Stan Carpenter, executive director of the Nebraska State College System, announced the decision Tuesday afternoon at a meeting of Chadron State employees. His recommendation will be presented to the NSCS Board of Trustees for approval at its meeting Thursday, June 9.
Park will succeed Dr. Thomas Krepel, who will leave the position June 30 after seven years. Carpenter will serve as interim president until the new president begins her duties in mid-August, the executive director said.
Park has been provost and academic vice chancellor and professor of biological sciences at Montana State University-Billings since 1996. At Montana State, she managed six colleges, the honors program and academic support services, including the library, graduates studies, distance delivery and telecommunications, continuing education, and several university centers. She was also responsible for a $20 million budget, academic assessment, faculty and staff evaluations and served on the collective bargaining team for the faculty unions.
Previously, she served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Montana State University in Billings for three years. She also was associate dean of the College of Science and Liberal Arts at the Florida Institute of Technology at Melbourne for three years.
“I’m thrilled and honored to be selected as president of Chadron State College. Chadron State is a wonderful college with highly talented faculty and staff and it will be a pleasure to serve as president,” Park said. “My husband and I are looking forward to moving to Chadron and becoming active both on campus and in the community.”
Park was awarded more than 10 grants during her teaching career. She has taught many undergraduate courses from immunology to general biology, as well as graduate courses, such as cell physiology, histological techniques for light microscopy and histology.
Volunteering on many professional and volunteer committees, Park is a member of Billings Rotary International Board of Directors, Building a Healthy Community Task Force, Greater Yellowstone Business and Education Council Steering Committee and Celebrate Billings Leadership Forum.
An author of numerous manuscripts and abstracts, Park received both her master of science and doctorate of philosophy in cell and molecular biology degrees from the Florida Institute of Technology. She also has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Baylor University at Waco, Texas.
Park was one of three finalists who met with the board, faculty, staff, students and community members at Chadron State last week. All who attended the sessions were asked to evaluate each candidate, and Carpenter said the campus evaluations for Park were positive.
Carpenter and Ed Hoffman, Chadron State vice president for administration, visited Montana State-Billings on Monday, June 6, to meet with administration and faculty members.
“The site visit confirmed that Janie Park was indeed the person we wanted at the helm of Chadron State, and we are very pleased that she will be joining the Nebraska State College System,” Carpenter said. “Her experience will be beneficial for not only the college and the system, but also the state of Nebraska.”
Park and her husband, Tom, have two adult children, Chris and Eric. They also have three grandchildren, Melanie, Ryan and Ashten.
Park will be the first woman to serve as a CSC president. Interestingly, she is the second vice president from the Montana institution to be hired for Chadron State’s top position in recent years. Dr. Samuel Rankin was academic vice president at the Billings institution, then known as Eastern Montana College, for three years before beginning a 12-year tenure at Chadron State in 1986.
Chadron State College Presidential History
|Name, years||Length of service|
|Joseph Sparks, 1911-1916||5 years|
|Robert I. Elliott, April 1916-April 1, 1940||24 years|
|E.L. Rouse, acting president, 1939-41||1 year, 2 months|
|Wiley G. Brooks, May 1941-June 1954||13 years|
|Barton L. Kline, July 1954-August 1961||7 years|
|F. Clark Elkins, Sept. 1961-January 1966||5 years, 5 months|
|Edwin C. Nelson, Feb. 1967-Oct. 1973||6 years, 9 months|
|Larry A. Tangeman, Nov. 1973-June 1975||1 year, 8 months|
|Edwin C. Nelson, July 1975-Aug. 1986||11 years, 2 months|
|Samuel H. Rankin, Jr., Sept. 1986-June 1998||11 years, 10 months.|
|Thomas L. Krepel, November 1998-June 2005||*7 years|
|Janie C. Park, August 2005-|
--E.L. Rouse officially served as acting president for 14 months, but also assumed the duties for several months prior to Elliott's resignation while the president was ailing.
--Larry Tangeman served as president while Edwin Nelson was serving as the executive director of the Board of Trustees of the Nebraska State College.
--Thomas Krepel served as interim president for four months before he was appointed to the position permanently in November 1998
*includes four months as interim president.