Trustees unanimously select longtime community member Simpson to fill open seat

April 19, 2022

At a special board meeting on Monday, April 18, the Jackson College Board of Trustees unanimously selected Christopher Simpson, currently the undersheriff for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, to fill the open seat vacated by long-time board member Dr. Edward Mathein who announced his retirement at the April board meeting, a week ago.

Dr. Mathein has served as a Jackson College Trustee with distinction since 1998 and was Board Chair from 2008-2012. Additionally, he has represented Jackson College on the Michigan Community College Association Board since 2008 and was the MCCA State Treasurer from 2008-2012.  For his notable service contributions, he received the Ethelene Jones Crockett Distinguished Alumni Award from the College in 1996; he was nominated for Jackson Citizen of the Year also in 1996; and received both the Jackson Host Lions Distinguished Service award for 2010-2011, and Lion of the Year award for the Central District in 2017. In addition to his 24 years of exemplary service to the College, he is also a graduate of the College.

The Board of Trustees reviewed and deliberated the impressive backgrounds of the seven individuals who expressed interest in assisting Jackson College in its important mission to this community. Jackson is Chris Simpson’s home, where he has, and continues to raise his family, and he works in the community. He, together with the rest of our board, is an alumnus of Jackson College and will be an important voice in the community as the College continues its strategic agenda work on student success and equity, inclusion and belonging.

Mr. Simpson has extensive experience in law enforcement and education, as well as excellent writing and interpersonal skills, strategic planning and policymaking, financial planning and community engagement and collaboration. Additionally, Mr. Simpson served his country in the U.S. Infantry, National Guard, several years at the Jackson Police Department, and is currently the undersheriff at the Jackson County Office of the Sheriff. He started his education in law enforcement and criminal justice at Jackson College. At the same time, he taught as an adjunct instructor and received several awards and accommodations while paying it forward with a servant leadership style by providing volunteer leadership skills to many community organizations.

With excitement at the appointment of Mr. Simpson, President Daniel J. Phelan stated that “Chris has an amazing knowledge of the community and the College and will play an integral role as we move forward with important community-based and equity initiatives. I am thrilled at the work he has played on the Jackson College Foundation Board and now appreciate him offering his time and talent to help the entire College with an important lens on our diversity initiatives. The fact that he is also a college alum is another point of distinction for our Board.”

Chairman of the Board John Crist noted that he is “very excited with the Board’s unanimous decision regarding Mr. Simpson, and the recognition that the College needed another board member with a strong belief in education. Mr. Simpson brings with him an immense amount of experience and dedication. He is clearly a person who is well-respected in this community and able to assist the College with its desire to make the Board even more representative of the students and community that we serve.”

Christopher Simpson will complete Dr. Mathein’s term which expires at the end of this calendar year. He will be required to run for election for this seat in the November election.