Johnson honored with international leadership award

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 8, 2004

President John A. Johnson of Alabama Southern Community College has been selected by the International Chair Academy to receive the 2004 International Exemplary Leadership Award at their annual International Conference in Reston, Virginia on March 6, 2004.

“This award is in recognition of the college’s move towards a commitment to customizing the curriculum for the individuals’ learning needs,” Johnson said.

This award follows Dr. Johnson’s selection as the 2003 Excellence in Leadership Award for Region D, which is composed of 12 states representing the American South. The International Chair Academy originated as the only organization committed to leading instructional progress through Division and Department Chairs.

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It is now recognized as one of the world’s most powerful advocates for community college instructional leadership in an era of change.

In recognizing Dr. Johnson’s numerous achievements, Dr. Gary Filan, Executive Director, The International Chair Academy, stated: “Through his visionary leadership, President Johnson has established Alabama Southern as one of the rural, vanguard learning colleges in America.” Among these many achievements:

* Alabama Southern was selected as one of the ten best examples of the management of the change in the American Association of Community College’s 1998 report Managing Change: A Model for Community College Leaders.

* The National Initiative awarded the 1998 National Organizational Leadership Award Alabama Southern for Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness (NILIE).

* Alabama Southern was cited by former Chancellor Fred Gainous as having “achieved the most dramatic turnaround of any college in the history of the Alabama College System.”

* Alabama Southern was the first college or university in the nation (1996) to assess the learning styles of all entering freshmen and is leading a national movement to use learning styles to customize American higher education for the 21st century.

* 100 percent of Alabama Southern’s classrooms on all four campuses are multimedia classrooms connected to the Internet. Over 90 percent have state-of-the-art Smartboard technology.

* 100 percent of the full-time faculty is certified as computer competent to teach in the 21st century. 100 percent of the part-time faculty is computer literate, have an e-mail address, and have written commitment to use technology in the classroom.

“I call us the ‘Biggest small college in America,'” Johnson said.

A recognized national leader and speaker, Dr. Johnson is the author of several articles and a monograph on administration in higher education. He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics/chemistry from Troy State University, his master’s degree in counseling from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and earned his Ph.D. in college administration from The University of Alabama.

Prior to accepting the presidency, Dr. Johnson had over 15 years of administrative experience in higher education at Birmingham-Southern College, The University of Alabama, and the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education.

Dr. Johnson and his wife, Laurie, have three children: Adam-22, Russell-20, and Bess-14.