Jenkins, who recently headed up executive development at Home Depot, began his work at Terry on April 7 with an aim of improving and expanding the college’s offerings in executive programs.
“My responsibility is in three areas,” Jenkins says. “The first one is conference and symposiums, which are generally annual events serving a particular group or industry. The second is open-enrollment programs, which involves developing and maintaining a calendar of classes that address the needs of area businesses. The third area is custom programs, which are opportunities that we have to work directly with particular companies or businesses to assist them with the development of their employees. We meet with them, determine their needs and what they’re hoping to accomplish, then build a program that would help them to achieve their objectives.”
A veteran of multiple Fortune 500 companies, Jenkins is no stranger to employee development or academia. He earned a Ph.D. in industrial and organization psychology, and taught as a management professor at Southeastern Louisiana University and later as an adjunct at UAB before beginning his corporate career in HR and Talent Management.
“I came out of graduate school with an interest in leadership and employee development as well as an interest in organizational development and design,” he said. “This role really allows me to combine my academic experience as a professor with my experience in a corporate business environment. It’s a nice way for me to get back into the academic world without following the typical tenure-track faculty route.”
During his time in the corporate world, the possibility of returning to academia always interested him. The timing of this opportunity seemed to fit.
“When I first became aware of UGA’s Executive Programs, I was with Home Depot and met with my predecessor in this role to discuss development programs for our company,” he said. “For a lot of my career in the corporate world, I’ve actually been a consumer of this service, whereas now I’m selling the service that I used to buy.”