Transforming Leadership: Dr. Jones And Fayetteville State Teachers College, 1956-1969
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentHistory and Geography
ProgramMaster of Arts
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This study provides a historical analysis of the growth, development, accomplishments and challenges at Fayetteville State Teachers College (FSTC) during the mid 1950s to the 1960s period of higher education desegregation under the leadership of President Rudolph Jones. During the years that followed the Brown v. Board of Education decision, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) came under scrutiny and their validity was questioned. Why attend an HBCU when desegregation has afforded the opportunity to go anywhere? When President Jones came into office in 1956 be structured his tenure around creating a college that could survive desegregation and thrive in a multicultural society. Jones came into the leadership role with a vision that became the driving force behind his effectiveness. He urged the board of trustees to support his endeavors, he admonished students to study harder, he urged teachers to find ways to motivate students and he pressed the North Carolina government to increase appropriations. During his thirteen years as president the curriculum was expanded to include courses outside of elementary education, the physical plant was enlarged to house the growing student body and, students excelled academically. However, this did not come without a fair share of problems. Jones's harsh words and leadership style was not well received by many and ultimately gave his faculty and students a skewed perception of him. However, his leadership was effective in implementing much needed growth at FSTC. Using state records, local newspapers, oral interviews and the personal papers of Dr. Rudolph Jones, this thesis chronicles the transformation of FSTC under the leadership of Dr. Jones, during a period of uncertainty for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.