Jim Campbell, who led the Utah Education Association through some stormy years, resigned Tuesday as leader of the 16,000-member teacher union.
An announcement from UEA Executive Director Lowell Baum said Campbell is resigning because of health and family considerations.Beth Beck named president
Campbell will be succeeded by Beth Beck, UEA vice president and former president of the Davis Education Association. She is a guidance counselor at Millcreek Junior High School in the Davis District.
The UEA also announced the appointment of KayLee Schatten, a sixth-grade teacher in Longview School, Murray District, to succeed Beck as vice president.
UEA elections next month
Campbell's term ends July 14, 1990. Baum said a panel appointed by the board of directors will announce details for electing a new president. UEA elections are scheduled next month.
Campbell had been expected to run unopposed, but rumors suggested there would be a write-in challenge against Campbell following a difficult, sometimes bitter, legislative session.
State officials praise Campbell
Gov. Norm Bangerter and education leaders were surprised by the resignation but complimentary of Campbell's service to the state's teachers.
"I have known Jim personally for a number of years," Bangerter said. "He is an outstanding educator who occupied a position of extreme stress and difficulty and handled it well. While we did not agree on all issues, he was always open, above-board and honest. I wish him well."
State school Superintendent James R. Moss also commended Campbell for "excellent leadership for the UEA during very difficult times." The UEA leader was an "idealist without illusion, in the style of John F. Kennedy," Moss said. He worked cooperatively with other education groups while being a tough bargainer for his own.
State school board Chairman V. Jay Liechty said: "I feel that Jim Campbell has been a positive force for good in education and has represented the teachers and otherrograms of the UEA very well. He has a good relationship with the state board. We will miss him."
Stormy legislative session
Campbell led the UEA through tense, sometimes bitter, negotiations with the Legislature this winter. The prospects of a teacher strike pervaded the session up to the last moment.
The UEA president ran into conflict with his own board when he announced in a widely publicized news conference with the governor and legislative leaders that he felt a proposed education financing package was satisfactory. The board reversed his position and announced a determination to continue negotiations with the Legislature. It was the first time the UEA had negotiated directly with the governor and the Legislature. The legislative session followed several months of teacher agitation, including a statewide walkout last September.
Dissatisfaction with Campbell
After the session ended in February, there was a backlash against Campbell from teachers who were dissatisfied with the outcome of negotiations and the way they were conducted.
Petitions were circulated in some districts requesting his resignation. The drive apparently never reached the threshold for triggering a recall.
Campbell taught art in Provo School District before taking a leave to head the teacher union. He assumed leadership in June 1987, after serving for three years as vice president.