Darton Interim President: Merger rumors untrue - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Darton Interim President: Merger rumors untrue

Interim President Dr. Paul Jones says he hopes improve services and enrollment. Interim President Dr. Paul Jones says he hopes improve services and enrollment.

The new head man at Darton State College says don't expect a merger involving the school.

Thursday, Dr. Paul Jones spoke to the media for the first time since taking over five weeks ago.  Dr. Jones says the school has a solid foundation, but there is room for improvement. 

He wants to focus on improving student services and boosting overall efficiency. 

He spoke on rumors of a possible school merger raised by former president Peter Sireno as he was leaving, and said there are no plans to merge Darton with another institution 

"And I think part of what we're trying to do is ensure our campus is focused on those things we have the most control over.  We have a lot of things that we can continue to do to ensure that this institution is doing well.  And those are things we need to focus on," said Dr. Jones.

He said athlete safety is another top priority following the death of a Darton wrestler earlier this year.  The announcement comes after 20-year-old Ben Richards collapsed during a five mile run in September and later died of complications.  He said training practices will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to ensure student safety.

"Our coaches are well trained and our coaches know what they need to do," he said.  "Our athletic department fully understands.  And that's one of the things I wanted to ensure in my initial conversations here, that they understand what it means to ensure safety and well being."

Jones says he'll serve as interim president for at least 12 months, but will stay as long as needed.  He said the Board of Regents is not yet seeking a replacement.  


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