David M. FowlerPresident
David M. Fowler was appointed interim president of Park University in July 2014 by the University’s Board of Trustees. A lifelong Kansas City resident, Fowler is a well-known business leader with local and national prominence. He brings an extensive range of business acumen, including proven leadership experience as a strategic business innovator.
Prior to joining Park University, Fowler served as the managing partner of KPMG LLP in Kansas City, Mo., for the final 13 years of his 36-year career with the firm before retiring in 2013. As the managing partner, he positioned KPMG with strategic commitments and methodologies that led to national recognition and responsibility. Under Fowler’s leadership, the Kansas City office of KPMG was consistently ranked at or near the top of more than 80 offices across 21 major markets nationwide for employee satisfaction, performance, client service and community involvement. Fowler current serves as the national chair on the KPMG Retired Partner Council.
A respected leader in the Kansas City community, Fowler currently serves or has served on multiple civic and charitable boards, including the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, the American Royal, the Boy Scouts of America Heart of America Council and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. In addition, he recently served as co-chair of the Kansas City International Airport Terminal Advisory Group, an appointment by Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James. Fowler is a University of Missouri-Columbia graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.
Clarinda H. CreightonAssociate Vice President for Student Affairs
Clarinda H. Creighton is associate vice president for student affairs at Park University. Creighton has held various roles since coming to Park in 1986, formerly serving as vice president for enrollment management and student services, assistant vice president for academic support services and director of student support services.
Her professional experience began in the social work and mental health field, shifting to the higher education arena upon completion of her master’s degree. She is a skilled workshop facilitator and program presenter, has provided consultative services to higher education institutions, and developed and implemented training programs for staff and nonprofit organizations. Prior to coming to Park, Creighton held positions in the student services area at Saint Mary’s College and Iowa State University. Creighton received her Master of Science degree in counselor education/student personnel and her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Emporia State University. In addition to her professional roles, she has extended her services to community groups and agency boards that provide services to children, youth and adults in transition.
Paul H. GaultSpecial Assistant for Endowment Administration
Paul H. Gault has the record for longevity among Park University’s current administration. With the exception of a two-year stint in the U.S. Army, Gault has worked at Park since earning his undergraduate degree in 1961. He served as vice president for business and finance from 1981 until 2001.
In his current position, Gault serves as an adviser to the senior administrative staff and to members of the University’s Board of Trustees. He is a staff member on all the standing committees of the Board and serves as assistant treasurer and assistant secretary for the Board of Trustees, as well as its two subsidiary corporations, Park McAfee Inc. and Park University Enterprises. Gault is a member of the National Association of College and University Business Officers and the Central Association of that organization. He served as an adviser at the U.S. Department of Education’s “The Endowment Program Mini-Summit” in March 1996.
He received his Master of Public Affairs and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Park University. He also attended the College Business Management Institutes at both the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Kentucky.
In addition to his duties at Park, Gault is president of the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City and is treasurer of the Park Hill School District Education Foundation Council. He also serves as treasurer for the Synod of Mid-America of the Presbyterian Church USA and the Civil War Round Table of Kansas City.
Courtney E. Goddard, J.D.Vice President and General Counsel
Courtney E. Goddard is the newest member of Park University’s Executive Staff, having been appointed to the position of vice president and general counsel in July 2014. Goddard previously served the University as associate vice president and general counsel since 2007. Prior to coming to Park, she represented more than 30 colleges and universities in private law practice.
A noted expert in the field of higher education law, Goddard has been a featured speaker at several national conferences for the National Association of College and University Attorneys. She is also a lauded leader in the Kansas City philanthropic community. She has served on multiple civic and charitable boards, including the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, the Harvest Ball Society and the St. Paul’s Episcopal Day School, and she served as co-chair of the Southwest Boulevard Family Health Care’s “Champagne and Chocolate” event. In 2014, Goddard was named a “Rising Star of Philanthropy” by Nonprofit Connect, and she was named to the 2014 NextGen Leaders class by the Kansas City Business Journal.
Goddard earned her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law and her Bachelor of Science degree in criminology from Florida State University. Goddard has also earned a “BV Distinguished” rating from Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings.
Roger W. Hershey, J.D., L.L.M.Vice President for Entrepreneurial Ventures, and Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees
Roger W. Hershey, J.D., L.L.M., was appointed Vice President for Entrepreneurial Ventures in July, 2014. Hershey has more than 40 years of economic development and legal experience, including ten years as Park’s Vice President & General Counsel. As Vice President for Entrepreneurial Ventures, Hershey investigates, represents the University regarding new and existing University entrepreneurial ventures and makes related recommendations to the Board of Trustees and the President. Current ventures include the University’s Parkville Commercial Underground; mining activities on University property; land use planning and development; and selection and leasing of campus centers outside of Parkville, and the implementation of new programs and enterprises that contribute to the financial sustainability of the University and its affiliate Park University Enterprises, Inc. (d/b/a Fred Pryor Seminars).
Before his Park employment Hershey was President, and a founding shareholder and director of King Hershey, P.C., a Kansas City real estate development law firm established in 1988. Hershey also served as a member of the Park University Board of Trustees from 1995 to 2004, serving as board chair from 2001 to 2003, a member the Executive Committee, and chair of the Business and Endowment Committee, and as a director and president of Park University Enterprises Inc., from 2002 – 2005.
Hershey received a Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Graceland University (1967), a juris doctor “with distinction” (1970) and a Master of Laws with a concentration in corporate and commercial law (1976), both from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He also graduated from the United States Naval Justice School in Newport, R.I., and served on active duty as a Lieutenant, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Naval Reserve, from 1970 to 1974.
An active participant in economic development, civic and nonprofit groups, Hershey serves on the following boards and committees: Parkville, Mo., Economic Development Corporation; Independence Mo. Enhanced Enterprise Zone; Independence, Mo. License Surcharge Annual Review Committee; Indy Energy, a citizens energy advocacy group; Independence, Mo. Park Commission; Great Rivers Environmental Law Center; and The Dominion Home Owners Association, Inc.
Hershey has also served as an officer or member of the following boards: Independence Council on Economic Development; Independence Chamber of Commerce; Independence License Surcharge Campaign Committee; Independence Citizens for Streets and Parks; Kansas City and Independence Rotary clubs; The Jackson County (Mo.) Historical Society; The Sierra Club Foundation; and The Scandinavian Association of Greater Kansas City.
Jerry D. Jorgensen, Ph.D.Provost and Senior Vice President
Jerry D. Jorgensen, Ph.D., was appointed as Park University’s provost and senior vice president in June 2011. He joined Park after 11 years of administrative experience as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at South Dakota State University, where he supervised 150 full-time faculty members and provided oversight for undergraduate and graduate programs, including two doctoral programs.
Jorgensen has considerable strategic planning experience, as well as institutional and program accreditation experience, and has coordinated multiple successful fundraising campaigns. Prior to his years as dean, he served as director of the Instructional Technologies Center in the Office of Academic Affairs and as professor/coordinator in the Department of Communication Studies and Theatre at SDSU.
He earned his doctorate degree in communications studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and he received his master’s degree and bachelor’s degree, both in journalism and mass communications, from South Dakota State University. He is an honors graduate of the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and is a retired colonel with the U.S. Army Reserve. During his time with the military, he was called to active duty as the deputy director of the Army Reserve Communication (Public Affairs) at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Laurie D. McCormackVice President for University Advancement
Laurie D. McCormack began her duties as vice president for university advancement at Park University in January 2008. Prior to arriving at Park, McCormack was the assistant vice chancellor of advancement for development at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where she directed UMKC’s first-ever nine-figure capital campaign, raising $202.6 million. McCormack’s career in fundraising began with the Heart of America United Way as the campaign assistant director, where she raised more than $3.8 million through targeted efforts. McCormack has also served as director of marketing and client services at the law firm of Polsinelli, White, Vardeman and Shalton P.C., in Kansas City, Mo., and as the manager of community and public relations at Gateway 2000 in Kansas City.
McCormack received her bachelor’s degree in communication studies from UMKC. She has been an active volunteer for several organizations and currently serves as president of Nonprofit Connect and on the executive committee and board of the Truman Medical Centers Foundation. She is a former president of the Southtown Council and its foundation, and a former treasurer and board member of Safehome. In addition, she has served on the United Negro College Fund Kansas City Board of Advisors, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education’s conference committee and the Safehome Capital Campaign Steering Committee. McCormack is a member of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Centurion Leadership Program Class of 2001 and the Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge Class of 2010. In 2013, she was named one of KC Business Magazine’s Influential Women.
David F. Monchusie, ’00Chief Information Officer
David F. Monchusie is Park University’s chief information officer, and has served the University in a number of technology and academic related roles since 2000. As CIO, Monchusie provides leadership for the strategic technology priorities contained within Park’s Promise, the University’s strategic plan, as well as the administrative leadership of the Department of Information Technology Services. The ITS department includes the University’s administrative and academic computing services, information systems and associated databases, networking and information security services, audio/visual services and technology procurement for Park’s 40 campuses across the country.
Under Monchusie’s leadership, various enterprise systems have been implemented at Park, including Google Apps for Education, an electronic portfolio system, virtualization and conversion of the student information system and data center consolidation through virtualization, virtual applications for student and faculty use, and virtual desktops for students/faculty to facility access anytime, anywhere.
Outside of the University, Monchusie serves on two technology advisory groups, Jenzabar’s Technology Club for Innovators and Interface Kansas City, and he previously served on the Sprint Higher Education Advisory Board. He also holds university memberships in EDUCAUSE and ACUTA. Monchusie earned a bachelor’s degree in management/computer information systems from Park University and a master’s degree in business administration from Webster University.
Dorla D. Watkins, ’80, MPA, ’00Vice President for Finance and Administration
Dorla D. Watkins, vice president for finance and administration, supervises all Park University financial business actions, making necessary decisions for day-to-day operations and for long-range University economic development. She also serves as treasurer for Park University Enterprises Inc., a subsidiary corporation of the University, and is the administrative liaison for the University’s Board of Trustees finance and audit committees.
She joined Park in 1979 as a staff accountant and previously served as associate vice president for business and finance. She was also a consultant and controller for the University, and has served on the Board of Trustees. Watkins oversaw the University’s partnership with Xerox Global Services and its document management system at Park, as well as served as chair of the 2012 “Explorations and Transformations: Access to Excellence” strategic plan committee.
She has been a keynote speaker at numerous engagements with Xerox, and served as a conference leader at Xerox roundtable discussions, as well as at the CPO7 Summit and Gartner 2004 ITXPO. Watkins has served on the Missouri Governor’s Campus Security Task Force, and was a member of the Marcus Evans CFO Summit Advisory Board and the Enterprise Entrepreneurial Council. In 2012, she was honored by the Kansas City Business Journal during its 2012 CFO of the Year awards luncheon as one of 13 honorees recognized for their contributions to their companies’ growth and financial success, their roles in corporate management and strategic planning and their community involvement.
In her various positions, she has accumulated more than 30 years of supervisory, management, accounting and consulting experience, including six years as director of business affairs for Kromm, Rikimaru and Johansen Inc. She has acted as a liaison to financial, legal and auditing institutions, and negotiated and implemented contractual agreements, developing office accounting and policy procedures, including overseeing fiscal budgets.
Watkins earned both her Master of Public Affairs degree and bachelor’s degree in business administration from Park University. She has also pursued additional professional education at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education’s Institute for Educational Management.
Rita M. Weighill, ’90Vice President for University Marketing and Communication
Rita Weighill, vice president for university marketing and communications, has been on staff at Park University since 1995. She has administrative responsibility for the development of Park University’s marketing and communication strategy. In this role, she develops integrated communication initiatives which directly align and serve as the managing tools to promote, enhance and protect the organization’s brand reputation through strategic direction and positioning of the organization and its leadership.
She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America Greater Kansas City Chapter and also holds a national PRSA membership. She is the immediate-past-president of the Kansas City International Rotary Club and president of the KCI Rotary Foundation. Weighill is in her third year as the communication chair with District 6040 (Mo.) Rotary International. Additionally, she is a member of the Platte County (Mo.) Economic Development Council, the Northland Regional Chamber, the Riverside (Mo.) Chamber of Commerce, the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, Central Exchange and the Parkville (Mo.) Chamber of Commerce. She is also a member of the American Marketing Association.
Weighill was named a 2011 and 2014 Paul Harris Fellow, and she has also received the Certified Fund Raising Executive award, a nationally recognized credential for professional advancement careers.
Before coming to Park, Weighill was employed at Midwestern Baptist Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., where she was the director of seminary relations. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Park University and a Master of Education in higher education administration (leadership policy and organizations) from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. She also has post-graduate studies focusing on integrated marketing communication strategy from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.