Columbia State names duo to fill departing vice president’s roles

Columbia State names duo to fill departing vice president’s roles

PHOTO: From left: Ruth Ann Holt, departing vice president Dr. Shanna Jackson, president Dr. Janet Smith, Dr. Dearl Lampley pose at a press conference to announce Holt and Lampley’s new positions//Brooke Wanser.


During a press conference held at Columbia State Community College’s Williamson campus on Tuesday afternoon, school president Dr. Janet Smith announced the promotion of two current college administrators to vice president.

Ruth Ann “Cissy” Holt was named the vice president for student affairs at all locations, while Dr. Dearl Lampley was chosen as the vice president for the Williamson campus and of external services.

Holt, originally from Lawrenceburg, has worked with the college for 26 years, and is currently the dean of access for southern campuses and regional services. She will take up her position on the Columbia campus.

“She has done a yeoman’s job in continuing to move our college forward,” Smith said.

She has bachelor’s and masters’ degrees in English from the University of North Alabama and an education specialist degree with an emphasis on higher education from Middle Tennessee State University, and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Tennessee State University in educational leadership and administration.

Holt is recognized for her new position by faculty members on Tuesday.//Brooke Wanser

Holt will serve students through developing internship and apprenticeship programs, among other responsibilities.

“Columbia State’s commitment to student success and to improving the quality of life in the community it serves is my commitment as well,” Holt said. “It is an honor to serve the students and staff of Columbia State.”

Lampley, a Fairview native who has worked for Columbia State for 20 years, is currently the dean for the science, technology, and mathematics division at the college.

Lampley earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science and vocational education and master’s degree in animal science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

He continued his education at East Tennessee State University with a doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis.

Smith also said Lampley had aided the school by helping build relationships with community partner companies like Tractor Supply, Jackson National Life and Lee Company.

Lampley gave thanks for the factors that led to his lengthy career with the college.//Brooke Wanser

Lampley counted his blessings in his brief speech, mentioning his gratitude for Dr. Jackson’s leadership, and for the Williamson community.

“It’s a unique community that treasures, not just values, but treasures innovation,” he said. “There’s a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that flows through almost everyone that’s a magnet.”

Smith said searches for positions are typically external, but procedures allow for internal searches where administrators deem necessary; this search was internal for “stability of leadership.”

In March, Dr. Shanna Jackson announced her departure from the role of vice president to become president of Nashville State Community College.

“I thank her for her leadership and I look forward to our continued working relationship,” Smith said Tuesday.

Jackson will end her tenure with Columbia State on May 15, and begin at Nashville State on June 1.

Holt and Lampley will begin duties associated with their new roles immediately.

About The Author

Brooke Wanser is the associate editor for the Franklin Home Page, and can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @BWanser_writes or @FranklinHomepg.

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