With the retirement of Pat Bosco, vice president of student life, Kansas State will see some changes in the Office of Student Life, including the movement of two departments to the Office of the Provost.
Bosco said universities change over time, but it doesn’t happen frequently.
“This department has expanded over the last 40 years,” Bosco said. “I’ve worked for five presidents during that time, and each had an expanded version of what we should be impacting in student life. It has evolved and expanded over the years. With my announced retirement, it is natural for the university to look for new ways to serve its students.”
Currently, the Office of Student Life includes 34 internal departments that provide students with a variety of services to help them be successful during their time at K-State.
“In general, VPs for student life … handle a wide range of issues relating to the student experience on campus, including housing and dining, health services, campus climate, co-curricular activities and clubs, student government, safety and conduct,” Provost Charles Taber said via email.
In addition to overseeing these departments, Bosco is also responsible for how students and their families view K-State during orientation and enrollment.
“All of these are critically important for students to succeed, and we all are committed to a deep focus on giving students every opportunity to be successful,” Taber said. “Student Life and Academic Affairs are great partners in promoting student success in and out of the classroom. Bosco also directs enrollment management, such as recruiting, admissions, financial aid, the registrar and student success.”
The main difference in the future of the position currently held by Bosco will be the movement of enrollment management and academic student success to the Office of the Provost.
“These will no longer be in Student Life, though the strong partnership between Academic Affairs and Student Life will continue,” Taber said.
For his position, Bosco is on the road three days a week to work with high school students, community colleges and fundraising efforts across the state. For on- and off-campus events, he is often considered the face of the university.
The culture of K-State, Bosco said, has always been a commitment to students to provide opportunities and a welcoming atmosphere, and he continues to emphasize the student as the most important “ingredient” for why people come here.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have an intentionality in what we do that attracts students to K-State and makes them successful afterward,” Bosco said.
To ensure there will still be this “intentionality,” Bosco said there will be a transition group that will work with students, faculty and administrators to workshop what a chief administrator in the Office of Student Life should look like in the future.
Bosco said he believes the search for a new vice president of student life will be a national search that involves committees and on-campus interviews. At K-State, he said, changing administrators is traditionally a big deal because of the family atmosphere.
“It is healthy and natural to have change,” Bosco said. “I am sure that the K-State culture will be bigger and better than ever.”