Living our Core Values – Accountability

As Park University nears its 140th anniversary, President David Fowler has championed a renewed commitment to our core values, and as part of that continued effort, we have invited Roger Dusing, associate vice president and chief Human Resources officer, to join us as a contributing author to the Pirate Insider. This monthly series will highlight each of the core values, sharing examples of how they are applicable to daily life.

Our first installment is on Accountability — We expect accountability for our actions at all levels, to each other and to Park University.


I believe that the term ACCOUNTABILITY has gotten a bad rap. In the media these days, about the only time you hear “accountability” is when something has gone wrong and there is a call to see who will be held accountable. In other words, who will be punished because they didn’t do their job right? Or, maybe they are the leader of an organization that was not successful and regardless of the circumstances, it was their fault. Accountability is shouted a bit like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland shouting “Off with their heads.” If being accountable means that if you fail you will be punished, why would anyone want to be accountable?

One of Park University’s core values is: We expect ACCOUNTABILITY for our actions at all levels, to each other and to Park University. We need to make sure that what we don’t mean, is that is if you don’t do your job, you’ll get punished. We need a richer definition of accountability.

According to Andy Wood and Bruce Winston, accountability is much more than that. They define Leader Accountability as:

  • the leader’s willing acceptance of the responsibilities inherent in the leadership position to serve the well-being of the organization;
  • the implicit or explicit expectation that he/she will be publicly linked to his/her actions, words, or reactions; and
  • the expectation that the leader may be called on to explain his or her beliefs, decisions, commitments, or actions to constituents.

I like this definition. It has enough context to help us really understand accountability. First, while you can assign a task, you can’t assign accountability – it has to be willingly accepted. However, if you accept a leadership role, you must understand that accepting the role, means accepting the accountability that comes with it. Secondly, you can’t hide from accountability. You must expect that you will be publicly linked to what you do and say. Accountability is visible. Finally, your constituents; which may be your boss, your peers, your subordinates, or your customers; have the right to ask you to explain why you did what you did.

You’ll note that there is no reference in this definition to punishment. What there is, is this: if you don’t do what you committed to do, you should expect that someone will notice, and they have the right (in fact the obligation) to ask you about that, and you have an obligation to explain. For some, that will be uncomfortable enough that it may feel like punishment. In other circumstances, The University might decide that there needs to be disciplinary action as a result of whatever the behavior was, but that action is, in itself, is not all that accountability it about.

At Park, we strive for accountability, not to avoid punishment, but because organizations whose members behave in an accountable fashion work better. Those organizations are open and honest. People are upfront with issues and concerns. They set and achieve realistic goals. They challenge each other do more, and to always, ALWAYS, do what’s best for the University, not for themselves.

Now, the next challenge is the manner in which we hold each other accountable, and that is rooted in our next core value – CIVILITY and RESPECT.

#ProtectTheBreck

The Park University women’s volleyball team is sitting on the cusp of history, and you have a chance to see it in person. Check out the invitation from Steve Wilson below.


On October 24, Missouri Baptist University put 859 fans inside the Carl and Deloris Petty Sports and Recreation Complex, and let me confirm for you that it was loud. Really loud. I couldn’t hear my fingers hitting the keyboard when trying to compose a Tweet from press row. So loud that the seventh-ranked Spartans (now No. 6) nearly upset your second-ranked Pirates. But Park got by that obstacle, forcing the 2014 American Midwest Conference Championship to run through Breckon Sports Center in 2014.

Saturday, at 1 p.m., it’s your turn. It’s your turn to be respectfully rowdy and show MBU who resides in Breckon Sports Center. In short, we need you. Whether you’re student, staff or faculty, we need you to cheer YOUR University to victory in what will undoubtedly be one of the season’s toughest matches. We need you tell your friends, and we need you to bring your friends. Missouri Baptist is 34-2, and other than Park, the Spartans’ only loss is to NCAA Division II Quincy… a match they wish they had back. They get a chance at redemption Saturday against our team, trying to follow in the footsteps of Duke University, which beat previously undefeated Florida State last night, and the Colorado Buffaloes, who last night knocked Washington out of the ranks of the unbeaten. Your University is one of two undefeated teams left in collegiate volleyball (the other is Stanford…) and Park owns the nation’s best active winning streak (at all levels) with 34-consecutive wins with a 99-2 record in 101 sets. Don’t let it end tomorrow. Your Pirates are a good great team, but even great teams need help from friends and family.

Let’s pack Breckon Sports Center with the Park University Family, the loudest, most energetic fans in the American Midwest Conference, when Missouri Baptist visits tomorrow at 1 p.m. Now, more than ever, it’s time to #ProtectTheBreck.

Park University Women's Volleyball Gameday Graphic

We need you, Pirate Nation!

Ticket information
First 100 ALL (!) Park students (with valid ID) free courtesy of the Office of Student Life
General Admission – $5
Students (without Park ID) – $3
Senior Citizens (55 & up) – $3
Active Military – $2
Park Alumni – $2

*If you’re not able to attend tomorrow’s match, we’ll miss you, but you can still be there in spirit. You can watch the game on the Pirate Sports Network, which will also feature live stats. If you’re following on your phone, you can still watch the match (the PSN is fully compatible with both Android and Apple smart phones and tablets). But if you’re just following the score, your best bet is to watch the Breckon Sports Center Stat Monitor for score updates and follow us on Twitter (@ParkPirates) during the match.

GO PIRATES!

A Veterans Day Message of Thanks

At Park University, we have had a long-standing commitment to serve those who serve their community and country. Whether from our earliest days, the World War I-era Student Army Training Corps, our service as a training barracks during World War II, our campus centers on military installations throughout the United States or our Warrior Center and Success for Veterans Program, service to active duty and veteran members of our military has always been part of Park’s unique DNA.

On this Veterans Day, we ask that you join us in extending a message of thanks and gratitude to all who have served in our nation’s armed forces.


Video Credits
Narrator – Rich Linden
Visual Elements (in order of appearance): Cpl. Laura Gauna, 1st Marine Logistics Group; Park University Office of Marketing and Communications; Park University – Tinker AFB Campus; Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy D. Crisp, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne); Park University Fishburn Archives; Park University Office of Marketing and Communications; Michael Peterson, Vandenberg AFB Public Affairs; Mollie Miller, 1st Inf. Div. Public Affairs; Sgt. 1st Class Michel Sauret, 354th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment; Park University Office of Marketing and Communications; Senior Airman Jerilyn Quintanilla, United States Air Force; SSgt Nicholas Salcido, Third Army/ ARCENT Public Affairs; GS-6 Josh Plueger, 55th Wing Public Affairs.

Inside The Awards – Best Value Schools

On most university websites, you will find a section dedicated to the awards and accolades that the school has earned. (If you’re inclined, Park’s list of accolades can be found here.) Some awards assess the overall impression of an institution, some focus on the success of individual departments and programs, while still others evaluate how well the needs of particular student populations are met. No matter the focus, the recognition of the hard work put in by our faculty and staff is always appreciated.

But among the awards that Park has earned, our most recent honor stands apart. Park University was named one of the first-ever recipients of the Best Value School award from University Research & Review. A team of higher education experts evaluated more than 3,000 colleges and universities throughout the nation, looking at factors like net cost, programs offered, and the institution’s reputation among students and alumni.

“Wait,” you’re probably asking. “That sounds like a lot of other awards, doesn’t it?”

What makes this award unique is that the committee’s evaluation goes beyond the numbers to dig into the real life of an institution.

“There has to be something special about a school,” said Joseph Schmoke, founder of University Research & Review. “The students have to love it, and the top administrators must exhibit a passion for their mission.”

In addition to traditional metrics-based evaluation, the selection committee actively seeks input from students in real life. Online comments and reviews – both positive and negative – are compiled and evaluated. From there, committee members reach out to current students and alumni, getting the “real world” view of an institution. Only after this process is complete can a school be named a Best Value School.

So what makes this award unique is that we earned it only as a result of your satisfaction.

And for that, we say thank you.

Trophy Presentation

Joe Schmoke (l), founder of University Research & Review, presents the Best Value School award to Clarinda Creighton, associate vice president for student affairs and Jerry Jorgensen, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president.

Pirate Profile Series – Dr. Patty Ryberg

Over the next few months, we’ll be introducing you to several of the faculty and staff that make Park University a great place to study.

Leading off our Pirate Profile Series is Dr. Patty Ryberg, assistant professor of biology. Dr. Ryberg has been a part of two expeditions to Antarctica, collecting more than six tons of specimens across the two trips. Most recently, she was also awarded a National Science Foundation grant to help fund undergraduate research opportunities for Park University students. Thanks to Dr. Ryberg for sitting down to chat with us.

Pirate Profile Series

Over the next few months, we’d like to introduce you to some of the great people that make Park University a great place to work and learn. But first, we’d like to introduce you to Heather Elwing-Dixon. Heather is a senior at Park, and she has had the opportunity to sit down with several members of our faculty and staff and get to know the side you may not see in the classroom. We’re looking forward to sharing these interviews with you.

This CRAZY Excuse Kept A Student From Going To College

They’re everywhere. You might have heard one or two from friends or co-workers, or perhaps you’ve even used one on yourself. Yep. Excuses to not attend college are everywhere.

At Park University, we want to help you get out of your own way and just GO FOR IT! Here’s just a few of the excuses we’ve heard recently:
“Campus squirrels are too aggressive.”
“I’m going to be famous instead.”
“I can’t find my car.”
“My highlighter dried out.”
“I’m currently preoccupied with hunting Sasquatch.”
“I just keep forgetting.”

Sure, these excuses are a bit over-the-top, but they’re just like every other excuse out there.

An excuse.

Give us a call (888-214-9941) and let one of our Excuse Abatement Specialists help you, or visit park.edu/goforit to get started today.