Troy U’s Internationalist Chancellor

In September Troy University paid tribute to its chancellor on the occasion of his 30th anniversary at the helm.

“When you look at the quality of our students, the quality of our faculty and staff, the diversity we have on campus, the quality of our academics and sports programs, it’s remarkable, and there is one reason for it — the vision of our chancellor, Dr. Jack Hawkins,” said Gibson Vance, president pro-tempore of the university’s board of trustees.

Troy trustees recently dedicated a clock outside of Smith Hall honoring the chancellor.

Hawkins became chancellor in September 1989, following the retirement of Ralph Adams, who had served the university for 25 years.

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Recruitment of foreign students has long been a hallmark of Hawkins’ tenure. In October, Global Ties Alabama presented Hawkins with its Global Leadership Award. Based in Huntsville, Global Ties hosts international visitors to Alabama under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Executive Director Jacquelyn Shipe said Hawkins “has been a catalyst for the evolution of Troy as an international institution. When you think of Troy, you think of the diversity and the large number of students they have from so many different nations, and that is admirable.”

When Hawkins became chancellor, the university enrolled just 40 international students. Today, more than 1,000 international students call themselves Trojans. They represent 76 nations and include more than 400 students from China.

Under Hawkins leadership, the 1+2+1 Sino-American Dual Degree program was born, which allows students to select Chinese universities to complete their first year of study in China, two years of study at Troy and then complete their final year back in China. Graduates from this program receive degrees from both institutions. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities has adopted the program as a prototype and invited other universities to take part. The program has grown to include 127 Chinese universities, 39 U.S. universities and more than 3,000 students have participated.

Hawkins also supported the university’s study abroad programs, leading to the establishment of the Chancellor’s Award for Global Competitiveness, a $1,000 scholarship available to qualifying students participating in university-approved study abroad programs. The scholarships are made possible through proceeds derived from the Troy University Foundation’s Troy Car Tag program and other international travel funding.

In addition to international student opportunities, the university has recently adopted an online learning portal for non-public high school students who are members of schools in the Alabama Independent School Association. The ACCELERATE program will provide students the opportunity to earn college credit.

“This partnership with the AISA is a natural fit and it is one that we want to see continue to grow,” said Hawkins. “We currently have almost 600 students from AISA institutions studying with us on campus, and I see that number continuing to grow through this partnership. We have 170 AISA students enrolled in dual enrollment and that is a number I see growing exponentially.”

Buddy Starling, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management, said such outreach opportunities are important to the university. “Dual enrollment in many ways is a great bridge from high school to students. Outreach is the lifeblood of our business. We want to be there to support them in any way we can. The better our relationships with our local school systems within the state, the better our enrollment picture looks for the future, but also the better it is for the communities we serve within our state.”

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