Willis Jones

Associate Professor, Department of Applied Physiology & Sport Management Chair ad interim

Department of Education Policy & Leadership

Willis Jones


Ph.D., Vanderbilt University,
M.A., University of Arkansas


3101 University Blvd
Ste. 345
Box 750114
Dallas TX 75205



Dr. Willis A. Jones is an associate professor of higher education in the Department of Education Policy and Leadership, as well as Department of Applied Physiology & Sport Management Chair ad interim at the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Dr. Jones’s research uses quantitative data to examine the antecedents and outcomes of college/university behavior, strategy, structures, and policies. Within this broad research agenda, his primary area of interest is intercollegiate athletics, about which he has published many peer-reviewed articles exploring how intercollegiate athletics influence organizational and student outcomes. In 2023, Dr. Jones was awarded the Distinguished Senior Scholar Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Research Focus on Education and Sport SIG.

Dr. Jones also explores and publishes on other issues, including college student retention, college rankings, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, faculty governance, community colleges, and adult learners. He teaches courses on the economics of higher education, governance and administration, community colleges, and research methods. 

Dr. Jones earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from Vanderbilt University; he also holds a master’s degree in Higher Education from the University of Arkansas and a bachelor’s from the University of North Texas.