Northeast State names Rowell vice president for Academic Affairs


Northeast State Community College has named Dr. Sam Rowell vice president for Academic Affairs.

Rowell has served as interim vice president for Academic Affairs since January 2017. Prior to that he served as interim dean of the Advanced Technologies division before being named full-time dean of that division in 2012.

“I expected this job would be demanding and it has exceeded my expectations,” Rowell said. “My predecessor helped me immensely getting prepared. I am focusing now and learning everything about the position and keeping things running as smoothly as possible.”

Rowell came on board at Northeast State in January of 1996 as an instructor teaching CNC machining and manufacturing technology courses. Beyond his academic experience, Rowell spent nine years in the private sector with McDonnell Douglas Corp. and Brunswick Composites.

“Dr. Rowell has played a pivotal role on this campus during the past eighteen months,” said Northeast State President James D. King. “Under his leadership, the excellent academic and technical programs at Northeast State did not suffer during the difficult financial situation of the past year. It is my pleasure to remove Interim from his title.”

Rowell holds an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University. He earned his master’s degree from California State University at Long Beach and doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from East Tennessee State University. Education seems to run in the Rowell family. Rowell’s mother taught first grade and his father taught industrial technology. In addition his wife is a college professor, his sister is a professor of biology, and his brother is a counselor at a university.

“There is a large cross-section of teachers in my family,” said Rowell. “It is something that is in my blood I think you could say.”

As interim vice president of Academic Affairs, Dr. Rowell played significant roles in articulation agreements for engineering and aviation programs at Milligan College and the TCAT-Morristown, respectively. He along with division deans and faculty aided successful academic audits for the EMT-Paramedic program, associate of arts degree and associate of science degree University Parallel programs as well as the Cardiovascular Technology program’s accreditation.

The office of Academic Affairs works closely with deans and faculty from the College’s academic divisions of Advanced Technologies; Behavioral and Social Sciences; Business Technologies; Health Professions; Humanities; Mathematics; and Science. The vice president also assists the various academic departments from advising and program curricula matters to general education courses and transfer options.

Rowell said the faculty and his colleagues made prioritizing student success a tradition at Northeast State. He also praised the willingness of faculty members to take on leadership roles for academic and student service programs.

  “We have a wealth of knowledge and experience with all our deans and on our Academic Council and a great group of people here dedicated to academic success,” said Rowell. “There is a real focus on the student success.”

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