Dr. Mark Fagan; Department Head Emeritus

BA (Bachelor of Arts): Jacksonville State University; Major: Psychology; Minor: Economics--1974 
MSW (Masters in Social Work): University of Alabama; Concentration: Direct Service --1977
DSW (Doctor of Social Work): University of Alabama; Concentration: Policy, Planning, and Administration; Doctoral Minor: Human Resources Management--1981 


Department Head Emeritus for Sociology and Social Work: July 1, 2012 to present

Academic Rank: Professor of Social Work, October 1, 1992 to July 1, 2012; Associate Professor, 1987-1991; Assistant Professor, 1981-1986 

Date of Appointment to Jacksonville State University: August 30, 1981 

Date Tenure Received: September 1, 1987 

BSW Program Director: 1998 to 2012 

Acting Head; Department of Sociology and Social Work: 1998 to 2002 

Head; Department of Sociology and Social Work: 2002 to 2012 


SW 330: Introduction to Social Work 
SW 332: Social Welfare Policy and Services 
SW 350: Social Work Research 

SW 350: Social Work Research (online)
SW 380: Human Behavior and Social Environment I
SW 380: HBSE I (online)
SW 381: HBSE II 
SW 390: Social Work Practice I 
SW 391: Social Work Practice II 
SW 392: Rational Emotive Therapy 
SW 400: The Community (Field Placement Seminar) 
SW 451: Community Practicum (Field Placement) 
SY 496: Advanced Seminar on Aging 
My primary focus for doctoral education was in community development. My primary research areas include: the economic impact of retirees; how retirees can be attracted; and the development of planned and naturally occurring retirement communities. Most of my 134 publications and technical writings since 1981 have focused on the economic impact of retirees and retirement places. My publications are in the following categories: books-6; technical publications-48; newsletter/magazine articles-36; newspaper specials-8; technical white papers-6; agency publications-6; bound booklets-12; academic journals-4; websites-3; topic encyclopedias-3; and book chapers-2.

I was a program developer for the Alabama Advantage for Retirees program at the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs from 1988 to 1992, where 94 local communities are receiving assistance to attract retirees. I have coordinated 4 Governor's Conferences, made 65 major presentations and 103 minor presentations around Alabama and the nation on the subject of retirees and program development to attract retirees. I served as a consultant to the West Virginia Development Office and the Arizona Department of Commerce, Office of Senior Industries Development. 

I also served as a consultant to The Retirement Systems of Alabama on the development of The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. This work included negotiations for 3 sites; projected economic impact studies for 5 sites and access roads for 4 sites; booklets on RSA’s 2 resort communities; 19 articles; 11 professional presentations; 24 news stories; 10 TV programs; and 4 radio programs.  

I have been consulted by and quoted in the national media for stories on retirees and retirement places. Some of the media where these stories appeared are The Golf Channel, CBS News, NBC News, CNN News, ABC News, "Good Morning America," The AARP Bulletin, Time, Governing, U.S. News and World Report, New Choices for Retirement Living, Where to Retire, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Money, Business Week, Mature Outlook, Golf Digest, Smart Money, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, The Washingto Post, Stars and Stripes, and National Public Radio.

In total, I have been quoted and appeared in the following media concerning retirement and retirees: 42 television programs, 255 newspaper articles, and 91 magazines and periodicals.

Books by Mark Fagan

In 2019, I published my sixth book. It is about The Retirement Systems of Alabama and the CEO, Dr. David G. Bronner over the last 45 years. It is titled: Alabama's Public Pension Fund Growth and Economic Expansion Since 1973. Click here for all of the information and to read a preview.

In 2018, I published two books: Coastal Alabama Retirement Guide and Coastal Alabama Economic History. Click here for information about these two books along with my four other published books. 

Retirement Guide Cover

Click here to purchase Coastal Alabama Retirement Guide. 

Economic History Cover

Click here to purchase Coastal Alabama Economic History

Here is my third book called The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail: Its History and Economic Impact with a Foreword by David. G. Bronner.

Book Jacket

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail: Its History and Economic Impact, a new book by me with a Foreword by David G. Bronner (CEO of The Retirement Systems of Alabama), (see Preface) is a tribute to the hundreds who worked to develop the Trail and the thousands who have worked as a result of the Trail. It is the illustrated historical account of the financial, legal, political, and economic impact details for each of the golf sites, hotels, adjacent housing, and commercial development that were the outcome of RSA’s investment. It is published to preserve this information for historians, archivists, economic developers, researchers, professors and students in business schools, and the general public. The book is available in hardback (384 pages) and Ebook format through local and online retailers or directly from the publisher, NewSouth Books, at www.newsouthbooks.com.

Links to publicity about my book on the RTJ Golf Trail


The Golf Channel. I provided content about the Trail from my book on the Trail to the show's producer and was interviewed during the Pro Am for The Barbasol Championship.  Part One: The Golf Channel broadcast of The Barbasol Championship at Grand National on July 20 and 21, 2017. Part Two: Interview of me posted on Golfchannel.com.

Websites posting the Golf Channel link include: www.rsa-al.gov, www.nationalvillage.comwww.colonyatthegrand.com, www.newsouthbooks.com and www.alabamaadvantage.com

Fagan on Ch 6 (Birmingham) at Opening Day of The RTJ Golf Trail; May 1992

Paul Finebaum Show, October 5, 2016

"JSU Today" Part 1, produced by Jacksonville State University and aired May 24, 2016 on television stations covering Anniston, Gadsden, Sylacauga, Rainsville, and Huntsville

"JSU Today" Part 2, aired May 31, 2016

"Your Community This Week" Part 1 and Part 2, aired on WNCF television in Montgomery (4 counties surrounding Montgomery including Auburn, Prattville, Selma, Troy, and Greenville) on May 22, 2016

Raycom Media full interview, circuited out to their 56 stations outside Alabama on May 21, 2016

WSFA television in Montgomery, aired also on other Raycom stations in Alabama (Birmingham, Huntsville, and Dothan) on May 22, 2016

WSFA television in Montgomery, live from Capitol Hill at Yokohama LPGA Tournament on May 5, 2016

"Your Community This Week" Part 1 with Tim Lennox which aired on April 24, 2016 in the Montgomery area (4 counties surrounding Montgomery including Auburn, Prattville, Selma, Troy, and Greenville).  

"Capitol Journal" which aired on April 25, 2016 on Alabama Public Television all over Alabama. 


RSA's Planned Communities Receive Seal of Approval from American Association of Retirement Communities, The Advisor, The Retirement Systems of Alabama, December 2018

Arkansas' Top Newspaper Writes about RSA (with quotes about my book on The RTJ Golf trail. (Article is by Rex Nelson for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2-27-2019)

Following the (Golf) Trail that Started them All: How golf course trails can build visibility through marketing and co-opetition, by Tom Mackin, National Golf Foundation Quarterly-The Q, April 2018

"Alabama's Golf Trail, Grand Hotel Celebrate Milestones with Renovations," Palm Beach Daily News, January 13, 2018

People of Alabama, project of the Alabama Bicentenial, Mobile Press Register, November 12, 2017

Sweet "Golf" Home Alabama, Canadian Golfer, October 27, 2017

"25 Years on The Destination Travel Map," Business Alabama Magazine, August 2017

"How an Investment by Alabama's State Pension Fund Assisted in Enhancing Alabama's Economy," The Advisor, The Retirement Systems of Alabama, August 2017 

"Alabama Ramblin' on National Village" on Alabama Advantage website for attracting retirees to Alabama, April 21, 2017

"Alabama Ramblin'on The Colony at The Grand" on Alabama Advantage website for attracting retirees to Alabama, April 10, 2017

"The Forgotten Greats of DKE: Robert Trent Jones" (page 23), The Deke Quarterly, magazine for Delta Kappa Epsilon International; Volume 134, No. 4, Winter 2016 

"Why The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is Vital to the Economy," RV Life Magazine, December 2016

"Retiree Presents Research to World's Top Golf Leaders;" JSU Newswire; December 8, 2016

Worldgolf.com, November 11, 2016

Travelgolf.com, October 31, 2016

"The Economics of Golf;" Prime Montgomery Magazine; Montgomery, AL; November 2016

Chodong Business, October 8, 2016

CNY Golfer (Central New York), page 8, Fall-Winter 2016

"What Arnold Palmer Meant to Alabama," AL.com, October 12, 2016

University of Alabama Alumni News, Fall 2016

Jacksonville State University Alumni News, Fall 2016

Opelika Auburn News; July 16, 2016

"Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail greening Alabama in more ways than one;" by John Kerr; Alabamanewscenter.com (Alabama Power Company website); July 12, 2016 (Click here for the story with photos and a 3-minute video) (video on YouTube)

New Book Commemorates the Silver Anniversary of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail; July 7, 2016 (Cullman (AL) Times, News Courier (Athens, AL), News Aegis (Pell City, AL), and North Jefferson News (Gardendale, AL))

"Learn the History of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in new book;" AL.com; Statewide edition; Living Section

"JSU Graduate and Former JSU Professor Publishes Milestone Book on The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail," Retirement Systems of Alabama website

"New Book by Dr. Mark Fagan with Foreword by Dr. David Bronner to Commemorate Silver Anniversary of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail" (this link includes the Foreword by Dr. Bronner and the Preface in same link), RSA website

The Advisor, May 2016, The Retirement Systems of Alabama


Troy University Public Radio; July 7, 2016 (It went out to stations in the following areas: 89.9 FM  Central and East Alabama (Montgomery, Auburn-Opelika, etc.); 88.7 FM  Dothan, Southeast Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle; and 91.7 FM  Columbus and Southwest Georgia). Short Intro of RTJ Golf Trail and Interview about the Trail

John Racciatti Weekly Golf Show, live on WNSP Sports Radio-105.5 FM in Mobile on May 23, 2016 

Sports Radio with Longshore and McKnight, live from Capitol Hill at Yokohama LPGA Tournament on WMSP AM in Montgomery on May 5, 2016

Troy University Public Radio; May 3, 2016

Recent Conference Presentations

Auburn University's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Luncheon Lecture, June 20, 2019

American Association of Retirement Communities, Annual Conference, Wilmington, North Carolina; November 17, 2017

New Horizons, University of Alabama at Birmingham (a group of 120 retired professionals, educators, engineers, lawyers, doctors, business owners, bankers, etc.), October 19, 2017

Robert Trent Jones Society, Annual Meeting, Turtle Point Yacht and Country Club; Florence, Alabama, September 30, 2017 (click here for story)

Auburn University's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Luncheon Lecture, June 27, 2017 

Alabama Natural Gas Association, 2017 Annual Conference, Hilton Head, South Carolina, June 12, 2017

HSBC (Hong Kong/Shanghai Banking Corp) 13th Annual (first one in the USA) World Golf Business Forum; “A Public-Private Partnership to Develop and Build a Golf Destination (The Story of Building the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail);” Ponte Vedra, Florida; November 29, 2016

Robert Trent Jones Society, Annual Meeting, Dunes Golf and Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, September 24, 2016

Southeast Tourism Society (12 states), Fall Forum; Birmingham, Alabama, September 8, 2016

Economic Development Association of Alabama, Summer 2016 Conference; Orange Beach, Alabama (luncheon speaker), July 25, 2016

Alabama Rural Electric Association, Summer 2016 Conference; Orange Beach, Alabama (general session), July 11, 2016

Quotes about My Book on The Trail

John Herr, speech writer for 2 stints in The White House (H.W. Bush, W. Bush)

“In 317 meticulously researched, beautifully photographed pages, Fagan lays out the story of how a plan to raise money for state pensions led to the world’s largest single golf construction project.”

Roger Rulewich, Chief Architect for 34 years for Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and primary architect for the Trail.

“What an incredible effort!! The detail is overwhelming. You have credited everyone that had a role, big or small, in making the Trail happen. Don’t know how you did it!! It has been a rewarding time spent with THE BOOK. I never knew all that went on behind the scenes."

Dr. David G. Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA)

"This book is worthy of the dramatic history it recounts, and is a testament to all the people who worked so hard to create the Trail.”

Katharine Dyson, writer for TravelGolf.com, WorldGolf.com, FloridaGolf.com, GolfAdvisor.Com, Finger Lakes Wine Country, CNY Golfer, Luxury Travel Magazine, GolfTrips.com, New England Golf & Leisure, New England Golf Monthly, GolfFashionWeekly.com, GolfHomesWeekly.com, Southern New England Golfer, CNY (Central New York) Golfer, and GottaGoGolf.com.

“Fagan’s new book: A must have for those playing and staying along Alabama’s RTJ Golf Trail.” “If you plan to go, we highly suggest you get a copy of Mark Fagan’s book. The chapters are thoughtfully organized with highly, easy-to-read, descriptions of each of the 11 sites.”

Kiel Christianson, Senior Writer and Equipment Editor for WorldGolf.com has golfed extensively on three continents and has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland.

"Fagan’s book is a meticulous account of how the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail -- Alabama's largest tourist attraction by far -- came to be. A chapter is devoted to each of the 11 RTJ Golf Trail sites. From inception to design to the legal and environmental hurdles overcome in development, each chapter is a case study in golf-course development. Equally impressive is the wealth of information and analysis of how the RTJ Golf Trail has benefited the state of Alabama. Fagan summarizes the profound contribution of golf to the state's finances and …. lays out a blueprint for how golf can transform the economy of an entire state. If I were to teach a course on the golf business, Fagan’s book would be a required text.”

Kevin Cuneo, Editor, The Deke Quarterly, magazine started in 1883 for Delta Kappa Epsilon International 

"I am a great fan of your book, The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail: Its History and Economic Impact, and have a treasured copy among my collection of books."

Rees Jones, International Golf Course Architect

"Great book on what my father accomplished with Dr. Bronner for the State of Alabama."

Jack Nicklaus, International Golf Course Architect, and PGA Hall of Fame golfer

"That is one great-looking book."

Diamond Bill, Author for Canadian Golfer

"At over 320 pages it is the most comprehensive account of a golf project ever written and my chosen reading material during our 7-day Trail review. So far it’s a compelling and fascinating read and very current as it was released in 2016. It is one amazing book."


Click here for a list of my publications
Click here for a list of my presentations
Click here for a list of newspapers in which I was quoted 
Click here for a list of periodicals in which I was quoted
Click here for a list of my honors and awards
Click here for a list of my services for retirement development
Click here to view the summary of Pvt. Fred G. Fagan 

Dr. Mark Fagan Photo

Jacksonville State University
Jacksonville, AL 36265