Even though President John M. Beehler has only been on campus two months, he said he already feels at home in Jacksonville. “I grew up in a really small town in the Appalachian Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania called the Pocono Mountains. It’s very much like home here with all the mountains and nature,” Beehler said.
For the past two months, Beehler and his wife Pamela have been staying in the Patterson Hall dorms while their house is being renovated.
Since the renovations have been delayed, he believes they will not be living in the house until Thanksgiving. However, Beehler is taking advantage of living in the dorm.
During welcome weekend, he helped incoming students move in. “For about two hours I was carrying things up to dorm rooms with parents and students. It was sort of funny because some of them recognized me and some of them didn’t,” he said.
Beehler and his wife Pamela have been married for 37 years. She holds a doctorate in kinesiology (exercise science/human performance) from Indiana University and was a professor for 30 years.
“She works as a Chief Scientific Officer for a startup company that develops software to measure brain performance,” Beehler said. She also played softball and basketball at Penn State University.
“She can help the university not only in the social aspect of being a first lady, but also in academics and sports,” he said.
The Beehlers have one daughter who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and serves as a Captain in the U.S. Army.
Beehler said that in order for JSU to prosper, the school would have to act more like a private institution. In response to declining state funding, he plans to implement a three-prong focus on enrollment, student success and fundraising.
“We have had a declining trend in enrollment which we need to reverse. My most immediate concern and project will be to try to find out what we are doing in enrollment and student success — because they go together,” Beehler said.
He plans to use his fundraising experience “to build a culture of philanthropy here.”
Beehler believes regional stewardship is a duty of state regional universities.
A large part of his mission as President is to try and help northeastern Alabama grow and prosper. “Our Education school can help local schools to improve; our business school can help businesses to improve. We can take the expertise we have and transfer it out through a lot of engagement and interaction with our community,” he said.
Beehler previously served as dean of the School of Business at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh. Prior to working at Robert Morris, he served as founding provost and vice president for academic excellence and student success at the University of North Texas at Dallas, associate provost for economic initiatives and dean of the College of Business at Northern Kentucky University, dean of the School of Business at Wichita State University, and associate dean at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Beehler received his B.S. from The Pennsylvania State University.
He earned his MBA in Finance and Taxation and his doctorate in Accounting and Taxation with a minor in Law from Indiana University.
Beehler is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of the Harvard Institutes of Higher Education Management and Development Program and the American Academic Leadership Institute’s Executive Leadership Academy.