Last week, Ryan VanDusen hit the ground running as the new Clery Act compliance and youth protection coordinator at Kansas State.
As the newest addition to the Risk and Compliance Office, VanDusen is now responsible for tracking and improving the safety around campus.
“In three days, he’s taken care of all the onboarding stuff and already started getting out, mostly virtually meeting people, in the meetings having great conversations with folks, establishing rapport, asking good questions and learning how everything at K-State works,” Elliot Young, assistant vice president for university risk and compliance, said.
VanDusen brings a wide array of experiences to the position, Young said.
“[VanDusen] has 18 years of experience working in student life, working at different universities,” Young said. “He was recently the Dean of Students at Bethany College. He has done behavioral intervention work, student conduct and residents’ life. He’s done a lot of things and brings a ton of experience and that perfect combination of technical skills, soft skills and experience.”
VanDusen first joined the Manhattan community in 1998 when he arrived for his service in the army. Service is very important to him, he said, and for him, the military is the ultimate act of service.
VanDusen said he’s passionate about student well-being and has always been focused on security and safety, which he takes very seriously.
“I am so passionate knowing that everything I do is going to have an impact five, 10, 15 years down the line,” VanDusen said.
VanDusen said he’s proud to be a part of the K-State family. His wife is a K-State graduate and his two daughters already plan to attend K-State one day. His family attends at least one football game every season as they have for the past 20 years, he said, even when living in other states and working at other college campuses.
“It was not hard for me to get anything purple because I already have all that,” VanDusen said. “I’ve wanted to work at K-State for a very long time, but it never happened. … I have finally had this opportunity now.”
As the first person to go to college in his family, VanDusen said he truly enjoys the atmosphere on college campuses and towns.
“There’s no better energy than a college campus, that’s why I chose to work for the past almost 20 years on college campuses. I love it,” VanDusen said.
Jonathan Ulmer, associate professor of agricultural education and longtime friend of VanDusen, worked with him at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, and said he’s a caring person that goes the extra mile to help people.
“Having somebody that cares as much as Ryan in a position he’s going into really will benefit a lot of people, especially the students who will need that office and that assistance,” Ulmer said. “He works hard, and he does not let things slip through the cracks.”
With all their shared experience, Ulmer said he sees the opportunity for collaboration between them in the future.
“Being on the same campus as Ryan will actually potentially open the door again on collaborations on things that he has had experience in like his military background, veteran affairs and adult education,” Ulmer said.