Dr. James J. Rhatigan
Vice President for Student Affairs Emeritus
Wichita State University
James J. Rhatigan became the Dean of Students at Wichita State University (WSU) at the age of 30, making him the youngest person to serve in that capacity in institutions of 10,000 and above. He was named vice president for student affairs in 1970 and held that position until 1996, serving six years as senior vice president before his retirement in 2002. Rhatigan earned the rank of professor in 1985, through the regular tenure and promotion process, and he continues to work as a consultant at the WSU Foundation. In 1996 the 170,000 sq. ft. student union at WSU was renamed the Rhatigan Student Center. Rhatigan is particularly proud of the fact that people who served on his staff have gone on to very successful work elsewhere, including two college presidents. Within NASPA, Rhatigan served in a number of positions including NASPA President (1975-1976). He was the NASPA Historian for about 30 years, and was active in the creation of the NASPA Regions and wrote the original paper on the role of the Regional Vice President (early 70s). He received the Fred Turner Award in 1980 and the Scott Goodnight Award in 1987, making him the first person to win both awards. His a member of the 1999 Pillars of the Profession class. Dr. Rhatigan earned his B.A. at Coe College in American History, a M. A. from Syracuse University in American history and his Ph.D. University of Iowa focusing on student personnel administration.