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University Leadership


smeed headshotSHANE B. SMEED

Acting President
(816) 584-6205

Shane B. Smeed was appointed vice president of enrollment and student services at Park University in September 2015. Smeed has over 20 years of experience in higher education, holding a variety of student-centric positions. In his role at Park, Smeed provides strategic and operational leadership to a department that includes the associate vice presidents, deans and directors of marketing, enrollment, student financial services, international student admissions and services, student affairs and services, campus center operations, strategic initiatives and athletics.

Prior to joining Park University, Smeed served as vice president of admissions at Kaplan University, vice president and chief operating officer of Ottawa (Kan.) University, metro president for DeVry University’s Kansas City campuses and inventory planner for the Boeing Co. in its materials management division.

Smeed is pursuing a doctorate degree in higher education administration from St. Louis University. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Keller Graduate School of Management and holds a bachelor’s degree in business operations from DeVry Institute of Technology.

A resident of Parkville, Smeed’s family includes his wife Angela, who owns and operates an interior design business, and their children Samantha, 18, Andrew, 16, and Landon, 12. In addition to Smeed’s board assignments with the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) Foundation, Inc. and Synergy Services, he also serves diligently within his church and community.


christensen headshotLAURE A. CHRISTENSEN

Chief of Staff
(816) 584-6810

Laure Christensen serves Park University as chief of staff. In this capacity, she works closely with the president in a variety of ways, serving as an advisor and manager of administrative, operational and financial affairs. Christensen oversees reporting needs, organizes communications, coordinates special events with other departments and serves as the main administrative liaison between the Office of the President and multiple areas, including Executive Staff and Park’s Board of Trustees. Christensen also guides administrative professionals university-wide through the Park Pirate Professionals.

Christensen began her career with Park in July 2003 and served in a variety of roles in the School for Arts and Humanities, the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of the President. In 2011, she was honored with the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education award.

Prior to coming to Park, she served as office manager and an events specialist at Vic Gutman & Associates, a special events firm which coordinates special events for the city of Omaha and area not-for-profit organizations.

dusing headshotROGER P. DUSING, ph.d.

Chief Human Resources Officer
(816) 584-6386

Roger P. Dusing serves Park University as associate vice president and chief human resource officer, directing the human resources and payroll operations for the University, as well as serving as Park’s Title IX officer. In addition, he represents the University on the board of the Kansas City Professional Development Council, a consortium of area schools providing faculty and staff development programming.

Dusing joined Park in 2011 after 30 years as a human resources executive and consultant for several Kansas City area businesses. He has literally been on the University’s Parkville Campus his entire life as a student, adjunct faculty member and son of two of Park’s longest tenured employees.

Dusing earned a master’s degree in administration from Central Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Bradley University. He earned his doctorate in business with a concentration in human resources from Northcentral University. Dusing is the board chair for Benilde Hall, a program in Kansas City, Mo., providing housing and treatment to homeless men with addiction and mental health issues. He was recognized as Human Resources Executive of the Year by American Business Media in 2008, and he is the author of I’m Fired?!? A Business-Fable About the Challenges of Losing One Job and Finding Another, a book on job search techniques.

Gregg Givens

Chief Financial Officer
(816) 584-6249

Gregg Givens has 36 years of diverse financial and operational experience across domestic and international financial technology and health care processing businesses, manufacturing, asset management and real estate business environments. Prior to joining Park University, Givens had a 22-year career with DST Systems in Kansas City, Mo, serving as its senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer from 2014-18; vice president and chief accounting officer from 1999-2013; and vice president of finance from 1996-99. Givens also spent 14 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Kansas City, Mo., including six years as its senior audit manager.

Givens is active in community and civic organizations. He has served as an executive board member and treasurer for the Boy Scouts of America’s Heart of America Council since 2007, and as a board member and finance committee chair for the Truman Medical Center Charitable Foundation since 2016. In addition, he has been a member of the board of directors for Excel Industries based in Hesston, Kan., since 2018. He is a past board member of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City Area Development Council and Associated Industries of Missouri.

A longtime resident of the Northland area of Kansas City, Mo., Givens earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accountancy from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and he holds a certified public accountant designation.

Myers headshotMichelle Myers, Ed.D.

(816) 584-6445

Michelle (Shellie) Myers, Ed.D., was appointed provost of Park University in October 2018. She had served as dean of the University’s College of Education and Health Professions since joining Park in July 2010.

Prior to joining Park, Myers served administrative stints as associate dean, assistant dean and acting assistant dean in the Division of Education at Queens College, the City University of New York, as well as interim associate dean of the College of Education and Human Services at the University of Central Missouri. In addition, she served as an assistant professor, then associate professor at UCM, and as assistant professor at Southeast Missouri State University. During her time at QC-CUNY, Myers served as coordinator of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. Myers earned her Doctor of Education degree in curriculum and pedagogy, and her Master of Education degree in teaching physical education, from the University of Arkansas. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Western Kentucky University.

Sallee headshotEmily D. Sallee, Ph.D.

Associate Provost and Professor of English
(816) 584-6779

Emily D. Sallee, Ph.D., is associate provost and a professor of English at Park University.  Sallee joined the University as a faculty member in 2005 and was appointed associate provost in 2016.

Sallee has held a variety of leadership positions at the University, including Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages, Program Coordinator for First-Year Writing, and Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

As associate provost, Sallee leads initiatives aimed at supporting and recognizing faculty accomplishments in teaching, scholarship, and service. These initiatives include faculty orientation and mentoring, professional development for full-time and adjunct faculty, and faculty-related policies and procedures. Sallee also serves as the University’s Higher Learning Commission accreditation liaison officer.

Prior to arriving at Park, Sallee worked in the writing across the curriculum program at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Ks., where she also taught courses in first-year writing and technical communication.  She earned a Ph.D. in rhetoric and writing and Master of Arts in language and literature from the University of Kansas.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and secondary education from William Jewell College, Liberty, Mo.

whittaker headshotDAVID WHITTAKER

Chief Information Officer
(816) 584-6710

David Whittaker, a Kansas City Northland native, was appointed to serve Park University as its chief information officer in January 2016. In his position as CIO, Whittaker is charged with ensuring that the University’s technology applications, networks, telecommunications and data security meet the current and future needs of the University.

Whittaker spent the previous 18 years with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, most recently as chief information security officer and director of the Office of the CIO since 2013. Between 2005 and 2013, Whittaker served as a director in a trio of areas within BCBSKC — director of strategic planning, director of application development, integration and database administration and director of data center operations. He also served the organization as an enterprise architect and as senior programmer analyst/web architect. Whittaker began his professional career as a lead software analyst for Black and Veatch at its Kansas City, Mo., office for six years.

Whittaker, who grew up in Gladstone, Mo., earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Baker University, Baldwin City, Kan. He also received a Bachelor of Science degree in systems and data processing from William Jewell College, Liberty, Mo.

Park University’s degree programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Park University is a private, non-profit, institution of higher learning since 1875.