Four FHSU retirees honored at luncheon
05/09/2007

Four members of the Fort Hays State University faculty were honored at this year's annual Faculty Retirement luncheon today.

Jack Jackson, assistant professor of communication studies and mediated classroom coordinator, will be retiring after 45 years as either a student or faculty at FHSU. Dr. Tom Jackson retired from the position as dean of graduate studies and research after 31 years of services to the university. Mac Reed, associate professor of library science, retired after 32 years of service as government documents librarian. Dr. Warren Shaffer, associate professor of educational administration, retired after 17 years of service to FHSU.

It was while attending college that Jack Jackson decided he enjoyed the atmosphere of the university and that he wanted to stay in that environment. That is just what he did, remaining with FHSU since 1962.

Jackson received his bachelor of science degree in general science from FHSU in 1966. Although he studied for a brief time at Kansas State University, he returned to FHSU to receive his master of science in 1972, which was actually after he started working for the university in 1969.

"No one has known really what to do with me since I came here," said Jackson.

He started his career as the campus photographer, a position he held through several department changes. After receiving his master's degree, he was hired as a teacher of journalism, another job where he was shuffled from one department to another. During this time, Jackson also served as the rodeo club advisor for about 10 years. Then he was recruited to offer the first shooting classes, which became the Shooting Club. His latest responsibility was as mediated classroom coordinator.

Jackson said he and his wife, Margaret, know exactly where they are going to be after his retirement on July 27.

Jackson plans to move to Maricopa, Ariz., where along with not having to scoop any more snow, he looks forward to traveling.

"I have hopefully shoveled my last scoop of snow," he says.

Dr. Tom Jackson joined the FHSU faculty in 1976 as an assistant professor of psychology.

"I am greatly in debt to Fort Hays State University for my success," Jackson said. "I feel truly privileged to have had the opportunity to work with such a truly talented faculty and staff in such a beautiful campus setting."

After 30 years at Fort Hays State University, Jackson retired on Aug. 4, 2006. He came to FHSU after teaching psychology at Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Goodwell, and then at Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tenn.

He started at FHSU as an assistant professor of psychology. He achieved professor rank and also served as chair of the Psychology Department. He served as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and vice provost. He retired as the dean of graduate studies and research.

Jackson enjoyed the freedom to do his research, which related mostly to social psychology, including topics such as loneliness, attitude change and handholding. He also greatly enjoyed the willingness of students to assist him with or participate in his research.

"I loved the adventurousness of the students at FHSU. They were almost always willing to help me on various research projects, some of which required them to really step outside the box," he said.

Jackson received his bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees from California State College, Fullerton, both in psychology. He then earned his Ph.D. in psychology from Texas Tech University, Lubbock.

Retirement takes on a different meaning for Jackson than for most. He went back to work, with the goal of building the best graduate school in the inland Northwest as dean of the graduate school at Idaho State University, Pocatello.

Although they had never been to Idaho prior to his taking the job, Jackson said he and his wife, Eileen, are finding it a good place to retire. They enjoy traveling and outdoor activities of all kinds, both which are supported by the numerous state and national parks that are within a few hours from their new home.

"The wonderful people and exceptional circumstances that allowed me to do what I did at FHSU gave me the foundation to start a new adventure here in Idaho," said Jackson.

Mac Reed started working at FHSU long before technology played a leading role in education. He used this to his advantage, and as the university became more technology oriented, Reed kept personal communication a high standard in his department.

"There is such a melting pot of people who use the department, the highlight of my job was being able to meet all sorts of people and help both the students and faculty with their research," Reed said.

Reed graduated from Fort Hays State University with a bachelor of science degree in business. He then attended the University of Denver, where he received his master of arts in library science. After graduating, Reed came back to his hometown to start his career at FHSU as a reference librarian. After 10 years, Reed became the government documents librarian, a position he has held for the past 32 years.

"I have been here longer than the building has," he said. "When I started here, Forsyth Library was across the street. They eventually built the new building, and we have been here ever since."

To honor this commitment, the Mac Reed Government Document Department was officially named during the FHSU Centennial celebration in 2002.

"That was a real honor and definitely a highlight of my career," Reed said.

Reed's other activities included being an instigator of the Kansas Government Documents roundtable, a member of the Kansas Library Association and a past chair of the College and University Librarians of Kansas.

A native of Ellis County, Reed doesn't plan to leave any time soon. Upon his retirement, on June 16, 2007, he plans to spend his time traveling and doing volunteer work for the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, the Hays Public Library and the Ellis County Historical Society.

Dr. Warren Shaffer enjoyed teaching so much that he devoted 17 years to Fort Hays State University, quite an accomplishment for a man who likes to change things up about every five years "just to keep things exciting."

After working for the High Plains Mental Health Center, Shaffer signed up for his first life change, teaching at FHSU. "I always wanted to try teaching," he said.

Along with teaching psychology, he helped develop a substance abuse program on campus and held a number of workshops, most of which dealt with addiction. He also jumped on the wave of distance education. He was in it from the beginning, at first driving to off-campus locations to teach. He also has taken all the steps leading to the latest virtual classrooms.

Shaffer learned that academic excellence and clinical excellence are sometimes highly coordinated but sometimes don't relate at all. His favorite thing about teaching, however, is being able to watch and observe the growth of his students.

"I find it intriguing that some people grow in great strides in the academic world," he said. "Sometimes the ones you think might struggle succeed the most."

Shaffer received his bachelor of science degree in psychology from Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Penn., and his master of education and his doctorate of education from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark.

Shaffer is now ready for the next change in his life. He will retire on Aug. 31, 2007, but that doesn't mean that he is done working. After retirement, he plans to start his own clinical practice, which will center on group counseling.

He plans to set aside a little free time for his other hobbies, which include fishing, hunting, gardening and swimming.

"I would like to thank the university for bathing me in a sea of youth and enthusiasm. I will miss coming to the beautiful campus and seeing all the vigorous and happy students," said Shaffer.


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