Adams named provost, VP for academic affairs

Hammond returning to faculty, will teach at medical school after serving a decade as provost; Mercer named CPHS interim dean

Dr. Michael Adams has been named the new vice president for academic affairs and provost at Campbell University, succeeding Dr. Mark Hammond, who is joining the faculty of the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine after serving the last 10 years as provost and, before that, 12 years as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. 

Dr. Mark Hammond (left) and Dr. Jeff Mercer

Also announced this week: Dr. Jeff Mercer will succeed Adams as interim dean of the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences. Mercer has been associate dean for administration at the College since July and was dean of the College of Pharmacy at Harding University in Arkansas for six years before coming to Campbell. 

All of these moves will be effective June 1. 

A 1996 Doctor of Pharmacy summa cum laude graduate of Campbell, Adams also earned a Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Washington in 2003. He returned to the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences in 2005 as an assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences. Four years later, he became the school’s director of science education outreach and served in that position through 2012, when he was named assistant dean for graduate and interprofessional education. He succeeded the College’s founding dean, Dr. Ronald Maddox, as dean in 2015. 

Adams said he is “honored” to take on his new role and continue to serve his alma mater. 

“I look forward to working with the esteemed faculty and staff colleagues at Campbell University as well as the Deans’ Council and the cabinet to continue the pursuit of our mission of preparing graduates for purposeful lives and meaningful service,” Adams said. “I greatly appreciate Dr. Hammond’s leadership and counsel during my tenure as dean, as he provided a broad perspective of the multifaceted academic operations of the University.”

A 1985 graduate of Hiram College, Hammond earned his doctorate in biology from the University of South Carolina in 1990, where he specialized in molecular genetics and biochemistry. He joined Campbell University’s faculty as an assistant professor in 1992 and was made an associate professor and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences in 1996. He was named dean of the College of Arts & Sciences in 2001 and succeeded Dr. Dwaine Greene as provost in 2013. 

Hammond said returning to his first love — teaching — “didn’t come lightly, or hastily.” Serving more than two decades at the administrative level, he said, has left him “fulfilled.” During his time as chief academic office, every academic program he oversaw received its initial accreditation or its reaccreditation — including a “sterling” decennial review by SACSCOC. 

“I have started dozens of programs, a School of Engineering and for over 20 years, enjoyed the responsibility of and the friendships established through our unique partnership with TAR UC in Malaysia,” Hammond said. “Additionally, I have interviewed hundreds of faculty candidates, doing my very best to perpetuate the incredibly worthwhile mission of Campbell, to educate our students and graduates to have lives of purpose and meaning.

“Yet, I again feel the call to teach as a primary responsibility — to share more directly once again the knowledge, mentoring and development required of our students as they transform into successful members of our society.”

Mercer served as an associate dean and eventually dean for the College of Pharmacy at Harding University for 16-plus years before coming to Campbell in July as associate dean of administration. He earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Auburn University in 2000 after studying at Faulkner and Mercer universities. He began his pharmacy career in 2004 as a pharmacy supervisor and district manager for Publix Super Markets.

Mercer said he is “deeply honored” to serve as the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences’ interim dean.

“Since joining Campbell University, I have admired the important work of our faculty and staff as they prepare students for successful careers in service to others,” he said. “I look forward to working collaboratively with members of the College, University leadership and the larger Campbell community as we aim to learn and lead together with purpose.”