dynamic mix of uses including higher education, PS–8 education, mixed-income residential, student housing, office space/creative studios, retail/commercial, hotel, and parks/open space.
In his role of executive dean, Eugene oversees not only the academic operations, but campus operations as well. In addition he works closely with the student affairs teams of both institutions as Valencia students are housed on campus in a joint housing arrangement with UCF.
Eugene states that one of the huge appeals to this role was the opportunity to be an integral part of generational change in the local community. As a father of two, he knows education is the most important agent for personal development and fulfillment.
Highly engaged in the community, Eugene serves on various boards including the Parramore Community Engagement Council, Polis, Coalition for the Homeless, the Salvation Army, and the Orlando Science Center. Eugene also engages in civic duty by his service on the Downtown Development Board.
Before coming to Valencia, Eugene served at several state colleges in higher administration roles including director of information technology Education at Santa Fe College, dean of business and engineering technology at Broward College, and associate vice president Workforce Programs at Lake-Sumter College. With his roots in collegiate teaching, Eugene also held a tenured position at Santa Fe College in computer science.
Eugene also has received several awards over his career including Hall of Fame at Santa Fe College and Onyx magazine Men of Honor inductee.
Ph.D. (Higher Education and Policy) | University of Florida
Executive Dean | Valencia College Downtown Campus
Associate Vice President | Lake-Sumpter State College
Dean, BAS programs and Engineering Technology | Broward College
Director, Information Technology Education | Santa Fe College
Tenured Faculty, Computer Science | Santa Fe College
How has education changed your life/your family?
If have spent my entire professional life in higher education and I have been so very fortunate to work in a field that not only gave meaning to my work but also changed the lives of students I encountered. Before I started my career I was raised in a family where both my parents worked in the K–12 system, and the value and love of education was imparted to us daily.
I’ve had the good fortune to work as both as a professor and an administrator, so I’ve experienced how both roles can be used to find the student where they are and help provide the path to where they want to be.