Hammond named provost, VP of academic affairs

Photo: Dr. Hammond with his daughter Erica, Class of 2013, and his wife Jill, Class of 2005.

BUIES CREEK — Mark Hammond has been named vice president of academic affairs and provost, Campbell University announced Thursday. 

Hammond, who has been dean of the College of Arts & Sciences since 2001 and a professor of biology at Campbell for 21 years, will succeed Dwaine Greene, who’s leaving Campbell in October to begin his tenure as president of Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky.

“I can think of no one better prepared to serve as provost of a comprehensive academic institution like Campbell University than Dr. Mark Hammond,” Campbell President Jerry Wallace said. “Dr. Hammond has been an integral part of the development of new academic programs at Campbell over the past decade, and he has the vision, experience and passion to lead new initiatives in the years ahead. He is an outstanding addition to the university’s senior leadership.”

Hammond will assume his new role on Sept. 1. As vice president of academic affairs and provost, he will serve as the chief academic officer over all campuses, including programs at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College in Malaysia, which he’ll visit for a 10th time this October. Matters such as academic program development and sustainability, assessment and continuous improvement of degree programs, and academic accreditations of all institutions are among the many responsibilities of the provost.

“It is the person to whom the academic deans report,” Hammond said. “Fortunately, in addition to this role, Campbell also has a very capable vice president of health programs in Dr. Ronald Maddox, who oversees the administration of the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences and the School of Osteopathic Medicine. I think we’ll make great partners in the exciting years we have ahead of us.”

The son of Steve and Mary Lee Hammond, Mark Hammond is a native of Ashland, Ohio. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in biology and general science from Hiram College in 1985, and graduated cum laude with honors. He went on to earn a doctorate in biology from the University of South Carolina in 1990, specializing in molecular genetics and biochemistry.

His dissertation was titled, “Characterization of the Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Ribosomal Protein mRNA Translation in Mouse Muscle Cells,” and his doctoral work led to publications in two prestigious journals, “The Journal of Biological Chemistry” and “Genes and Development.” At the completion of his doctorate, Hammond worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Opportunistic timing allowed Hammond to work at the laboratory’s life sciences division and Center for Human Genome Studies when the Human Genome Project officially started in the fall of 1990.

Hammond developed a patent for rapid base sequencing in DNA and RNA while working at Los Alamos. In 1995, his patent received the Distinguished Patent Award out of several hundred others developed that same year. Hammond’s work at Los Alamos produced a second patent in 1996 dealing with DNA fragment sizing and sorting that was first licensed by Molecular Technologies, Inc.

In 1992, Hammond joined the Campbell faculty as an assistant professor. Hammond 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.

When he becomes the provost, he’ll replace a man who has become a friend and mentor to him during his years at Campbell.

“As a scientist I am, by nature and training, an observer,” Hammond said. “Through collaboration and observation, Dr. Greene has taught me many, many things over our 12-year partnership in Campbell administration. He has served as my ideal role model and mentor — as a father, as a faculty member, as an administrator, and as a Christian gentleman. He has helped me understand how to propose new programs and how to improve existing ones through proper assessment.

“He has taught me how and when to make the difficult decisions we face in our jobs, yet remain humane and compassionate in doing so. He has proven that through hard work of the highest integrity, we can become a better place for our faculty and our students.”

Hammond said he was filled with “humbleness, excitement and a healthy dose of nervousness” upon learning of his new role at Campbell. He thought back to 1992 when then-provost Jerry Wallace invited him to join the faculty to teach biology. Wallace then approved his appointment to chair the department four years later, and in 2001, it was Wallace who invited him to become a dean.

“Now,” Hammond said, “President Wallace is again inviting me to assume further responsibility. A clear pattern of support from Dr. Wallace was a huge factor in my decision to accept the extraordinary challenge of becoming Campbell’s next provost.”

Hammond is married to the former Jill Darling (Campbell class of 2005) of Mansfield, Ohio. They are the parents of four children — Erica Joy, Nicholas Jared, Veronica Lee and Monica Darling.