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K-State Today

July 18, 2011



K-State to focus on Kansas City area recruitment with addition of Bernard Franklin

By Julie Fosberg

Kansas State University's outreach and visibility in the Kansas City area will expand even further with the addition of Bernard Franklin to the university's staff.

Pat Bosco, vice president for student life, recently appointed Franklin as special assistant to the vice president. He began his new duties July 1 and his role includes assisting in the coordination of student recruitment efforts in the greater Kansas City area by establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with students, families and educational partners.

"Dr. Franklin has an incredibly encouraging message for high school and community college students, as well as for family members who want to continue their pursuit of higher education," Bosco said.

Franklin's primary responsibility is to foster these relationships, but other duties include representing the vice president for student life office by providing information on admission, financial aid, transfer options and career opportunities at K-State.

Franklin also will be available to provide workshops and presentations in the Kansas City metropolitan area and will represent university at special events in the metropolitan area that increase awareness and support K-State's enrollment.

Franklin said he'd work to ensure that the students and their families who choose K-State are fully engaged in the enrollment process long before the final semester of students' senior year of high school. He also hopes to bring together some of the region's best civic, school and nonprofit leaders to discuss how to best support students in imagining a future far beyond their current circumstances.

"I believe it is imperative that all young people have a quality postsecondary experience," Franklin said. "K-State has an excellent track record of success with students who might not otherwise look forward to a productive future."

The addition of Franklin to the K-State faculty may be useful in promoting the many facets of the university to the public, including its research.

"As K-State works to achieve its goal of becoming a top 50 public research university by 2025, it becomes increasingly important that we increase our visibility and maintain a strong presence in metropolitan areas like Kansas City," said K-State President Kirk Schulz.

This is not Franklin's first experience as a member of the K-State family. After graduating from K-State in 1976 and serving as one of the first African-Americans to be elected student body president at a predominately white campus in the U.S., he went on to receive a master's degree in counseling and behavioral studies from the University of South Alabama in 1989. He returned to K-State to earn his doctorate in counseling and higher education administration in 1996.

Franklin also is one of the sponsors of the Edgerley-Franklin Urban Leadership Scholarship, which was established to honor him and his late wife, Elisa, for their commitment to leadership, education and urban youths. The scholars, who are selected each spring, receive a four-year scholarship to K-State, mentoring and the opportunity to engage in undergraduate research.

A passionate urban educator and consultant to educational institutions and organizations, Franklin served as assistant dean for student life and director of leadership development programs at K-State, which included helping found the university's leadership studies program.

"K-State has profoundly impacted me, my family and many of my friends," Franklin said. "It is an honor to be associated again with an institution that authentically cares for all people."

Franklin was the youngest person to ever be appointed to the Kansas Board of Regents at age 24 and made history by becoming the youngest chair of that board at age 28. He is the current president of the board of directors of Delta Upsilon, an international men's fraternity, and has served on the Community Development Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank, Midwest Region, and the boards of many other organizations.

His career in higher education includes serving as the director of student activities at the University of South Alabama and later at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. Franklin also was the assistant to the president at Donnelly College in Kansas City and, most recently, president of the Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley in Kansas City.

Franklin has received several education-related awards, including receiving the Vision Award for his pioneering work in the area of educating men on the importance of fatherhood and has twice been named one of the 100 most influential African-Americans in Kansas City.

He has four children, including two sons who graduated from K-State, a son who currently attends K-State, and a daughter in high school.

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