University of Illinois System

Executive Vice President/Vice President for Academic Affairs Biography

Dr. Nicholas Jones

Dr. Nicholas Jones was appointed as the Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University of Illinois System effective January 3, 2023. Dr. Jones serves as the second most senior executive and the chief academic officer, reporting to the president, for the $7.8 billion U of I System. He works closely with the chancellors and provosts of the Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield universities in defining and shaping academic priorities and directions for the system, providing advice on important academic policy and budgetary issues, and spearheading system-wide academic initiatives. In addition, he works closely with the president to advocate for the U of I System across the state and the nation by building connections with legislators, funding agencies, and leaders in higher education and industry.

From 2013-2022, Dr. Jones served as Penn State University's Executive Vice President and Provost. As Provost, Dr. Jones was the University’s chief academic officer, responsible for the administration of Penn State’s broad educational and research programs. His work drove the success of thousands of faculty members and more than 90,000 students at Penn State’s 24 campuses and the University’s online World Campus. Prior to that role, Dr. Jones served as the Benjamin T. Rome Dean of the Whiting School of Engineering and previously as Professor and Chairman of Civil Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He also served for two years as Professor and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the California Institute of Technology and previously earned his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.