Campbell president to step down in 2015

Posted April 23, 2014

Campbell University President Jerry Wallace

— Campbell University President Jerry Wallace announced Wednesday that he will step down from the post following the 2014-15 school year.

Wallace, the fourth president in Campbell's 127-year history, has led the private school since May 2003. University trustees will conduct a national search for the next president, with plans to have the person in place by July 1, 2015.

“During my time as president, my goal has been similar to that of my predecessors – remain true to the university’s founding principles and to the meet the education and professional program needs of North Carolina and our students,” Wallace said in a statement.

Over the past 11 years, Wallace has expanded Campbell’s health programs to complement its pharmacy school and to address the shortage of health professionals in North Carolina, including establishing the first new medical school in the state in 35 years, the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine, which opened last August with 160 students. Other health programs launched during his presidency include the physician assistant, public health, physical therapy and proposed nursing programs.

Wallace also led the effort to move the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law from Campbell’s main campus in Buies Creek to downtown Raleigh in 2009. Since then, the law school’s enrollment has expanded and its standings in the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings have jumped.

Campbell also resurrected its football program and launched a study abroad program during his watch.

Undergraduate enrollment has steadily increased during Wallace's tenure and now is a record of more than 4,500 undergraduate students on the main Buies Creek campus and extended campuses at Fort Bragg, at Camp Lejeune and in Research Triangle Park. The number of applicants to Campbell has also reached new highs, with more than 10,000 first-year and transfer students vying for just over 1,000 undergraduate slots during the 2013-14 academic year.

To accommodate more students and programs, Wallace has spearheaded a long-term university master plan that resulted in new classroom buildings, dormitories and athletic facilities on or near the main campus, along with more open space, landscape centerpieces and the brick thoroughfare called Fellowship Commons.

“President Wallace’s legacy is beyond measure. His leadership has truly transformed the university’s place and image among North Carolina’s leading colleges and universities," Benjamin Thompson, chairman of Campbell's Board of Trustees, said in a statement.

A Rockingham native, Wallace first joined Campbell in 1970 as an adjunct sociology professor. He began teaching full time at Campbell in 1975 and went on to serve the university in a variety of roles, including chairman of the Department of Religion and Philosophy, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, director of graduate studies and vice president for academic affairs and provost.

“I’m grateful for the provisions and guidance God has provided in opening doors for me and especially for Campbell University,” Wallace said. “My hope in the coming year and beyond is that Campbell will continue to produce students who are the salt of the earth and the light of the world while expanding its mission in order to meet the evolving needs of North Carolina.”

After a one-year sabbatical, he will transition to the honorary role and title of university chancellor.

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  • Lucas Turner Apr 23, 2014

    Though under the shadows of Duke, UNC and Wake an excellent academic institution. And the high courts are starting to fill with judges from the law school. My respect to Dr. Wiggins and President Wallace for the jobs they have done.