Dr. Hawkins will forego governor's race to remain Chancellor at Troy University

Posted: Wednesday, 25 March 2009

MONTGOMERY—Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of Troy University, announced today that he would not be a candidate for governor in 2010, ending several months of speculation that he would seek the nomination for Alabama’s highest office.

Chancellor Hawkins made his announcement in a press conference on the Montgomery Campus, urging the next Governor of Alabama to continue to implement Gov. Bob Riley’s program of “education, economic development and ethics.”

“Over the past year, I have been paid a supreme compliment by many of my fellow Alabamians who have encouraged me to seek the office of Governor,” Chancellor Hawkins said in a prepared statement. “While I have never said I wanted to be Governor, I have said I am interested in good government.”

Dr. Hawkins called the decision not to run “difficult,” but upon reflection, he decided he is “far more passionate about Troy University than I am about being a candidate for political office.”

Dr. Hawkins said in his statement he has more goals to accomplish at TROY: “Troy University is emerging as Alabama’s international university. This is an exciting dimension of higher education and has implications culturally and economically for our state. There are many important developments within Troy University to which I am committed—expanding our academic programs, building new facilities on each of our campuses and growing the worldwide enrollment.”

Dr. Hawkins has served as Troy University’s Chancellor since 1989. During his tenure, the University has grown from 14,000 students worldwide to approximately 30,000 and invested more than $200 million in capital improvements on four campuses in Alabama. In addition, Chancellor Hawkins made it a priority to develop the University’s first doctoral program, the Doctorate of Nursing Practice, which will begin fall semester of 2009. TROY’s athletic programs began competing at the highest level of NCAA competition, Division I, after Hawkins became Chancellor.

The TROY Chancellor thanked his family and friends for supporting him while he considered running for governor. He also thanked elected officials, university students and community leaders for encouraging him to seek higher office.

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Statement of Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of Troy University 25 March, 2009

Over the past year, I have been paid a supreme compliment by many of my fellow Alabamians who have encouraged me to seek the office of Governor. While I have never said I wanted to be Governor, I have said I am interested in good government.

The encouragement to run has been humbling, and I appreciate the expressions of support and financial pledges I have received. I have given the matter a great deal of thought and prayer.

In the final analysis, I decided to follow the advice of my late father, who counseled me to “measure twice and cut once.” After measuring the possibility of a gubernatorial campaign, I have decided I will not be a candidate for Governor of Alabama in 2010.

This decision was difficult, for the idea of serving all the people of Alabama intrigued me. I love Alabama and I love Troy University, where I have spent 20 years as Chancellor. Upon reflection, however, I decided I am far more passionate about Troy University than I am about being a candidate for political office.

Troy University is emerging as Alabama’s international university. This is an exciting dimension of higher education and has implications culturally and economically for our state. There are many important developments within Troy University to which I am committed—expanding our academic programs, building new facilities on each of our campuses and growing the worldwide enrollment.

As I have discussed Alabama’s needs with those who have encouraged my candidacy, it has become obvious to me the next governor of Alabama must continue Gov. Bob Riley’s focus on education, economic development and ethics.

Although we are currently in an economic downturn it is clear Alabama has benefited from its position in the global economy. Our next governor will be advised to make a commitment to the globalization of education and economic development while moving into the future with a strong moral compass in hand.

In making this announcement I thank those who demonstrated their faith in me by considering me worthy of the office of Governor of Alabama. I thank community leaders, elected officials and thousands of university students who encouraged me to run. I thank those who have been generous in their expressions of financial support. And, most of all, I thank my family and friends who offered support, counsel and prayers during this time of decision.