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Portrait Gallery: Charles Jackson, assistant vice president for Facilities

Charles JacksonCharles Jackson, assistant vice president for Facilities, arrived at UNT in 2000 – and since then, he’s overseen the rapid growth of new construction and renovation of numerous campus buildings.

Jackson will retire this month. He will be honored with a reception Aug. 20 at The Gateway Center, Ballroom 35. The reception will take place from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., with remarks at 8:30 a.m.

What is your title, and how long have you been at UNT?

I am the assistant vice president for Facilities. I started my employment at UNT in March 2000 as the maintenance manager in Facilities and was selected for my current position upon the retirement of my predecessor in November 2005.

What is your academic and professional background?

I hold a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a master’s degree in engineering/facilities from the Air Force Institute of Technology. A little known fact is that Dr. (Col.) Al Hurley was my history professor at the Air Force Academy.

Prior to coming to UNT, I served 30 years on active duty with the Air Force as a civil engineer. I served as the commander of the 7th Civil Engineering Squadron at Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth; the 5th Air Force Civil Engineer at Yokota Air Base, Japan; and the Deputy Civil Engineer for Headquarters Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., as well as other duty assignments in Germany, Belgium, Texas, Nebraska and Arizona. I retired from active duty with the rank of colonel in May 1998.

Net Zero Energy LabWhat do you feel your biggest accomplishments have been at UNT?

I have been involved in facilities work for 40 years because I like working with the people who do facilities work. Any accomplishment that I can claim is attributable to them. Although we have completed some great projects, the Library Mall and the Net Zero Energy Lab (right) along with hundreds of renovations, the majority of our work involves keeping the campus facilities running, keeping them clean and maintaining the grounds. Of course, I feel our biggest single accomplishment was the recent completion of the $42 million SMART project, saving the university over $3 million in utility and operations costs annually and helping to ensure reliable systems to support UNT into the future.

How has UNT changed since you first arrived?

Obviously, the biggest change is our growth, both in students and in the physical resources to support them. The Gateway Center was just beginning construction when I arrived at UNT. Since then we have built four new residence halls and seven other major buildings. We have acquired the Discovery Park property and its fine building, Mean Green Village, Woodhill Square and the Kristin Farmer Autism Center property.

What will you miss about your job?

I enjoy the challenges that facilities work brings every day. I meet with my new employees and tell them that they need to find work that they enjoy. I hope that it is with us but, if it is not, they need to continue to seek and find that work. It is the people who do find enjoyment in the work, going about their routines in the middle of the night or the heat of the day or attempting to resolve the latest breakdown late into the evening or on weekends that make it enjoyable for me. I will miss working with such a dedicated, innovative group of people.

Tell us about your family.

I am married to my high school sweetheart, Vickie. Three months after we were married we took off on our first overseas assignment with the Air Force and lived behind the “Iron Curtain” in Berlin for four years. We both were wondering what we had gotten into that first morning there. In spite of that and another 26 years of moving around the world, we celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary last June. We have three children, all living in Texas, two of whom are UNT graduates. And although we are transplanted “Yankees” ourselves, we have seven granddaughters who are Texans through and through.

It's not possible to know everyone on a big, busy campus. So InHouse periodically publishes Portrait Gallery features to help us learn about our colleagues and their contributions to the university's success. Send suggestions for Portrait Gallery subjects by email to InHouse with "Portrait Gallery" in the subject line.

Posted on: Mon 12 August 2013

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