“It is humbling to be appointed the president of Black Hills State University,” Jackson said. “It is an amazing university centered on student success and faculty engagement. My family and I couldn’t be more honored.

“We feel very fortunate to have been a part of such a strong leadership team at UofL,” he added. “Dr Willihnganz and Dr. Ramsey have been great mentors and inspirations. I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed working beside them.”

Jackson came to UofL after serving in the same position at Texas A&M-Kingsville.  At UofL, he has advocated for veterans and military members and is credited with establishing or bolstering international programming, including popular service learning projects in the Philippines, Croatia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Botswana.

He has been recognized nationally as a leader in student development, serving as president of the American College Personnel Association in 2009-10.  ACPA serves 7,500 student affairs professionals from 27 countries and 1,200 institutions.


“Under Tom’s watch, we have experienced tremendous growth in student life,” said Provost Shirley Willihnganz.  Our housing, food services, student activities and Greek life have expanded and improved. He has led the expansion of our international service learning programs into Asia, Africa and Europe. And he has pushed our students to be more engaged in our local community. We appreciate his contributions to the university and our community, and we wish him well in his new position.”

John Drees is a 35-year veteran in the Office of Communications and Marketing. As vice president, communications and marketing, he works closely with the president, provost and other senior administrators, oversees the Office of Communications and Marketing, including media relations, marketing and brand, broadcast, social media, internal communication, crisis communication, visitor services and special events and activities. A former sports editor for the Voice Newspapers, he was a regular contributor to a variety of publications, including the Kentucky Sports Report and the Courier-Journal. A poor but enthusiastic golfer, he is an avid Cardinal sports fan. He also loves the Detroit Lions, so pity him.