Gladys Styles Johnston
University of Nebraska administrator James Roark has announced plans to return to the classroom, effective August 26, 2002. Chancellor Gladys Styles Johnston stated that Dr. Roark announced he will resign his position as Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs to return to UNK’s chemistry faculty for the upcoming academic year.
“I have accepted Dr. Roark’s resignation with the deepest sense of regret tempered by admiration and gratitude for his extraordinary contributions as our Senior Vice Chancellor for the last five years.”
Roark served as Interim Senior Vice Chancellor from September 1997 until his appointment following a national search in July of 1999 and as chemistry professor at UNK from 1969 through 1997.
Chancellor Johnston summarized Roark’s significant accomplishments including:
- Planning and budgeting: Achieved a remarkable degree of focus and solidarity about UNK’s institutional mission, core values and the programmatic implications of a commitment to academic quality.
- Extended deliberative process: Achieved cohesive consensus about UNK’s academic program priorities, measures that strengthen them and about ways to broaden the pursuit of excellence at UNK.
- In the past year, accomplished several rounds of unexpected and deep budget cuts without fracturing critical organizational cohesion.
- Enhancement of faculty diversity.
- Expansion of undergraduate research activity and experiential learning opportunities such as internships and international exchanges.
“In these ways and many other ways, Jim Roark has left an indelible impression on our university and campus,” said Johnston. “Perhaps most of all, whatever the challenges or frustrations we faced, Dr. Roark always stood for an idea that everyone could enthusiastically support: the premier teaching university.” Chancellor-designate Doug Kristensen also expressed his gratitude to Dr. Roark for his many contributions to UNK. “Jim has pledged his efforts in making a smooth transition to a new Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. I appreciate his support and look forward to working with him as I come on board July 1.”
Roark’s works have been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society and The Journal of Chemical Education. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a doctorate from Texas Christian University.
Chancellor Johnston said, “I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness to Jim Roark for his dedication to the task of making the University of Nebraska at Kearney the very best it can be. My colleagues and I are extraordinarily grateful to him.”