About JSU

Board of Trustees

Trustee Name District Term
The Honorable Kay Ivey Governor of Alabama President Ex Officio
Senator Vivian Davis Figures (Vice Chair) First 2012-2023
Ms. Gale Saxon Main Second 2012-2023
Mr. Anthony Smoke Third 2019-2022
Mr. Greg Brown Third 2016-2021
Mr. Clarence W. Daugette III Fourth 2012-2023
Mr. Randall Jones (Chair) Fifth 2008-2021
Mr. Rusty Fuller Sixth 2016-2025
Mr. Drew Linn Seventh 2020-2025
Mr. Randy Owen In-State At-Large 2000-2024
Mr. Tony Ingram Out-of-State At-Large 2015-2021

History of Jacksonville State University

From modest beginnings, Jacksonville State University has evolved into the educational center of northeast Alabama. The Alabama Legislature, in the 1882-83 session, created a state normal school when Governor Edward O’Neal signed into law a bill creating the school on February 22, 1883.  Jacksonville State Normal School acquired the facilities and equipment of Calhoun College, consisting of twelve acres of land and a two-story brick building.  The Board of Directors elected James C. Ryals, Jr. as the first president.  The school opened with three instructors: W. J. Borden, mathematics; Eliza A. Bowen, English; and Ida J. Woodward, primary department. 

The Normal School remained in operation until 1930 when it became Jacksonville State Teachers College, reflecting an increasingly higher education role for the Institution.  Five years later, the College earned regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  In 1957, the name again changed to Jacksonville State College when the first graduate program - the master’s degree in elementary education - was created. 

On August 2, 1966, the State Board of Education was authorized to elevate the College to university status.  On August 17, 1967, the Legislature established an independent Board of Trustees for the University and divested jurisdiction from the State Board of Education. 

In December, 2010, JSU attained Level 5 accreditation status when the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges gave approval for the University to begin offering its first doctoral degree, the Doctor of Science in Emergency Management, beginning Fall semester 2011.  JSU was approved to begin offering its second doctoral degree, the Doctor of Nursing Practice, effective Fall 2017.

Jacksonville State University has been served by 13 presidents:

  1. James G. Ryals, Jr. (1883-1885)
  2. J. Harris Chappell (1885-1886)
  3. Carlton Bartlett Gibson (1886-1892)
  4. J.B. Jarrett (1892-1893)
  5. Jacob Forney IV (1893-1899)
  6. Clarence William Daugette (1899-1942)
  7. Houston Cole (1942-1971)
  8. Ernest Stone (1971-1981)
  9. Theron E. Montgomery (1981-1986)
  10. Harold J. McGee (1986-1999)
  11. William A. Meehan (1999-2015)
  12. John M. Beehler (2015-2019)
  13. Don C. Killingsworth, Jr., (2020-present)

Mission Statement

Jacksonville State University, as a learning-centered community, provides distinctive educational, cultural and social experiences to prepare students to be competent, ethical professionals and engaged, responsible, global citizens.

Vision Statement

Jacksonville State University will be recognized nationally for excellence in providing a transformational learning environment that supports student success and engagement, regional stewardship and innovation.

Core Values

Jacksonville State University is committed to:

  • Student-Centered Culture
  • Excellence
  • Transformation
  • Innovation
  • Engagement
  • Stewardship
  • Integrity
  • Inclusivity

Key Strategic Initiatives

  1. Increase Enrollment
  2. Expand Regional Stewardship
  3. Enhance University Resources
  4. Expand Innovative Educational Experiences
  5. Enhance Branding and Marketing
  6. Enhance Human Capital
  7. Enhance University Infrastructure

Please visit the Jacksonville State University 2017-2021 Strategic Plan website for more information.