LIBERAL, Kan. —Seward County Community College President Greg Gunderson has been on the job for less than a week and hit the ground running.
Gunderson started his position on December 1 and has begun the process of acclimating himself not only with the campus, but the community as well.
“I think things are going great. I’ve been to a holiday parade, Rotary and Lions meetings, met with the board and engaged with our students at the Breakfast Moonlight Finals Breakfast,” Gunderson said, who has also attended several men’s and women’s basketball games.
“It’s been a real joy to meet the community of Liberal and Seward County,” he continued. “(The community) wants this institution to be very successful and they couldn’t be more supportive of Seward County Community College or of me.”
One thing that is evident is Gunderson’s engagement with students. He can often be seen talking with students in the hallway, the cafeteria and at meetings.
“Our students are incredibly pragmatic and focused on success,” Gunderson said. “They bring a positive attitude to every conversation I’ve had with them.”
While Gunderson is enjoying the “whirlwind” beginning, he knows that the holiday break is around the corner and needed for everyone to rest and relax.
“Everyone is looking forward (to the holidays) and getting a chance to recharge so they’ll be ready for the new year and give the students the best spring semester they’ve ever had,” he said.
A self-described “child of the Midwest,” Gunderson holds a PhD in Education Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and comes to SCCC from Park University, a private, non-profit, four-year institution in the Kansas City area serving 15,000-plus students in 39 locations.
At Park, Gunderson served as President and CEO for five years, followed by a year as President Emeritus in support of the college’s transition to its next president.
He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Higher Learning Commission accrediting body and is a former board member of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Originally a tax accountant who worked for Arthur Anderson & Co. of St. Paul, Minn., and ConAgra, Gunderson moved to higher education in 2002 with a financial director position at University of Nebraska. After completing a doctoral degree, he served as Vice President and CFO for Webster University in St. Louis. This role at the private, non-profit institution took him around the world, launching a new campus in Ghana and renovating a site in Vienna.