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Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. : A Catalyst for the Transformation of the University

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Troy University, a public university based in Troy, Alabama, was founded in 1887 by an act of the Alabama Legislature to prepare teachers for the state’s classrooms. Today, Troy University is an international university, serving students from more than 80 countries and preparing graduates to be competitive on the global stage. The University also operates campuses abroad in nations such as Malaysia, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam, where in 2008, Troy University became the first U.S. university to award the bachelor’s degree.

From award-winning academic opportunities to exciting Division I Athletics, Troy University provides students around the globe with top-notch learning opportunities both in-person and online. “As we look into the future, Troy University will continue to prepare globally aware and globally competitive students. We will also grow our role as a center for research,” says Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor at Troy University. Dr. Hawkins, who came to Troy University in 1989, is the longest-serving CEO of a public university in the United States.

Dr. Hawkins said his work at TROY has been supported and enhanced by the contributions of his wife and TROY First Lady Janice Hawkins. She has served as a strong advocate of the fine arts and campus physical improvements to include an arts center and cultural arts park, which bears her name. Mrs. Hawkins has also supported the internationalization of the University and has been an advocate for military veterans through the “TROY for Troops” centers on campuses in Troy, Montgomery, Dothan and Phenix City.

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Troy University offers more than 170 undergraduate majors and minors, as well as a variety of graduate degree programs. The University offers three doctoral programs including its newest—the Ph.D. in Global Leadership—which launched in 2020. The Ph.D. program, taught online, focuses on leadership theory, its practical applications and the nature of today’s workforce.

In 2019, the University’s Sorrell College of Business became one of 189 business colleges worldwide to hold dual accreditation in business and accounting from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)—the largest business education network connecting students, educators and businesses worldwide.


Troy University is committed to preparing students for the job market. Dr. Hawkins adds that TROY’s new programs in 3D printing and Materials and Manufacturing Sciences are embracing the latest advances in technology and research. Moreover, its Department of Geospatial Informatics’ Unmanned Aerial Systems minor provides students with practical experience in drone operations—a technology that is growing in use throughout a variety of career fields.

“While we are embracing the latest technologies in these areas, we are committed to empowering the next generation of global leaders as well,” says Dr. Hawkins, whose service as a platoon leader in the United States Marine Corps formed his leadership style. TROY’s record of service to the men and women of the United States Military dates back 60 years, and TROY has been cited as one of the most military-friendly institutions in the United States. To educate leaders, Troy University combines classroom instruction and practical experience through Troy University’s thriving internship programs and cooperative partnerships. The University seeks to add value to the TROY degree every day. This commitment, along with the dedication to serving students, sets Troy University apart from other colleges and universities.


“The most important thing we do at TROY is to serve our students. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to a student-first philosophy that has enabled us to create a culture of caring where we know our students by their name and not just by a number,” says Dr. Hawkins. He adds that TROY students benefit from many of the services and opportunities offered at larger universities, but they do so in a close-knit, family-like environment. Moreover, the University is a place of value and values, where students receive a quality education at an affordable price while also having opportunities to be engaged with and in service to others.

Troy University is preparing its students for the world of work and equipping them with the skills necessary to be leaders within their communities, across the nation and throughout the world. Dr. Hawkins said, “Our founding motto is at the heart of the culture of caring that exists at TROY—we educate the mind to think, the heart to feel, and the body to act.”


The complete university experience may be found at Troy University’s beautiful, historic campus in Troy, Alabama, where almost $400 million has been invested in capital improvements over the last 25 years. The campus offers advanced academic programs along with experiences that shape careers and lives. Students at TROY can benefit from the more than 200 clubs, Greek organizations and philanthropic groups, as well as study-abroad programs, Division I Athletics, an honors program and more.

TROY also offers diverse options of residence halls, dining options and a new, state-of-the-art fitness and wellness center. “Students also can take advantage of opportunities that will help them hone their skills and enhance their academic success,” said Dr. Hawkins. The John W. Schmidt Center for Student Success provides programs and services that enhance students’ academic achievement, personal and social growth, campus and civic engagement, persistence to graduation, and career placement.


Looking at the demographics of online education, Dr. Hawkins asserted that roughly six million U.S. university students were studying online before the pandemic. However, with the outbreak of COVID-19 around 1.5 billion students worldwide were forced to go online. Also, around 76% of college faculty in the U.S. had to move courses online to complete the spring term. He asserts, “While many were not prepared to make that shift, I’m proud to say that our 25 years of experience in online education prepared Troy University well for a time such as this.”

The landscape of higher education has continued to evolve through the years. Tech advancements have been highly embraced to effectively serve the University’s students. TROY became a pioneer in online education which served the University well when the pandemic resulted in a transition from in-person to online learning this spring. TROY already had a wide inventory of online programs, and with the advent of a pandemic, it is committed to increasing this inventory to better serve students. Dr. Hawkins emphasized, “However, successful universities in this ever-changing landscape are those that not only strive to be high-tech but also high-touch. At TROY, we are committed to being both high-tech and high-touch.”


Dr. Hawkins said the vision for Troy University rests on five pillars of excellence:

  1. Capitalizing on the current trends in distance education by moving 100% of TROY’s academic programs online.
  2. Focusing on the employability of all graduates in all academic disciplines.
  3. Emphasizing continued good stewardship in areas of staffing and capital improvements.
  4. Maintaining a global focus by bringing the world to TROY and sending TROY into the world.
  5. Refining and growing research efforts.

Dr. Hawkins concluded, “Achieving these goals will ensure that the best is yet to be for Troy University!”

ALSO READ: The 10 Remarkable Education Leaders of December 2023



The Educational landscape is changing dynamically. The new generation of students thus faces the daunting task to choose an institution that would guide them towards a lucrative career.

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