Trustees Vote to Release President Beehler From Contract


The Jacksonville State University Board of Trustees voted at its quarterly meeting on Oct. 22 to terminate the contract of 12th President John M. Beehler.

Citing a clause in his contract that allows for the release of the president without cause, the trustees announced that Beehler has been provided a 30-day notice as outlined in his contract. Dr. Don Killingsworth, chief operating officer, will serve as acting president effective immediately. 

“I have never felt better, more optimistic and more encouraged about the future of this school,” said alumnus Randy Jones, who became chair of the Board of Trustees in April. “We have so many great things and great people here and the sky is the limit on what we can do to help this community and help our students become successful in life.”  

Dr. Killingsworth, who has been serving as chief operating officer since Beehler went on medical leave on Sept. 21, is JSU’s chief external affairs officer. The former SGA president earned a BS in geography in 1999 and MS in counseling in 2001 from the university. In 2016, he was awarded a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Alabama. 

“I am humbled by the decision of the board and honored to serve the institution in this role,” Killingsworth said. “We have great people in place, and we are going to carry on with the strategic plan and continue day to day operations.”

The Board of Trustees have not yet announced plans to permanently fill the position or provided a timeline for a presidential search. Next steps will likely be discussed at the board’s January meeting.