/Hawkins commits to four more years
Contributed by Troy University/Clif Lusk Left to Right: Sen. Gerald O. Dial, president pro-temp of the Board of Trustees; Gov. Kay Ivey; Chancellor Jack Hawkins and Board Member John Harrison are present for the signing of Hawkins’ contract extension.

Hawkins commits to four more years

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Emma Daniel

Staff Writer

Chancellor Jack Hawkins signed a contract Thursday to stay on at Troy four more years.

Troy University’s Board of Trustees voted to extend Hawkins’ contract until Sept. 30, 2022.

The contract does not include an increase in salary. In 2017, Hawkins was paid $656,600 for the year, according to public records.

Hawkins has served since 1989, making him the second longest serving president or chancellor of a public university in the United States.

“I thank the Board of Trustees for its support and its confidence — and the request that I extend my service to this great university,” Hawkins said in an interview with the Tropolitan. “I believe in Troy University, and I look forward to the next four years.

“I am excited to continue our work here.”

Hawkins, who is from Mobile, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Montevallo and his doctorate from the University of Alabama. Hawkins was also commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and a citation from the Korean Marine Corps.

Hawkins made the push to make Troy an international university with the “One Great School” initiative. Four new academic buildings on all four of Troy’s Alabama campuses have been added, and new degree programs were created in every academic college. The new student fitness center is in the works with about 18 months left to completion.

Increasing the value of a Troy degree is a priority for Hawkins.

“To improve the university means to increase the value of the degree,” he said. “While the most important thing we do is serve our students, a university is much more than just the students we enroll.

“We have 150,000 alumni worldwide. Adding value to their degree is a top priority. Our students will appreciate this ‘added value’ once they graduate and start their careers.”

Hawkins said he plans to continue internationalizing the university.

“We already bring students from 76 nations here,” he said. “Now we must send more Troy students into the world through study-abroad programs.

“I am convinced that the student who can demonstrate that he or she possesses a global perspective will be more employable after graduation and thus more successful.”

Hawkins said he has also made Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) a priority.

“There is a need for STEM manpower in our region,” he said, stressing the importance of new facilities, especially a Health Science and Technology facility. “A new facility equipped with the proper laboratories will add impetus to our health, science and technology programs.

“Continued curriculum development is high on our agenda. We will review existing programs to assure they are relevant and create opportunities for our students. We shall also look to develop new academic programs, including at least one new doctoral program in the future.”

Hawkins said he was blessed for the experience he has had at Troy. Both of his daughters earned degrees at Troy.

“I frequently tell students that I do not want them to have a job,” he said. “I want them to have a cause, which becomes a commitment, which evolves into a career.

“If you dread going to work, do something else. I still love coming to work every day. If my health is good and I still love coming to work in 2021, I may consider an extension.”

McKenzie Dailey, a freshman graphic design major from Jacksonville, Florida, said she’s glad to have him a while longer.

“He is really good at his job, and I’m happy to have him on my campus,” she said.

When asked if he would run for public office, he said it would depend on whether he was still working for Troy.

“While I have been honored and flattered, on every occasion I have determined that Troy University is more important to me than seeking another job at the polls,” Hawkins said. “Once I no longer serve Troy on a daily basis, running for office may become more attractive to me.”