Clark State Community College treasurer and vice president for business affairs Joseph Jackson officially entered the ranks of retirement at the end of December. Jackson served at Clark State for nearly 30 years and was acting president for a period of time in 1995 when then president Albert A. Salerno took a sabbatical leave.
Jackson said although he is pleased to be retiring, there is much he will miss including fellow co-workers, Board members, peers across the state, established business relationships and the challenge of managing the finances, facilities, grounds, risk management programs, safety and security and the auxiliary enterprises.
“But most of all,” he said. “I will miss seeing the look of pride and joy - and sometimes tears - on the faces of students and their families at graduation and knowing that most have overcome long odds and have a limitless future in front of them.”
Clark State President Dr. Jo Alice Blondin said Jackson has admirably and capably served Clark State. “His financial acumen, leadership and student-centered approach will truly be missed by the students, faculty, staff and the community we serve.”
Jackson said he has many memorable moments of his time at Clark State, “But probably the most memorable moment was the opening and dedication of the Clark State Community College Performing Arts Center in 1993.”
During Jackson’s tenure, Clark State experienced growth in enrollment, facilities and academic and community outreach. Jackson oversaw the construction of the Clark State Performing Arts Center in 1993, the Greene Center in 2007, the Sara T. Landess Technology and Learning Center in 2007, the Disaster Recovery Learning Lab in 2010, the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center in 2011 and the Rafinski Student Success Center in 2013.
“Joe has presided over countless renovation projects and has been responsible for the budgeting and finances of the college, safety and security of the campuses, physical plant operations, bookstore, food service and grounds and fleet,” said Blondin. “The beauty, functionality and pride we take in Clark State facilities are due in large part to his tireless leadership and focus on serving students.”
As a retiree, Jackson said he is looking forward to spending time with family and friends, staying awake for football games, having more time to work on projects, sleeping in on snowy mornings and drinking his morning cup of coffee while deciding what to do for the day.
“I’ll be taking a couple of trips that have been put off over the years, spending more time with family and taking up a few hobbies that got lost in the shuffle over the years,” said Jackson. “I am looking forward to spending more time with my wife Kathy, our three children, grandchildren and our granddogs.”
Jackson extended his thanks to all who made his tenure at Clark State a fulfilling and rewarding experience. “It is the people that make life fun,” he said.
Larry Wakefield, retired vice president for business affairs at Albany State University in Georgia, has been selected to serve as interim chief financial officer for Clark State. Wakefield will serve until late spring/early summer 2017. A thorough search will be conducted for a permanent vice president of business affairs for Clark State, and a search committee will be appointed this month.