Walters State Community College President Dr. Jack E. Campbell announced to the college’s faculty and staff that this academic year would be his last.Campbell, who has served as president of Walters State for 30 of the college’s 34-year history, will retire in June 2005.In a letter announcing his retirement to Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Dr. Charles Manning, Campbell said his 39 years working in higher education had been “most fulfilling” and that he now plans “to consider other professional and business opportunities on a part-time basis and to devote more time to my family and personal goals.”However, he said that higher education “will remain a top priority” and that he “would be honored to continue serving the [TBR] and Walters State as President Emeritus.” Campbell also commented on the college’s faculty and staff, saying he is confident the college will continue to prosper because of “their unwavering commitment to excellence in teaching and service, to shared values and principles, and to exceeding student and community expectations.”“Walters State is well positioned to meet the challenges of the future,” he said. When Campbell was named president of Walters State in 1974 at the age of 35, he was one of the youngest college presidents in the country. With one campus location in Morristown, enrollment the year before he was hired was 1,736 students. Walters State now has four campuses — Morristown, Greeneville, Sevierville and Tazewell — an exposition center and a regional law enforcement academy. In the fall of 2003, the college had a record enrollment of 6,214 credit degree-seeking students and around 5,000 students enrolled in job-training and continuing education courses.One of the first challenges facing Campbell when he was hired as president was the need to provide a nursing education program for individuals living in upper East Tennessee. With strong community support, Campbell established the nursing program in 1975. Under his leadership, it has become one of the college’s flagship programs and one of the nation’s leaders in producing nurses.Another challenge Campbell faced early on in his presidency was increasing community involvement in the college through the establishment of the Walters State Community College Foundation, the official fund-raising arm of the college. Today, the foundation, which is considered one of the most successful foundations in the country among colleges of Walters State’s size, has assets totaling $11.5 million even after spending over $8 million recently to construct a building on the Sevier County Campus. A 142-member board of trustees governs the foundation, while day-to-day a 16-member executive committee elected from that body manages operations.The college’s Public Safety Division, which includes programs in criminal justice, law enforcement, fire protection, basic law enforcement officer education, emergency medical technician and paramedic, has also become one of the college’s flagship programs during Campbell’s tenure. Almost 2,000 cadets from police and sheriff’s departments from across the state have received their law enforcement training and certification through the Walters State Basic Law Enforcement Academy. And recently, a formal review of the college’s criminal justice program concluded that it was “one of the top 25 programs in the United States.”While the college offers technical programs, such as nursing and public safety, that prepare individuals for immediate employment after they graduate, a majority of Walters State’s students pursue majors in university parallel programs and transfer to four-year colleges and universities after earning a two-year degree. And several recent studies have shown that Walters State transfer students maintain higher grade-point averages and graduation rates than all students attending particular four-year colleges, including students who attend the university all four years.As president of Walters State, Campbell has received numerous honors. In 1986, he was named one of the nation’s most effective chief executives in higher education in a study funded through the Exxon Education Foundation. In May of this year, he was named East Tennessee State University’s 2004 Distinguished Alumnus in Higher Education. He was the first nation-wide recipient of the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction presented by Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for community colleges. And he has been inducted into the Walters State Public Safety Hall of Fame.Campbell has served on the boards of directors for several regional and national educational organizations, including the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges, the Southern Association of Community Colleges and the National Council for Occupational Education.Through his community service, Campbell has received several honors for continuously searching for ways to improve the quality of life for the people of this region. This past year, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the board of directors of the Morristown Boys and Girls Club and the R. Jack Fishman Community Service Award presented by the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce.Campbell currently serves as vice chair of the Morristown Industrial Board and is a member of the board of directors of Jefferson Federal Bank, the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce (past president), and the Walters State Foundation Board of Trustees. He served on the Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System Board of Directors for six years (1996 – 2002). During those six years he served as vice president of the board one year and president for four years. Prior to joining Walters State, Campbell was named dean of the college at Calhoun State Community College in Decatur, Ala., when he was only 27. He has also taught at the secondary and collegiate levels and has served as a lecturer at several colleges and universities.Campbell is a native of Johnson City. He received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s degree in educational administration from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. Campbell received a second master’s degree in guidance and educational psychology at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and the doctorate of education degree in higher education administration at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.He and his wife, Diane, are the parents of two children. Their son, Bradford, and daughter-in-law, Laura, are both pharmacists and have one child, Cooper Campbell. Their daughter, Kellie, is currently pursuing a master’s degree at ETSU.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.