No matter whether your degree was awarded at one of our extended campus centers or here in the Parkville area, we are proud of ALL of our graduates in the class of 2015. Join us in congratulating those students who have earned degrees at the master’s, bachelor’s or associate level, as well as those students who have completed certificate programs.
The final entry in our series on Living Our Core Values finds us looking at what it means to act with Integrity. Thanks to Roger Dusing for taking the time throughout the year to share these thoughts with us, and we look forward to another 140 years of success.
We act with INTEGRITY through honesty, efficiency, and reliability
I have looked forward to writing this post, not because it is the last one of the series, but because integrity is such an important foundation for all of our other core values.
In one sense, integrity is easy – always do what you say you are going to do – always act consistently with what you say. What could be easier than that? But, if it was really that easy, everyone would do this all of the time and we would not even recognize integrity as a value; it would be as common as the air we breathe. Unfortunately, integrity is not that common, so something must be getting in the way.
As we look back to the core value statement, we exhibit integrity through honesty, efficiency, and reliability. Therefore, those who have integrity work in an efficient manner, produce reliable and consistent results, and are honest about their contributions. They are honest with others – and with themselves. Sometimes this self-honesty can be the hardest of all.
Integrity gets sidetracked by deception. We might be afraid to fail, so we exaggerate our results. We might be insecure, so we adapt a defensive or aggressive posture toward others. We might not have enough work to do, so we stretch what we have so that we’ll look busy to others. We might make a mistake, so we blame it on the technology or a coworker. In all of these situations, we tried to avoid accountability and therefore acted without integrity.
Looking at our other core values, one who exhibits integrity, by definition: is accountable to others; interacts with civility and respect; seeks excellence in everything they do; celebrates global citizenship through service; and embraces inclusivity via teamwork and collaboration. If one does not have integrity, one cannot exhibit any of our other core values.
Integrity, through honesty, efficiency, and reliability is what it’s all about. With integrity, we can accomplish anything we set out to do. Without it, we will accomplish nothing. Please join me in making integrity the gold standard for Park University.
Thank you for the opportunity to share with you my perceptions and interpretations of Park University’s Core Values. It is my hope that these blog posts will encourage thoughtful discussions and help to cement these values as the foundation for our next 140 years.
As we celebrated the opening of Old Kate Court a few weeks ago, we thought it appropriate to share her story. The true embodiment of Park’s motto of Fides et Labor, she was much beloved by the students, and a plaque recognizing her achievements is located at Julian Field.
Before plumbing was installed at Park College, Kate, an independent yet faithful mule, delivered thousands of gallons of water to campus buildings by pulling a wheeled barrel up and down the many hills. The little flop-eared mule was given this job after having been slightly lamed in an accident during the construction of Mackay Hall. She knew her way and refused to be driven by the students assigned the task, a trait which endeared her to them.
Kate made her rounds for 12 years and was known to hundreds of early Parkites. Respected and beloved by the entire college community, she was retired in 1898 and was seldom harnessed thereafter, even though times were hard for the college. Kate’s place in college history was assured when, in 1900, on the very day that water was first pumped to the campus from the new water works, she lay down and quietly died, her labors no longer needed. She was 32 years old. Grieving students buried her and erected a large stone as a memorial, one which generations of alumni have revered as the embodiment of Park College spirit.
Kate’s story and her monument are symbolic of the faith and labor, the strength, the perseverance and the force of will that were required to create Park College and to keep it going. May they also serve as an inspiration for the future.
With filming currently underway in Australia, Walt Disney Pictures announced today the addition of Sir George Park, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley to the cast of the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Bloom and Knightley are set to reprise their roles, joining Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush. Sir George will join the swashbuckling ensemble as Captain Jack Sparrow looks to fend off Captain Salazar and claim the legendary Trident of Poseidon.
“Sir George’s charisma and enthusiasm for this latest storyline was infectious,” said Knightley. “Although there was a certain closure at the conclusion of Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds’ End, I occasionally wondered what the future held for Elizabeth and Will. When we met before the Academy Awards earlier this year, Sir George convinced me that I wasn’t the only one with that curiosity.”
After serving ten years as the captain of the Flying Dutchman, Will Turner returns from the Land of the Dead to be reunited with Elizabeth and their son, William Turner III, in Port Royal. Upon learning of the escape of Captain Salazar from the Devil’s Triangle, Will and Elizabeth join the crew of Sir George on the Arabia in the hunt for the Trident of Poseidon.
The film is slated for a 2017 release.
Roger Dusing continues our series on Living Our Core Values with a look at INCLUSIVITY.
We embrace INCLUSIVITY that fosters diversity, teamwork, and collaboration
In 1995, BJ Gallagher first published A Peacock in the Land of Penguins. This business fable told the story of a peacock who went to work for a company filled with penguins. The penguins felt the peacock was too colorful and did not fit in. They discounted his ideas and suggestions. But, when the polar bears attacked, the peacock’s new perspectives on the problems saved the day. (I hope I didn’t just ruin the book for you.)
The story is simple, yet the message is profound. If we are all alike, then we think alike and solve problems alike, and probably reach similar conclusions. That makes for a very comfortable environment, but not one that prepares us for the challenges that lie ahead. Park University needs creative solutions to complicated problems. We need a variety of perspectives and opinions. To get that, we need an inclusive workforce – one where those who bring new perspectives and ideas are welcomed and allowed to thrive.
Some organizations call this diversity rather than inclusivity. Here is how I see the difference. Diversity is a measurement – an external evaluation. Inclusivity is an action. We can act in an inclusive manner, and if we do, our actions will result in diversity.
When we behave in an inclusive fashion, we also foster teamwork and collaboration. The act of opening ourselves to other views and opinions encourages us work together. When we collaborate, we find synergy. Stephen Covey says that too many groups embrace the principles of compromise. It sounds easy. We each give up something that we want, so we can get agreement on something else. The problem is that if everybody compromises, nobody gets what they wanted, and the solution is dissatisfying to all. Covey instead suggests synergy. Synergy means that we all work together, collaboratively and inclusively, to reach a unique solution that is better than what was being proposed by any one party.
In addition, collaboration and teamwork foster a shared sense of accountability. When we work together with synergy, we become reliant on each other so we naturally come to expect others to perform. That expectation then translates to a sense of accountability to others and ourselves. If we are not successful, then the team fails and in an inclusive environment, we all work to make sure that does not happen.
Park University values inclusivity. We want people to welcome each other with open arms, and open minds. We want a diversity of thoughts, opinions, backgrounds, and perspectives. We want ideas collaboratively shared, nurtured, and developed. Another word for this idea is collegiality, and where better to experience a collegial environment, than a 140-year-old college founded on Fides et Labor?
A note from Park University President David Fowler:
Your immediate help is needed to protect federal student aid for current and future Park University students.
The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are expected to vote this week on 2016 budget resolutions calling for damaging cuts to the Pell Grant and student loan programs totaling $150 billion over 10 years.
Call or e-mail your senators and representative today and urge them to support financially deserving Park University students by rejecting proposed cuts to the Pell Grant and student loan programs contained within the FY 2016 budget resolution.
- Contact Your Senators – Full Roster | Missouri | Kansas
- Contact Your Representative – Full Roster | Missouri | Kansas
What You Can Do
Let your senators and representative know that:
- In a March 2 Wall Street Journal article, Park University was mentioned as being one of the top 10 private colleges in the country for return on investment. Park has also instituted a 2015-16 tuition freeze for returning students. Park is doing its part to make college affordable for deserving students. It’s time for the Senate and the House to do their part!
- This proposal will make damaging changes to the core federal student aid programs that help more than 7,500 students attend Park University each year. Approximately one of every two Park students would be impacted.
- A vote for this budget is a vote to make college more expensive by freezing Pell Grants for the next decade and increasing student loan costs on a program already profitable for the federal government.
- Freezing the Pell Grant at $5,775 for the next 10 years will force low-income students to borrow more, or to forego college because of the gap in their financing.
- The federal government is already making $15 billion annually on student loans, and now wants to make an additional $40 billion by charging low-income students interest while they are in college.
We will keep you informed about this and other related legislation impacting the ability for students to attend the university of their choice. Thank you for your help.
Yes, we know it’s just the first week back from Spring Break, but it’s never too early to start planning for summer. Have a general education class that you want to knock out? Want to explore adding a minor to your degree plan? New student looking to lock in tuition rates through 2015-16? The Buccaneer Summer Sessions are the way to go. Our short-session options help you take care of all of the coursework from a traditional 16-week class in as little as two weeks!
Highlighting the Maymester (May 9-22) lineup is a class on natural disasters, that will take you beyond the traditional examination of life or economic loss and into their broader effect on human culture and population distribution.
During Junemester (June 6-July 1) you can embark on the journey toward a leadership minor. Learn about ethical leadership, group dynamics, servant leadership and leading change in communities, and explore your own potential as a leader.
Wrap it up during Julymester (July 11-August 5) with a look at the social processes and structures of society in Introduction to Sociology.
Of course, these are just a select few of the courses offered over the summer, and there’s also the option of taking a more “relaxed” accelerated approach with our 8-week summer term. Check out your options at park.edu and enroll today!