Dr. Jack E. Campbell, President of Walters State Community College, is not one to sit back and savor his accomplishments. Instead, he seems to ask constantly, “What can I improve?” Dr. Campbell has answered this question repeatedly in his career, never settling for simply a title or an honor – instead he has pushed forward, undeterred in his quest for excellence.
The Johnson City native was awarded a bachelor's degree in Health and Physical Education in 1960 and, while attending ETSU, found that he had a love of education. In 1961, he received a master's degree in Educational Administration from ETSU.
After earning a second master's degree in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Alabama in 1965, Campbell accepted the position of Dean of the College at Calhoun State Community College in Decatur, Ala. In addition to his duties as Dean, Campbell continued his education at the University of Mississippi. He was awarded his Doctorate in 1969 in Higher Education Administration and continued his Post-Doctorial work at Auburn University.
Dr. Campbell’s thirst for progress led him to become the president of Walters State Community College in the fall of 1974. During his 29 years at the college, Campbell has consistently bettered the school in his quest for excellence. Under his leadership, Walters State has expanded to four campuses, an Exposition Center, and a Regional Law Enforcement Academy. The college has an enrollment of over 6,200 credit degree-seeking students, 4,000 job training and continuing education students, 600 employees, and an annual operating budget of $40 million.
During the period from 1974-1990, Campbell increased faculty/staff salaries approximately 216 percent. Walters State currently ranks at the top among Tennessee’s Community Colleges relative to faculty and staff salaries. He has also provided leadership for the college’s widely recognized strategic planning and continuous improvement process to improve institutional effectiveness. The result has been increased access for students and a dedication to excellence in teaching and service. All academic programs eligible for accreditation at Walters State are accredited and the college has been a regional leader in work force development. The college on many occasions has been recognized as one of Tennessee’s most outstanding institutions of higher education. As president of Walters State, Dr. Campbell has received several honors including being named in 1986 one of the nation’s most effective chief executives in higher education.
Through his college and community service, Dr. Campbell is continuously searching for ways to improve the quality of life for the people of this region. He 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 holds other leadership positions in professional organizations on the state and national level.
Dr. Campbell 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.