Special recognition for service to veterans and military, success in fundraising, and the beginning of a 14-month long centennial celebration were among Chadron State College’s list of highlights for 2010.
During the fall, Chadron State tied for No. 13 on the “Best for Vets” list, which consists of 101 colleges and universities compiled by Military Times Edge magazine. During the summer, it earned the “Military Friendly” designation from G.I. Jobs Magazine, placing the institution among the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide serving U.S. military and veterans.
The Chadron State Foundation also reported significant progress toward its Vision 2011 fundraising campaign which is scheduled to wrap up at homecoming of the fall semester in the New Year. The foundation announced in October that more than $10 million had been raised toward the campaign’s $11 million goal to provide funds for two capital projects, endowments and the annual fund.
During homecoming in October, CSC officially kicked off 14 months of activity to commemorate its first 100 years.
“We plan to use the next 14 months to showcase the Chadron State’s rich history and further position ourselves for a bright future,” said Chadron State President Janie Park during homecoming weekend. “The people of northwest Nebraska and beyond are fortunate that Chadron residents and others in the state had the foresight and vision necessary to establish an institution of higher learning in the region.”
Also among the many accolades received by students and faculty was special recognition for the institution’s efforts in horticulture. The Nebraska Statewide Arboretum awarded CSC its 2010 Affiliate Site Award. The award is presented to recognize public gardens that “demonstrate excellence in collection development, maintenance practice and community engagement.”
In November, a team of CSC faculty and administration earned high marks while completing a self-assessment of its general studies program through the Higher Learning Commission’s Academy for the Assessment of Student Learning. CSC received praise from peers for its high level of faculty involvement in the assessment process.
Outside of landscaping and horticulture projects, CSC’s facility projects primarily involved maintenance and efficiency upgrades. However, to mark the centennial year, CSC used interest earnings from its cash fund to begin construction of a new flag plaza and entrance portal on the Dean’s Green. The project began in November and is expected to be complete early in spring of 2011.
Of course, among the highlights were challenges and sorrow.
The college was confronted with the implementation of NeSIS, a new student information system for institutions of the Nebraska State College System and the University of Nebraska. The implementation marked the culmination of a labor-intensive process that began in 2007 after it became apparent the institutions would need to replace their existing software, which was scheduled to become obsolete after 2011.
CSC and other educational institutions continue to face budgetary challenges brought about by the state’s fiscal predicament. During a speech to the college this fall, Nebraska State College System Chancellor Dr. Stan Carpenter noted that nearly 10 percent of the three college’s state-supported positions have been lost because of the crisis.
Also, CSC officials took action during the spring to demolish the Kline Campus Center, a move that is expected to save the institution about $80,000 per year in utilities and maintenance. The building became vacant in early summer as its offices and services moved to other locations on campus. Demoliton is expected to begin after asbestos removal is complete in early 2011.
The CSC community also mourned the death of two faculty members and one professional staff employee in 2010. Dr. George Watson, professor of justice studies, Dr. Ronald Weedon, professor of physical and life sciences, and John Shafer, telecommunications technician, each died within a 1½-month period in early summer.
—Justin Haag, CSC Information Services