NEWPORT, R.I. - The boxes, piled a little too high on the dolly cart moving in and out of Naval War College (NWC) Professor Tim Jackson’s office, contain books, files and papers that show just a glimpse of the kinds of things he does.
Promoted to Associate Dean of Academic Affairs on July 4, Professor Jackson—a Navy recognized financial management expert—will focus on the Electives Department and also sits on a budget advisory board for NWC, teaches electives on World War II and other topics in the Strategy and Policy department, and develops curricular and other program objectives.
His relationship with NWC began in 1990, when the then-Chief of Naval Operations sent Jackson to NWC at the request of then-NWC President Adm. Joseph Strasser. His job was to revamp the College of Continuing Education, which became the College of Distance Education in the mid ‘90s.
CDE has undergone extensive development since Jackson’s appointment.
When he first arrived, Continuing Education had only two courses for non-resident students: a seminar and a correspondence course. Today, CDE offers a CD-ROM course, a web-based course, a Fleet Seminar program in addition to NWC at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.
“The offerings are great,” he said reflecting on CDE. “When I came here, the college had a [non-resident] student body of about 1,000, and we now have 5,000 non-resident students, and 45,000 primary Professional Military Education (PME) students.”
In addition to work with CDE, Jackson also develops PME. He recently briefed staff members from the House Armed Services Committee, who were taking their first ever look at enlisted PME.
“That’s what a lot of this work is,” he said, showing rows of organized papers, spread out on a table. “I’ve done a lot of work in that field.”
Jackson’s naval career began when he enlisted in 1966. He took college classes at night and earned his degree, and a commission as a Surface Warfare Officer in 1970. While in the Navy, he was an organizational change expert, acting as a consultant to various commands and naval affiliates.
An administrator and professor, Jackson sees the value in not only having a quality electives program, but quality teaching in the electives department. He said his mission is to continually refine electives at NWC, and work with the NWC President, Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs to constantly work towards that achievement.
Professor Jackson himself teaches elective courses in World War II in the Pacific, World War II in the Atlantic, Russian history and occasionally teaches classes on the Middle East. Jackson believes electives have many benefits.
“It provides (students) an opportunity to take classes in areas they may not have much knowledge in,” he said, adding that there are professional benefits to students who earn an Additional Qualifying Designator, which is like developing a minor in college. AQDs are offered to Navy students in specific topics of study, some of which are geography, terrorism and insurgency.
By Tyler Will, NWC Public Affairs