Oelsligle To Step Down From Northeast Community College Board

Dr. Don Oelsligle, Tilden, shares a laugh along with fellow Northeast Community College Board Member Julie Robinson, Norfolk, at a meeting of the board on Tuesday in Norfolk. Oelsligle announced he is stepping down from the board after 17-years of service to the College. (Courtesy Northeast Community College)

NORFOLK, NE –  A longtime member of the Northeast Community College Board of Governors has announced he is stepping down after 17-years. Dr. Don Oelsligle, Tilden, submitted his letter of resignation during the board’s monthly meeting Tuesday in Norfolk.

Oelsligle said he is proud of his time with the College.

“Looking back over the years, the most important task I was a part of was the selection of the college president. I was directly involved in the selection of Dr. (Bill) Path and Dr. (Michael) Chipps. These turned out to be excellent choices for the College with both men being outstanding leaders with visions for Northeast.”

Oelsligle has served on the Northeast Board of Governors, representing District I of Antelope, Garfield, Pierce and Wheeler counties in their entirety and portions of Boone, Cedar and Madison counties, since 2000. He has chaired a number of board committees and served as board chairperson in 2007. He was board vice-chairperson in 2006 and 2012. Oelsligle has also participated in the American Association of Community College Trustees and American Association of Community Colleges meetings in Washington, D.C., on behalf of Northeast.

Oelsligle was active in helping Northeast grow its three campuses and regional offices across northeast Nebraska during his time on the board, including work on a successful $3 million extended campus project in the city of O’Neill.

“It has been very satisfying to see the expansion of the regional facilities available through extended campuses in O’Neill, West Point and South Sioux City and new regional offices in Ainsworth and Hartington, as well as the development of partnerships with other educational institutions. This has allowed for additional access to higher education for those students who need to work while they continue their education.”

Dr. Michael Chipps, Northeast president, said he has valued Oelsligle’s contributions to the board for the past 17-years.

“With his broad range of experiences, Dr. Oelsligle has brought his knowledge of education and the educational process to every board meeting. His vast experience as a researcher, educator, Peace Corps volunteer, manager, agri-businessman, and farmer has prepared him to function as an outstanding contributor to the board. Don’s ongoing dedication and passion for students is commendable and deeply valued.”

Oelsligle graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy/Business and a Master of Science degree in Soil Science. He earned a Ph.D. in Soil Fertility from Michigan State University.

Oelsligle has an extensive background in higher education where he served on the Crop and Soil Science Department Advisory Committee at UNL; coordinated the tropical soils regulation program at North Carolina State University; managed an ag marketing and development program in central and eastern Europe, was a
co-instructor of an irrigation course in Panama, and served as an advisor for an agriculture development and training program in Afghanistan.

Oelsligle has served as one of two representatives from Northeast on the Nebraska Community College Association (NCCA) Board of Directors, including a one-year term as board president in 2011. A successful
agri-businessman and producer, he was honored in 2012 with the NCCA’s Governor’s Award, which recognizes one community college board member annually.

An area of importance to Oelsligle and his wife has been Northeast’s continued expansion in global educational opportunities, which include the development of student exchange programs, an increase in the College’s international student population, articulation agreements with institutions in other countries and a new Center for Global Engagement.

“Jean and I have enjoyed seeing new opportunities develop for our students to take part in foreign educational experiences. It gives students a global perspective and a better sense of the importance of diplomacy and international relations. These are truly life changing experiences, not only for Northeast students, but for those they encounter.”

Oelsligle said it is gratifying to see a continued emphasis on student success at Northeast.

“Northeast has changed dramatically since I first attended college. The struggles that I went through as a college freshman probably would be fewer if what is currently offered at Northeast Community College would have been available to me. The personal attention to our students by faculty and staff truly make it a successful college experience for everyone.”

Oelsligle’s resignation is effective upon the appointment of his successor.