Meet the President of The University of the District of Columbia, Ronald Mason, Jr., J.D.
Ronald Mason, Jr., J.D., began his tenure as the ninth president of the University of the District of Columbia on July 1, 2015. His reputation for strong leadership and responsible governance is bolstered by more than 30 years of experience in the fields of higher education, community development, and law.
President Mason previously served a five-year term as the seventh president of the Southern University and A&M College System, an Historically Black College and University System with five campuses. Despite severe state higher education budget reductions, Mason improved human and technology infrastructures, established online degree options, and led the system through a difficult transition process, combining the System president’s and Southern Baton Rouge chancellor’s offices. Moreover, concerned about the social and economic barriers that stand in the way of educational opportunities for the underserved, Mason spearheaded an initiative titled the “Five-Fifths Agenda for America.” Its goals were to reveal the true relationship between America and black men, increase the number of college degrees awarded to black men, and grow the number of black male teachers.
Mr. Mason also served as president of Jackson State University (MS) for ten years. Under his leadership, Jackson State experienced unprecedented growth in areas of fundraising, information technology proficiency, and the construction of new buildings. The graduation rate at Jackson State also soared during that time, from 27% to 46%.
Earlier in his career, President Mason developed a successful record of progressive leadership over an 18-year period at Tulane University in New Orleans, serving in positions that included General Counsel, Senior Vice President, and Vice President for Finance and Operations. He also was the founder and executive director of the National Center for the Urban Community at Tulane and Xavier universities.
President Mason began his career as an attorney with the Southern Cooperative Development Fund, Inc., which organized and financed limited equity cooperatives and small businesses across the Southeast United States.
Among his numerous public service and professional activities, Mr. Mason served three terms on the White House Board of Advisors for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and over a decade on the Board of Directors of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Education. He also has served on the Boards of the American University of Nigeria, the International Foundation for Education and Self-Help, and the American Council on Education. He was also a member of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, Office of Postsecondary Education. He currently serves on the Board of Digital Promise and on the Educational Testing Service HBCU Advisory Committee.
A native of New Orleans, President Mason received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from Columbia University in New York City. He is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Educational Management and is the recipient of numerous recognitions, including the Mayor’s Medal of Honor from the City of New Orleans, the Martin Luther King Lifetime Achievement Award from Dillard, Loyola, Tulane, and Xavier universities, and Columbia University’s John Jay Award for distinguished alumni.
He is married to the former Belinda DeCuir and has one daughter, Nia, and two sons, Jared and Kenan.
Contact the Office of the President
Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Building 39, Room 301A
Evola Bates, Chief of Staff | firstname.lastname@example.org