Long-time Faculty/Staff Retire

Posted by Paula Paine on September 26, 2014 in

The fall has seen the announcment of a number of retirements from among Ottawa University's long-time and beloved faculty and staff. We collectively thank them for their service and the deep impact they've each made, in their own unique way, on the lives of our students and on the institution as a whole. We wish them all the very best as they enter the next phase of life and service.


September 4, 2014
Dear OU Colleagues:
I have recently been notified that four, much loved faculty colleagues have decided to retire this fall from Ottawa University. This esteemed and honored group includes Corkie Hedlund, Tonia Salvini, Sybil McClary, and Jan Stone. Please join us in celebrating many wonderful memories and the retirement of these four esteemed senior faculty.
While their retirement will be effective September 12th, their extremely positive and treasured contributions will continue to impact our University-wide community well into the future. I am sad to see such dear friends and extraordinary colleagues leave Ottawa University, but I am pleased and excited that these four individuals will now have the opportunity to pursue many personal interests through retirement.

Rosalie (Corkie) Hedlund came to Ottawa University in 1981 and was immediately given an almost full-time teaching load, as well as assigned responsibilities as head volleyball coach, assistant women’s basketball coach, and intramural director (including square dance teacher). Corkie taught volleyball for 7 years as well as first year core, junior year core, and served as the tutor in senior core for many, many years. She assisted with development of the “Writing Across the Curriculum” initiative, developed a nationally recognized “Nontraditional Team Sports” curriculum, served as the Director of the OU Wellness Center, was active with the Kansas State Board of Education, and served on the Kansas State Department of Education Standards committee. She was awarded the Sybil Martin Distinguished Professor award, served as Physical Education department chair, began the Kansas Kids Fitness Day program, served as Natural Sciences Division Chair, elected OU faculty president, and was a member of numerous committees and councils, including the University Academic Council, Dean’s Council, Academic Council, Liberal Arts Studies Committee, Teacher Education Committee, IAP Task Force, Library Committee, and was a Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees. Lastly, but with great leadership, Corkie provided support to the entire athletic program through her service as the Faculty Athletics Representative (a role she will continue this coming year). Corkie is truly an extraordinary colleague and will be missed beyond measure.
Tonia Salvini came to Ottawa University in 1991 and served as the faculty president for 10 non-consecutive years and was recognized and presented the Class of 66 Award for Outstanding Faculty member. Tonia served on numerous committees during her tenure on the Ottawa faculty, including the recent Taskforce for Governance and Faculty Concerns in which she was a leading force in our work to build a true community of learners. Tonia was the department chair for Human Services and Division Chair for Social Sciences. She brought to Ottawa University a deep connection to the community through her extensive volunteer service in community development. Her community endeavors opened countless doors for Ottawa students and her dedication provided opportunities our students would never have achieved otherwise. Tonia was Vice-Chair for the Mid-West Central Organization for Human Services Education, served on the Advisor Board for the 4th Judicial District Community Corrections, and on the Advisory Board for the Franklin County Mental Health organization, COMPEER. She also served, by appointment of the Governor, on the Kansas Commission for Disability Concerns, as well as the boards of numerous other non-profit organizations. Tonia was a vital part of our community of learners and her ability to bring real life into the classroom was unparalleled.
Dr. Kristen Moore described the University’s loss of Sybil McClary in a retirement announcement to the OU-KC community: Sybil McClary is a treasured, respected, and admired faculty member from our OUKC campus. Sybil has shared her insights, wisdom, and care with Ottawa students for more than 26 years. She began her career at Ottawa University in 1987 and was intimately involved in the development of the first OUKC distance learning program (including courses using email, Sprint mail, “web course in a box” and finally Blackboard). She also was involved in teaching health care students, traveling to New Orleans, Jeffersonville, and Milwaukee to meet with students for intensive undergraduate LAS and health care courses to complement OU’s correspondence courses. Sybil also taught in our international program and traveled to Asia four times to teach our expanding international student population, including trips to Singapore, Malaysia, and two trips to Hong Kong. From 1993-1999, Sybil moved to Denver, Colorado and took part-time status as an online instructor for OU. In 1999, she returned to OUKC to teach adult learners in both the face-to-face and online modalities, and taught courses in LAS, psychology, human resources, and organizational behavior. If you have ever had the privilege of taking a course from Dr. Sybil McClary, you will understand what it means when OUKC students say that “teaching well simply means loving your students or merely teaching like Dr. McClary.” Sybil has been an Ottawa University treasure and she will be deeply missed.
Jan Stone has served Ottawa University for 28 years, beginning her time as a faculty member at OU Phoenix in July of 1986. From 1994 to 2004, Jan served as the University’s Director of Academic Affairs, chairing the University Academic Council for its first ten years and then creating the Academic Reference Handbook to document all academic policy. During these critical years, she led the University through a comprehensive reaccreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), resulting in the University’s first ten-year accreditation renewal with no follow-up focused visits. After returning to the Arizona faculty from 2004 to 2009, she reprised her role in directing the self-study process for the 2014 HLC accreditation visit and led us once again to continued ten-year accreditation. Jan also launched the Program for the Assessment of Student Learning, which was selected for presentation at HLC’s 1996 annual meeting. Over the years, Jan has composed and shepherded to success many HLC proposals for institutional change and gained approval for four graduate programs, expanded operations to new locations in five states, and maintained excellent rapport with the Higher Learning Commission. Beyond advancing OU’s academic and regulatory stature, Jan has inspired hundreds of students within OU’s liberal arts core program. She would be the first to say that her teaching and advising role, and the memories and continuing friendships with her many students, were the most rewarding experiences of her 28 years of service, but her leadership at two decades’ worth of HLC reaccreditation processes are extraordinary legacies. Jan, we wish you and Walter all the best and thank you for your great service.
These four faculty have continually served as an example to students, faculty, and staff through their professionalism and academic leadership. Beyond that, each is a vbery special human being and all of us are better for knowing them. I know that I speak for my colleagues and many friends of the University when I say that these colleagues will be missed and they leave a legacy of dedication, accomplishment, and teaching excellence.
Terry W. Haines, D.Ed.
University Provost
Professor of Education


July 24, 2014
Dear Colleagues:
Attached is a copy of a letter from our very good friend and long time colleague, Dr. Jack Maxwell, in which he confirms his intent to retire from OU after 38 years of distinguished and loyal service.  Jack's retirement will be effective September 1 of this year.  The letter is vintage Jack, speaks for itself, and is one I know he would like all of you to read as it expresses his thinking and his heart-felt good wishes for all of you and OU.
It has been my personal pleasure to have known Jack for almost all of those wonderful years of service rendered to OU, but most intimately of course during my tenure here as president.  I have viewed him as a man of great wisdom and sensitivity.  Quiet, but resolute.  Bright and challenging without being overbearing.  Analytical and thoughtful.  Dedicated and loyal almost beyond compare.  Truly competent.  Frugal.  A real gentleman in every respect.  A deeply committed Christian who walks his walk without much talk.  Possessor of a keen sense of humor.  One who displays deep interpersonal sensitivity.  I and his peers have come to rely heavily on his judgment and critical thinking on many topics extending well beyond his daily scope of duty.  It has been an honor to work with him as closely as we have worked over the past six years in particular.
A 38-year tenure deserves more consideration than can be provided in this e-mail announcement, and we will be hosting an appropriate retirement function for Jack and his family and friends in the near future which will provide an opportunity for the OU community to wish him well.  Here are just a few of his accomplishments as the leader of all things IT and IT-related at OU:
  • Implemented the first enterprise class ERP software system at OU.
  • Co-authored a $2.5 million Title III grant that allowed OU to dramatically upgrade our computing capabilities.
  • Installed a fiber optic infrastructure throughout the Ottawa campus.
  • Developed and opened our first student computer labs.
  • Initiated a plan to virtualize the Data Center, radically reducing the amount of equipment and our overall computing costs.
  • Developed and delivered our highly popular Desktop Rotation Plan.
  • Installed a cost-effective and functional IP telephony system across the University.
  • Implemented an enterprise class data back-up and recovery system.
  • Replaced and improved the entire network infrastructure.
  • Moved OU to cloud-based applications and services for appropriate University-wide functions.
  • Created state of the art smart classrooms at all sites.
  • Provided leadership to Project Virtuoso.
This list could (and does) go on and on, but I know that Jack would be the first to say that the above accomplishments and others too numerous to mention came from his most significant achievement:  the formation of a first-class, client focused, and highly effective IT and PI organization.  While focused on all things technical and with a keen eye to the distinction between the strategic and essential vs the tactical and merely interesting, Jack's greatest strength is in recruiting, leading, and developing exceptional people.  There will be many aspects of Jack's legacy to OU, but none more impressive and important than the organization he created and on whose capabilities the rest of us depend daily.
Jack Maxwell always bought into our Mission, and he has always lived it out.. He can retire with a deep sense of satisfaction that what he has helped to build, often on a shoe-string budget, will continue to be one of the best IT and Solutions organizations anywhere in the field of higher education.
For all of this, Jack, and much more, we thank you.  We congratulate you and Elizabeth on opening this new chapter in your personal lives.  What a life of significance you have modeled for us!

Kevin C. Eichner
To: Kevin Eichner
Clark Ribordy
From: Jack Maxwell
Date: July 21, 2014
It is with mixed emotion that I confirm my intent to retire from Ottawa University effective September 1, 2014. The emotional rollercoaster comes from having spent nearly my entire career here at OU and having that era come to an end. In reality though, this is the right decision for me. I have spent more hours, days, even weeks thinking about this than you can imagine. And I needed that time to reach the right decision. Believe it or not, my moment of clarity came as I was driving alone on a very rough and noisy trip across Colorado and Kansas in a moving truck bringing my son’s belongings back home. I knew at that point what needed to happen and I felt peace about it. I still feel that peace. I will be forever grateful for the support you have given me through this decision process.
What would a parting letter (from me) be without a little reminiscing and maybe some philosophizing thrown in for good measure. My thoughts of the past few weeks have stirred many memories from the past 38 years. Do you know that IT started in the bottom floor of the Administration Building in the 70’s with some home-grown code that supported a mere handful of administrative applications? Academic IT was five Apple 2e’s used to teach a couple of programming classes. Our APS sites (which was only KC at that time ) had no connection with IT in Ottawa. Today we use our third generation of integrated ERP software with all of our sites to manage the administrative requirements of a complex, multi-site, and geographically dispersed organization. Over these years we have become telecommunications experts in order to support the sizeable array of applications flowing through our University and to the outside world. Academic technology has gone through a metamorphosis as well. From five Apple 2e’s to fully equipped student labs at every location, not to mention the addition of smart classrooms at all locations. And we can’t forget the availability of wireless at all sites – a technology not even thought of 38 years ago.
To truly catalogue the changes over the course of my career here would take some additional pages and that is really not the intent of my letter. I would just say that I feel very proud of all that has been accomplished here and owe a debt of gratitude to those colleagues both past and present who have shared this journey with me. I have had the opportunity to work with some fantastic teammates. I won’t forget.
I am leaving behind a truly outstanding team in IT/Software Solutions. It is a team with talent, energy, focus, character, and loyalty. The University will continue to be served at the highest level.
In closing, I would like to believe that my life here has been a significant one. While the accomplishments have meaning, I am most hopeful that my character has been defining and of value to those around me.
May the loving touch of God be on you.


Sept. 4, 2014
Dear Colleagues,
I hope you all will take a moment to thank and acknowledge two long-serving Ottawa University staff members, Alvie Tate and Pat Hodges, for their dedicated service as they are soon entering retirement.
Alvie Tate has worked for the University since 1998 and has played an important part of the security team as a Safety and Security Officer. Alvie has worked all shift rotations, many being the night shift, and helped out whenever needed. He could always be counted on to come in at a moment’s notice. Alvie enjoyed meeting incoming students every year and watching them grow through their career at Ottawa University. He looks forward to not reporting to work every day as he has worked 3/4 of his life. Although we will all miss Alvie, he has worked hard all of his career and has earned the opportunity to enjoy more time with his family. We are grateful to Alvie for 15 years of diligent service at Ottawa University. His last day at OU will be September 12, 2014.
Hired in early 1984, Pat Hodges has served our Information Technology department for over 30 years. In her time here, she has witnessed the merging of all the campuses under a unified administrative system, the establishment of the Vera Wise Technology Center in its current building, and the conversion of the older residence halls and the Science Hall into their more modern incarnations. Her fondest memories at Ottawa University, aside from the people she’s worked with, were the Christmas festivals put on by the Music department in Renaissance dress.
We would like to extend the best of wishes to Pat Hodges in her upcoming retirement. While we will sorely miss her institutional memory, friendly demeanor, and contagious laugh, we are sure her time will be quite well spent in her plans to pursue her volunteer work, crafts and genealogy hobbies, and spending more time with her grandkids. Not to mention kicking it all off with a trip to Chicago by train! Pat’s official last day at OU is also September 12, 2014.
We thank these two distinguished staff members for their loyal service to OU and wish them well in this new chapter of their lives!
Clark Ribordy
Executive Vice President and CFO


September 4, 2014
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Our Campus Director in Arizona, Peggie Lanzone, has announced her plans to retire effective October 1. She will be replaced by Fred Romero, who will assume the role of Campus Executive and continue in his current capacity as Dean of Instruction.
Peggie has served us extremely well since joining OU in 2003. She began as a Student Records Representative, then moved through a series of assignments as Academic Operations Planner, Academic Assistant, Director of Administration, and most recently in 2013 as Campus Director. I guess I could add Chief Contractor and Building Planner/Designer/and FixerUpper. Through all of this Peggie has been diligent, wise, thoughtful, firm and fun! She has accomplished a great deal during her tenure with us and has made some enormous contributions, the most recent of which is her leadership in getting us ready and moved to our new building in Phoenix. She is a special person to Ottawa University and to me, personally, and we will miss her greatly.
Peggie and her husband, Joe, have decided that this is a good time to be closer to their family and Joe’s business interests, and they are planning on a move to the Philadelphia area in the near future. Peggie tells me that she enjoyed the OU building project and related move so much that she wants to do one of her own since she is in the mode now (well, maybe I exaggerate).
Peggie will see us through our site visit by Dr. Brougher from HLC to approve our new location, and then will be moving into a new and much anticipated phase of her life of significance. We will have a chance to honor her in a variety of ways before her departure, which will come too soon.
We are much the better as an institution for Peggie’s service, and I am grateful to be her colleague and friend.
Kevin C. Eichner


August 19, 2014
Dear Colleagues,
Our friend and teammate, Peg Gernand, has submitted her letter of intent to retire effective September 5, 2014. Peg joined the Ottawa University team in 2005 as an Enrollment Associate. She was promoted to Senior Enrollment Advisor in 2008 and then charged with leading the enrollment efforts of the Indiana campus within that same year. Peg was officially promoted to Campus Director for our Indiana campus in July 2012, having served as the interim campus leader on two previous occasions.
Peg made significant progress in Indiana with the recruitment of “funeral school” graduates, a unique and underserved market, as well as establishing relationships with various local businesses, community colleges, and technical schools. Peg also has helped Ottawa enter the Kentucky market with the leasing of space in Radcliff, KY – close to Fort Knox, which is home to a thriving military population.  Operating in Kentucky will open the door to several opportunities previously not available to us. 
Peg has also served as an adjunct faculty member for some time, and she has expressed an interest in continuing in that role.  OU will certainly continue to welcome Peg as an adjunct as we move forward.  Peg has served Ottawa University well during her time with us; we are thankful for her leadership, loyalty and dedication.
J. Clark Ribordy
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer


August 15, 2014
Well, the day is fast approaching, in which we must bid farewell to Kathy Greenfield, as she begins a new and exciting chapter in her life, retirement!
Kathy has been a dedicated member of the OU community for almost 16 years, fulfilling the position of Accounting Manager within the Finance Department.  Her attention to detail, commitment to her work and to OU, as well has her quick wit will be truly missed. 
While letting her go is not a welcomed event, we do wish her well as she embarks on this new adventure. 
Thank you Kathy for your exceptional service to OU. The void you leave will not be easily filled. We wish you well and the best of luck as you transition into retirement. 
Noelle Testa
Director of Finance/Controller