Losing someone with the guidance, wisdom and grace under fire consistently exhibited by Mark Ghan just isn’t replaceable at any college.
Fortunately for Western Nevada College, the former acting president and longtime vice president has decided to serve as a consultant to the college as he ventures into retirement this year.
Ghan has specialized in serving WNC’s legal counsel needs and overseeing special projects during his time at WNC. But he has been so much more to the college community than a crisis manager.
“I know this is a big step for you. I wanted to thank you for your many years of service to Western, to our students, our faculty, all of our team members; you have put in lots of years and you have had an amazing run in the system, at Western,” said WNC President Dr. Vincent Solis. “Thank you for your guidance, mentorship over the last couple of years, I really appreciate everything. I wish you nothing but the best in your retirement. This will always be your home.”
During his 15 years at WNC, Ghan served as acting president of the college in 2017-18 after being appointed by the NSHE Board of Regents following then-President Chester Burton’s resignation.
At the time, Mark said, “It is my privilege to serve as acting president while Western Nevada College conducts a national search for a new president to lead the college. This is an exciting time for the college as it contributes to meeting the growing workforce demands of companies like Tesla, Panasonic, Switch, Click Bond, GE and others, as well as providing pathways to careers in business, government and education. It is my goal to ensure the college does not lose momentum in advancing the programs and projects that make WNC a special place.”
Ghan served as the college’s vice president for administrative services and general counsel from 2013-17. Prior to that, he was the college’s vice president for human resources and general counsel from 2006 to 2013 and general counsel for WNC, Great Basin College, Truckee Meadows Community College and the Desert Research Institute from 2005-06.
Ghan received a B.A. in English from Western New Mexico University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Santa Clara School of Law. He recently earned a master’s degree in Urban Leadership from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
“I am grateful to former President Carol Lucey for giving me the opportunity to come to work full time at WNC in 2006,” Ghan said. “I feel fortunate to have worked for her, for former President Chet Burton and for current President Vince Solis. I have been blessed to have worked with so many smart and capable faculty and staff, people dedicated to serving students and changing lives, and for whom work at WNC is more of a calling than a job. Although I have been involved in many different issues over the years, the highlight of my time at WNC was my year as acting president and the privilege that afforded me to preside over the commencement ceremony in 2018.
“I am looking forward to having more time to read and think, to take longer hikes, and to spend more time with my family, especially my granddaughter.”
Here are some more well-wishes for Mark from current and former employees of WNC:
• Dr. J. Kyle Dalpe: “Happy retirement! I hope you can go into retirement and into 2021 and grab some rest and relaxation. Thank you for the work you’ve done for Western Nevada, the students, faculty and staff and for higher education in the state overall. Thank you for helping me when I started a year and a half ago and all of those times we talked when we were both acting presidents, bouncing around ideas and a few horror stories here and there. And thank you in advance for answering my call after Jan. 1 when there is some pending crisis that we need help your with. I appreciate working with you, I hope you have some fun, rest and relaxation as you move forward. Have a great retirement!”
• Foundation Executive Director Niki Gladys: “Even though I want you to have a fantastic retirement and enjoy your newly found freedom, I’m also really sad to see you go. You have been a consistent and steady presence in the office, and I can always count on you to give me a new perspective or a voice of reason when things get a little crazy, and that’s been more often than not this year. I’m glad you’re not entirely retiring … why go to extremes, right? My hope for you is that you spend a little more time with your family, take longer walks, stay warm and don’t forget to wear your Foundation gear all the time.”
• Irene Tucker, a former WNC Human Resources director and WNC employee for 28 years: “I know you will miss everybody and I know you will be truly missed. It was my good fortune to work with you for so many years. Thank you for your kindness, wise guidance and your patience. I wish you the very best in your new beginnings. Enjoy your retirement.”
• Vice President of Student Success and Support Services Jeff Downs: “Congratulations on your retirement! It’s been great working with you the last 16 years in various capacities — VP and acting president — and I appreciate all of the guidance you have given me in the role I have been doing in the past year and a half. I know I’ll still see you around since this really isn’t goodbye.”
• Budget Director Darla Dodge: “You are actually retiring. I’m so excited for you. All the things you are going to be doing, you are going to be so busy, you are not going to know what to do. We’ve talked over it these last few months, that I’m jealous that you’re actually doing it, good for you. I just want to say that I appreciate everything you’ve done for this institution and for me, the friendship you have provided, the guidance and wisdom and the laughs over the years. If people only knew your wicked sense of humor, including Shazam!, that still makes me laugh. I wish you all the best!”
• Admissions and Records Director Dianne Hilliard: “Mark, it has been really great working with you for so many years. You have done so much for Western Nevada College. You should be very proud of all your accomplishments. I really appreciate all of the help you have given me, always in a timely manner, whether it be with a subpoena or with a student issue. I wish you the best and I hope you have a wonderful, happy and relaxing retirement.”
• Learning & Innovation Academic Division Director Denise Frohlich: “Mark is one of the first people I met with at WNC and he made me feel so welcome. He has always been a kind and considerate beacon of steady support. I don’t know if he realizes how much his support and calm presence has mattered to me, but it made a huge impact on me. I will miss him and wish him all the best in his retirement.”
• Director of Counseling Piper McCarthy: “You are one of the kindest souls I’ve ever met and I just wish you the best. Happy retirement and congratulations!”
• Rural Development Coordinator Angela Viera: “I just want to thank you for all that you’ve done to help after you were appointed acting president. You were a huge help to me personally and the Fallon campus. I appreciate all your support and hard work, and I’m glad you are still going to be around once in a while helping us out.”
• Psychology Professor Rebecca Bevans: “Congratulation on your retirement. You deserve it. The campus is going to be kind of weird without having you around all of the time. You have definitely been a part of WNC and I appreciate all that you’ve ever done. I really appreciate your trust in me and your continued support, and it’s really helped out in the last several years.”
• Higher Education in Prison Program Director and Assistant to the President Deb Conrad: “I’m not sure what I can say that the others haven’t already said. You deserve your retirement, you’ve worked hard for WNC and the community and you’ve been a good colleague, leader and supporter for employees at WNC. We are really going to miss you. I do want to congratulate you in earning your master’s degree in Urban Leadership. If I recall correctly, when you told me about why you wanted to get another master’s degree is that you wanted to think about problem solving differently and how you could help the community in different ways, so I expect to see you out in the community doing something after you’ve had a little time to relax and rejuvenate. Take care of yourself, spend more time with your family and grandbaby and we will see you around.”