Chadron State College
Chadron State College

About Janie Park

May 14, 2012

Janie Park, at right, and Lois Veath, retiring vice president for academic affairs, receive applause during a surprise going away party thrown in their honor May 4. (Photo by Justin Haag)
Janie Park, at right, and Lois Veath, retiring vice president for academic affairs, receive applause during a surprise going away party thrown in their honor May 4. (Photo by Justin Haag)

Members of Janie Park's cabinet and other members of the Chadron State College community comment about the presidency of Janie Park:

Randy Bauer
Chadron State Foundation Board of Directors; Co-chairman, Vision 2011 Fundraising Campaign

Dr. Park leaves a rich legacy from her tenure as president of Chadron State College. Foremost in my mind is the success of the Vision 2011 national comprehensive campaign. It was a privilege to work with her on this campaign. As one of the co-chairs, I can state with certainty that this campaign would not have been a success without her leadership, vision, and enthusiasm. The scholarships and two capital projects, the Rangeland Complex and Armstrong renovation, that will become a reality as a result of Vision 2011, will serve as a testimony to her presidency for the next 100 years of CSC.

Ann Burk
Chief Information Officer, CSC Information Technology

It has been a great pleasure to work with Dr. Park. She understands the importance that information technology plays in the support of nearly every aspect of the campus and through her leadership has encouraged communication with and involvement of the IT department in decision making and projects. I will miss her and I wish her a very happy retirement.

Stan Carpenter
Chancellor, Nebraska State College System

I want folks to remember the circumstances of Janie's arrival on campus seven years ago. The college community was dispirited and demoralized. Chadron State was an island unto itself with little or no connection to the greater community and region. Relations between the college and the Chadron State Foundation were at a low ebb. Enrollments were down. So, the expectations of the board and chancellor were that Janie would fix these problems while making sure the college maintained its high quality academic offerings, provided student services to assure that students had every chance to succeed, increased student retention rates, and balanced its budget. No small task for a new president, or even a veteran president. Janie succeeded and went beyond in meeting the expectations.

Janie rebuilt bridges to the internal community and the external community. She did so with grace, humor and a dedication to Chadron State and its mission. Her work with the foundation can be seen in the "Vision 2011 Capital Campaign" which succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams. Enrollments are up, retention rates have increased, academic programming remains strong, the budget is balanced and construction on Armstrong Gymnasium and the new Rangeland Center are about to begin.

Janie leaves Chadron State in a much better and stronger position than it was when she arrived. She was the right person at the right time for CSC's renaissance. The board and I thank her for her stellar leadership and work.

Terie Dawson
CSC Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Services

I have thought for a long time that President Park is an intelligent and courageous leader who sets the atmosphere for people to step up to do their best work.

Chad Emanuel
Chadron State Foundation Board of Directors; Co-chairman, Vision 2011 Fundraising Campaign

At her inauguration, most people passing through the greeting line were doing the proper political hand shake and pleasantries, but not me. It was a big hug and the look on Dr. Park’s face was priceless, according to my wife, Cheryl. Her personality and the willingness to step into the CSC family exceeded my expectations; Dr. Park united the college campus, the community, as well as the region. Cheryl and I appreciate all that she has done while living in Chadron and find it very difficult to say goodbye to a wonderful family member.

Dale Grant
CSC Vice President for Administration and Finance

I have enjoyed working with Dr. Park, first as comptroller and since June of 2006 as vice president for administration and finance. Dr. Park’s administrative style allowed me to grow as an administrator and also allowed me to take ownership of the administration and finance unit. When tough decisions were required during several budget shortfalls, Janie led CSC through the process and CSC is stronger today because of her leadership. Janie’s leadership also guided the college through a successful capital campaign, the strengthening of community relationships, the enrollment growth experienced since she arrived and also through the creation and implementation of an innovative campus strategic plan. I will miss Janie after she leaves and I hope that she comes back often to visit. 

Fran Grimes
Chadron State Foundation Board of Directors

It has been a privilege to get to know Janie through my association with the Chadron State Foundation board of directors. She has impressed me with her calm and professional management style. I have observed her as she has led the college through many times of adversity including the Spotted Tail fire of 2006, several tragic deaths of people associated with the college, difficult budget decisions, and most recently, the football controversy. She has always acted with dignity and grace. Unfortunately, some of these events have overshadowed the positive aspects of her presidency. The college's enrollment has increased under her leadership, the 100th anniversary celebration was a huge success, and the Vision 2011 campaign brought in significantly more dollars than anticipated. Thanks in large part to her leadership, two major projects, the Rangeland Complex and the Events Center, are in process and I believe we will see the completion of these within the next few years. She is leaving the college in a much stronger and better position than it was before she came. She will be missed.

Joel Hyer
CSC Dean of Curriculum and Academic Advancement

There were many things that impressed me about President Park from the very beginning. One thing in particular was her ability to learn names. I remember that she knew my name when I first met her, during the first few weeks of her presidency. Recognizing that she was in the process of learning dozens of new names and faces, I was very impressed with her ability to know who I was as a history faculty member. I think that one incident speaks volumes about her presidency.

Connie Rasmussen
Executive Director, Chadron State Foundation

As soon as Janie took the position as president, she raised the bar for the Chadron State Foundation. She brought forth the idea of launching a capital campaign, and then spent countless hours working to assure its success. Our alums recognized her genuine concern for the college, and responded to her vision, leadership, integrity and intelligence. I will be forever grateful for her willingness to reach out to alums across the nation, listen to their stories and their concerns, and give them the opportunity to express their pride in CSC. The Foundation is in a much better place because of Janie.

Randy Rhine
CSC Interim President

It has been an honor and privilege to have known and worked with Janie Park for the last 16 years. I am delighted that she is leaving to enjoy her Montana home and her family. Honestly, I owe Janie a debt that I will never be able to repay for the opportunities and the support she provided over the years. To say that she was a great boss is a huge understatement. Grace under pressure, calm in the storm, jubilant in success, always supportive of those on the frontline doing the work, and there if you needed to talk. My friend, I will miss working with you!

Brad Smith
CSC Director of Athletics

Dr. Janie Park has been a breath of fresh air since her arrival on campus in 2005. Her leadership abilities and compassion for CSC are traits that I will always remember. At the beginning of every sports season Janie would always be there to meet and greet the team and coaches. She would deliver a message of support for the programs and always follow through with that support. She was one of the most respected presidents in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference as she led the President’s Council for two years. Athletic directors from RMAC schools had nothing but the highest respect for Janie and often times mentioned how fortunate CSC was to have a leader of her capabilities. Janie Park is a courageous woman who had a strong passion for her job. Her integrity and honesty were beyond reproach. Chadron State College was fortunate to have this lady share her life with all of us for the past seven years.

Dr. Charles Snare
CSC Dean of Teaching and Learning; Vice President for Academic Affairs-elect

Dr. Park's influence on CSC has been pivotal in the turnaround of the student enrollment decline. Without halting the more than a decade long student enrollment shrinkage, CSC would be in a dire condition. A second aspect has been envisioning, planning, and exceeding a fund-raising goal. Both of these will have long-lasting positive impacts on CSC.

Dr. Lois Veath
CSC Vice President for Academic Affairs

Because Janie came up through the faculty ranks and served as a dean and academic VP for many years at several institutions, she brought tremendous experience in administration and grace under fire. This made her a superb mentor and coach. As a mentor she was always open to my ideas and asked perceptive questions that allowed me to analyze thoroughly plans of actions. In many cases without saying "no" she simply asked the right questions that led me to make the correct decision. She is a classy lady who was always willing to "take one" for the team, and has always made her team feel comfortable and family-like. Consequently she created a safe environment for people to take risks and try new things which has led the college to be "one step ahead," with its innovative programs and practices.

—CSC Information Services