CSC PRES HOPEFUL A “RURAL PERSON”
Interviews of the two finalists for the presidency of Chadron State College moved from Chadron to Wayne today in conjunction with meetings of the Nebraska State College Board of Trustees.
Dr Randy Rhine and Dr Guy Mills will meet separately with System central office staff this afternoon, then have executive session interviews with the trustees tomorrow morning.
Rhine is something of a known commodity locally after becoming an administrator at Chadron State the past 7 years and the interim president since May, while Mills…president of Northwest Kansas Technical College…is virtually unknown to area residents
Mills…who earned all his college degrees at schools that are part of the University of Missouri system…says he decided to apply for the Chadron State vacancy because of what he knows about the school and the area.
He says Chadron State has a “fabulous reputation” that would “make it a privilege” to work with the school’s faculty and staff, while Chadron is a “great community” that’s in the “right part of the country” for Mills and his wife because they’re both “rural people” who enjoy the High Plains.
Asked what his general vision is for Chadron State College over the next 15 years, Mills says it’s for the school to play a major role in developing a top-level quality of life in the region.
Mills feels there are “a lot of fabulous programs” on the campus, and he would work to sustain the best of those. He would also work to sustain the community and region, with the college serving as a “hub” for maintaining and expanding the kind of quality of life everyone enjoys.
Mills sees Chadron State as a “real wonderful opportunity” to bring in new people to a community and region that are continuing to lose population. He says it would “be a great thing” to bring in the “best and the brightest we can find and figure out ways to connect them” with local jobs and start growing and strengthening the “economic culture here.”
Mills spent 20 years in the public school system as a teacher, principal, and superintendent before moving into college administration…where he’s been at both 2-and-4-year schools, including being president of Northwest Kansas Tech for 3-1/2 years.
It’s a background he feels has given him a number of strengths that he would bring to Chadron State as president, but Mills thinks his #1 strength would be his feelings for the rural lifestyle of the area.
He says he and his wife are “rural people,” and that his personal appreciation of the rural lifestyle and smaller communities could help in finding ways to invigorate the area.
Although Mills and Rhine are being interviewed by the State College Trustees tomorrow, College System General Counsel and Vice Chancellor for Employee Relations Kristin Petersen says the board will not be making a decision in Wayne.
Petersen, who coordinated yesterday’s on-campus meetings and interviews in Chadron, says there’s no set timetable for a decision on the new president, although the trustees do hope to act quickly.