A lawyer on campus | NevadaAppeal.com

A lawyer on campus

Staff report Two people were injured Monday in a lunchtime collision in Washoe Valley. According to Trooper Chuck Allen, a silver 1991 Mitsubishi Montero driven by Robert Jorgenson, 66, of Blanding, Utah, was northbound in front of the Chocolate Nugget on Highway 395 about 12:20 p.m. when the Mitsubishi crossed the center line. The SUV struck a southbound 2006 Chevrolet pickup driven by Robert Sheaffer, of Carson City. "The road turned to the right and Jorgenson didn't turn. There was no braking and no skid marks. It was a pretty direct head-on collision," Allen said. The vehicles came to rest in the southbound lanes of the highway facing each other. Jorgenson had to be extricated from his vehicle and was flown to Renown Medical Center in Reno with life-threatening injuries. Sheaffer was also taken to Renown Medical Center by ground ambulance for head and neck injuries. Both drivers were wearing seat belts and alcohol does not appear to be a factor. Allen said traffic in both directions was routed through the northbound lanes. Anyone who witnessed the accident is asked to call Trooper Kara Kelly at (775) 688-2500.

P. Mark Ghan, 53, was recently appointed as the new Vice President of Human Resources and General Counsel for Western Nevada Community College. During his 21 years as a lawyer Ghan has worked with the Nevada Attorney General’s Office doing civil and employment litigation.

He is married with four kids ranging in age from 11-25.

What are you duties at WNCC?

My responsibilities include overseeing the human resources department, which is responsible for all contracts with faculty and staff at the college.

There are a number of issues with contracts and compliance with federal and state laws and abiding by the applicable rules in hiring, discipline and termination.

My job also includes providing legal advice to the college and representing the college in employment litigation, property transactions and contracts.

Why did you accept this position?

I’ve been a lawyer for a long time but this shifts my focus and gives me an opportunity to bring the legal skills I’ve acquired to one institution and use them in a different way. This is one of those jobs that you are just fortunate to get to have.

What is the biggest challenge in your new position?

Here, like for educational institutions in general, it’s to provide better service to the campus community with the same amount of resources. To increase our customer service, making human resource services more accessible to faculty and staff and to do it creatively with the same resources.

Why did you want to become a lawyer?

The law has provided a lifelong challenge in improving my skills as an advocate and as an advisor. It’s the old saying … ‘Man’s reach should always exceed his grasp.’ Lawyers can constantly try to get better and that’s satisfying to me.

A year from now, how will you judge your success?

I think if we have improved our ability to serve the campus community as a human resources office and if we can keep legal matters to a minimum, we’ll have succeeded. Part of what human resources does, specifically for me as a lawyer, is preventative.

What is the best part of your job?

That we actually can solve problems and we can help employees. We never know what will come up in a day, but we can usually come up with a satisfactory answer.

What don’t a lot of people know about you?

I’m actually an amateur winemaker, that’s a hobby I enjoy.