Dr. Edison O. Jackson was born in Heathsville, Virginia. He received the Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology, the Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Howard University, the Master of Divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary, and the Doctorate in Education from Rutgers University with an emphasis on the philosophy, function, role and administration of urban educational institutions.
After serving for one year as a Senior Counselor/Instructor at Federal City College, in 1969 Dr. Jackson assumed the position of Dean of Student Affairs at Essex County College in New Jersey. Promoted to Vice President for Student Affairs, he was soon appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer of Essex County College in September of 1983. During his tenure at Essex, he also served on the adjunct graduate faculty at Upsala College in East Orange, New Jersey. In 1985, Dr. Jackson accepted the challenge to lead Compton Community College in Compton, California, assuming the position of President/Superintendent, remaining there until his assumption of the presidency of Medgar Evers College of The City University of New York in 1989. Dr. Jackson served as president of Medgar Evers College for 20 years and retired in August 2009 as President Emeritus. Since his retirement Dr. Jackson has served as an educational consultant to the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago, Port of Spain, Trinidad, W.I. from December 2009 to May, 2011. The scope of work was two-fold: (1) To review the organizational structure of the college and make recommendations for realignment and strengthen of the administrative structures and its delivery of services; and (2) To work with the president, senior staff and the college community to prepare for a full accreditation visit which resulted in an affirmative recommendation from the accrediting team and approval of the college for full accreditation without conditions by the National Accrediting Board. Dr. Jackson recently accepted the position of Interim President at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida, effective May 14, 2012. As of March 20, 2013, Dr. Jackson has been appointed as Bethune-Cookman University's 6th President after serving as interim for nearly a year.
Dr. Jackson has held membership in a number of civic, educational and community organizations, among them The Crown Heights Coalition; The Catholic Interracial Council of New York, Inc.; the Board of Directors of The Prospect Park Alliance; the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum; the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Academy of Music; the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Museum; the Board of Overseers of the New York University Graduate Program; the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens; Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bridge Street Development Corporation; the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Sports Foundation; the Board of Directors of the Primary Care Development Corporation; the Board of the Brooklyn Prospect Park Coalition; and the New York City Commission on Human Rights, appointed by Mayor Bloomberg and appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to the New York City Board of Education. Among his professional affiliations are the American Association of Higher Education; the American Association of College Deans and Advisors of Students; the National Association of University Personnel; the National Association of Black College Presidents and Chancellors; the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges; the National Alliance of Black School Educators; the American Personnel and Guidance Association; the American College Personnel Association; and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
Dr. Jackson has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO); the President’s Round Table; the National Council on Crime and Delinquency; a Mentor in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Millennium Leadership Institute; and has served two four year appointments to the Commission on Educational Credit and Credentials of the American Council on Education. Dr. Jackson has served as a member of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Personnel Committee and the Urban and Metropolitan Mission Focus Group, a Steering Committee of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
Dr. Jackson was among a select group of presidents and chancellors of higher education institutions invited by Secretary of Education William Riley to participate in a September 1999 summit on raising the quality of teacher preparation and improving the quality of teacher education. Dr. Jackson is a past Vice President of the Association of State Colleges and Universities of the State of New York (ACUSNY) and a former Director of the American Council on Education. He has served as a member of the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges. He has served as chair and/or member of more than thirty (30) accreditation evaluation teams for the Commission on Higher Education Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the Western State Association of Accreditation. Dr. Jackson served on the New York City Central Board of Education as the Brooklyn Representative appointed by Borough President Howard Golden.
Dr. Jackson has written extensively on issues of concern to educators with particular concentration on minority students and the community, academic preparation and student performance. Among the publications in which his work has been featured are: Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Black Issues in Higher Education, July, 1989; Federal Probation, Can College Make Better Correctional Officers?, 1973; ERIC Clearinghouse, Student Characteristics Report. 1975; with Robert L. McMillian, 1975; ERIC Clearinghouse, Study of Attrition: Non-returning Students for 1975-76, with Robert L. McMillian, 1976; ERIC Clearinghouse, Essex County College Academic Preparation: Transfer Student’s Perspective, with J. Scott Drakulich, 1977; ERIC Clearinghouse, Enrollment Profile and Grade Analysis for 1974-75 Freshman Class, with Robert L. McMillian, 1977. Other publications include: Essex County College: Dynamics of Governance – The Decision-Making Process of a Public Education Institution, Dissertation, 1983; In Relentless Pursuit of Excellence, Medgar Evers College Press, 1992; Educating Our Students for A New World Order, Medgar Evers College Press, 1992; A Crucial Agenda: Making Colleges and Universities Work Better for Minority Students; and , Religion, Education, and the American Experience: Reflections on Religion and American Public Life, College President As Spiritual Leader, University of Alabama Press, 2002. Dr. Jackson is currently working on a book that documents the role of spiritual leadership in higher education, and secular institutions. Dr. Jackson has had the privilege to present his work internationally, at the University of Guyana, the University of Sierra Leone, and at the Oxford University Roundtable, Oxford, England.
Dr. Jackson’s work has been featured in the following publications: The Network Journal, Turnaround at Medgar Evers College, February 2005; The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, The Gender Gap in Higher Education: More Striking Among Blacks and Latino, June 2004; The New York Times, Colleges Struggle to Help Black Males Stay Enrolled, December 2003; other publications include: Essex County College: Dynamics of Governance – The Decision Making Process of a Public Education Institution, Dissertation, 1983; In Relentless Pursuit of Excellence, Medgar Evers College Press, 1992; Educating Our Students for A New World Order, Medgar Evers College Press, 1992; A Crucial Agenda: Making Colleges and Universities Work Better for Minority Students; Educating Our Students for a New World Order, Medgar Evers College Press, 1992; and Religion, Education, and the American Experience: Reflections on Religion and American Public Life, College President As Spiritual Leader, University of Alabama Press, 2002.
Dr. Jackson has been the recipient of numerous awards for service. Among them: The New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service Award, 1992; the New York State Governor’s Award for African-Americans of Distinction, 1993; The Pan-Hellenic Council of New York, Inc. Community Service Award, 1993; The Rutgers University Distinguished Service Award, 1993; The New York Chapter American Jewish Committee Community Relations Award, 1993; the New York Association of Black Psychologists Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award, 1993; the Howard University Alumni Club of New York Alumni Recognition Award, 1993; the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Community Service Award 1996; the Shirley Chisholm Cultural Institute for Children, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award, 1995; the New York Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators Education Award, 1995; the Medgar Evers College Community Council Leadership Award, 1995; the Grenadian-American Ex-Student Association Leadership Award, 1995; the National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Faith Educational Leadership Award, 1999; Congressman Ed Towns’ Community Award, 2000; the Prospect Park Alliance Community Service Award,, 2000; and the Church Women United in Brooklyn, Inc. Education Award, 2000, the Greater New York Chapters of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Scholarship Award, 2002; the Strathmore’s Who’s Who Award for Leadership and Achievement, 2002; the New York Governor’s Tribute to African American Leaders of Excellence in State Service Award, 2002; the 107th US Congressional Record for Outstanding Citizenship, 2002; the YMCA Lifetime Community Service Award, 2004; the Grand Marshall for the Caribbean Day Parade, 2004; the NYS Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc. Thomas S. Boyland Award, 2004; and the Caribbean Imaged Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Leadership Award, 2005.
Dr. Jackson is a member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and the Grand Boule, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and serves on the ministerial staff of Macedonia Baptist Church, Heathsville, VA.Dr. & Mrs. Jackson presently reside in Daytona Beach, Florida. They are the proud parents of two children and three grandchildren.