Jim Bret Campbell has been part of the ranching industry for most of his life.
A longtime member of the Texas ranching and equine communities will be the new executive director of the National Ranching Heritage Center (NRHC) at Texas Tech University.
Interim Provost Michael Galyean this week announced Jim Bret Campbell, a two-time alumnus from the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources with 19 years as a leader in the industry, would return to Lubbock to head the NRHC. He will begin Jan. 9.
"The National Ranching Heritage Center is truly a gem on our campus," Galyean said. "With his experience in leading various organizations and his roots and extensive connections in the ranching and livestock sectors, Jim Bret is exceptionally qualified to be the executive director of the center. We look forward to seeing the center grow in national prominence and increase its academic presence under his leadership, while continuing to serve our community and the region through high-quality outreach and engagement events."
Campbell has worked for the American Quarter Horse Association, the Texas Cattle Feeders Association and the National Cutting Horse Association in the 19 years since he earned his master's degree. His experience will help him oversee key priorities at the NRHC, including building its endowment, increasing membership, broadening university partnerships, expanding the center's national scope and enhancing engagement between the NRHC and the public.
Campbell said he's looking forward to returning to Texas Tech; the opportunity to partner with the NRHC and the university was one about which he and his family felt strongly. His goals include working with university administration, the Ranching Heritage Association (RHA) and the NRHC staff to increase national exposure by engaging ranchers from throughout the country and increasing membership in the RHA. He also will focus on increased attendance and effective programming and branding.
"The National Ranching Heritage Center is truly a special place," Campbell said. "The collection that has been assembled there is one-of-a-kind, and I think it says even more with the way it was established: a group of committed ranching families and community leaders came together to ensure these important structures, and the stories behind them, are preserved. People all over the world love the ranching heritage that exists at the NRHC. Our jobs will be to ensure even more people know about the center, its purpose and our commitment to ranching heritage."
Campbell replaces Carl Andersen, who came out of retirement to be interim executive director 16 months ago. Rob Stewart, senior vice provost for the university, said the administration appreciated Andersen's willingness to serve while the hiring committee looked for a permanent director. He is excited with what Campbell will bring to the university, he said.
"Jim Bret brings a wealth of experience and a tremendous skill set to the executive director position," Stewart said. "We anticipate a dynamic and progressive vision for the center under his leadership."