University increases focus on veterans' needs nationally with expanded role for military affairs director
Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014
MANHATTAN — Kansas State University is working to better serve military veterans and their families at a national level by expanding the role and job duties of retired Army Lt. Col. Art DeGroat, director of military and veterans affairs.
DeGroat is now the executive director of military and veterans affairs for the vice president for student life. The new role includes expanding Kansas State University's service in veterans affairs nationally. As such, DeGroat will develop and share evidence-based approaches to help the nation's 2.6 million military veterans who are transitioning to civilian life and the workforce following their service.
"I am honored by this expansion of my work," DeGroat said. "K-State has risen to become a national leader among public higher education institutions in military and veterans affairs. I am thankful for the opportunity to help guide this enterprise with our faculty, students, administration and stakeholders. We have done much, but we have more to do."
DeGroat has served as director of military affairs since 2006. He is credited with building a military-inclusive campus community; expanding educational opportunities for military-connected students; building a major institutional partnership with Fort Riley; and helping the university develop and implement outreach programs for the military and their families during the past decade of war and conflict.
Kirk Schulz, university president, and Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students, expanded DeGroat's role.
"Kansas State University has a proud tradition of providing active and former military students and their families with education, research and outreach that aids in their development, service and quality of life," Bosco said. "Art's expanded focus furthers that commitment to provide the services and support they need to succeed."
"The military and military-connected students have been a cornerstone of Kansas State University for more than 150 years," Schulz said. "Many of our faculty and staff conduct research and have programs focused on improving the lives of our service members. Art's nationally expanded role is an example of the prominent leadership contributions Kansas State University will continue to make as we move forward to becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025."
Approximately 13 percent of the student body at Kansas State University is military-connected students. Additionally, more than 12 percent of the faculty and staff are military veterans. In recent years, the university has increased academic scholarships to military students by more than 300 percent — totaling $1.1 million in assistance — and faculty and staff have provided more than 10,000 hours of support to military students.