Each semester, Allan Jones emphasizes the degree of discipline art requires.  He tells his freshman students, "We’re artists. Class starts at eight o’clock. So, if you continue to miss class, you should expect a phone call."

"They don’t believe me," he added with a smile. But his message isn’t a threat. It’s a promise. If a student is frequently absent, Jones gives that student a firm but friendly wake-up call.

"I may do that a time or two. Some students won’t tolerate it but others seem to appreciate the fact that somebody cares enough to make a phone call." The professor of visual arts has made plenty of those caring calls during his career. He has taught for 46 years, 29 of them at UL.

Jones received the 2011 Dr. Ray P. Authément Excellence in Teaching Award presented by the UL Foundation. He joined the UL faculty as an assistant professor in 1986. After five years, he moved on to Antioch College in central Ohio, where he taught for the next 16 years before returning to UL.

Chyrl Savoy, head of UL’s Department of Visual Arts, said the professor provides "support and guidance to students in their pursuit of higher degrees. Our students have consistently applied to and been accepted into quality graduate programs … They have gone on to build successful professional careers."

Gordon Brooks, dean of the College of the Arts, noted that Jones "has infused the Department of Visual Arts with many of its best values."

Jones was head of that department from 1986 to 1989. During that time, he initiated a policy requiring all faculty members to serve as academic advisors; that policy is still in place.

"Students are working multiple jobs, often putting in hours that are equivalent to a full-time job. That requires careful scheduling. As an advisor, you’ve got to be aware of what you’re asking of the student and of the faculty," Jones said.

The result has been a more cohesive system of planning classes to avoid scheduling conflicts. "The students are better served and faculty communicate more," he said.

Throughout decades of teaching, Jones has developed a reputation as an accomplished painter and printmaker. His work has been shown at the New Museum in New York, the San Diego Art Institute and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

His masterwork is Indulgences: A Book of Common Images. The fine art book is made up of 23 leaves of mounted plates. Each leaf is an original print, created with a printing process called chine-collé, in which images are transferred to delicate paper, such as rice paper. A copy is held in the rare book collection of Edith Garland Dupré Library.

For him, teaching is as important a pursuit as ever. "Artists belong in the university. These days, few students can afford to attend a private school. So, the public university is the place where artists will be trained and hopefully, nurtured," he said.

The University of Louisiana Foundation honored four exceptional faculty members in April who inspire their students and colleagues. Honorees are nominated and chosen by their peers. The Distinguished Professor Award has been given since 1965. The Excellence in Teaching Award was established in 1992 and was renamed in 2008 to honor former UL President Dr. Ray P. Authément. The awards include a stipend and are given each year at a banquet held to honor the recipients

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