July 29, 2015 9:30AM
Over the past twenty-five years, John Patterson, vice president for administration and finance at Pittsburg State University, has managed the business and financial operations at PSU. This month, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) recognized Patterson with its highest award for his “outstanding contributions to business and financial management in higher education.”
In honoring Patterson with its Distinguished Business Officer award, NACUBO noted that during his tenure at PSU, enrollment and staff figures have increased 27 and 37 percent, respectively, and as treasurer of the university's foundation, total assets rose from $9 million to $84 million.
“At a pivotal time in higher education, these outstanding individuals and institutions have set the tone for excellence across the sector,” said NACUBO president and CEO John Walda.
Patterson said the honor was as much for the university as for him.
“This is a significant honor for both Pittsburg State and for me personally,” Patterson said. “The 60 or so institutions that have earned this award in the past are primarily the elite private and the largest public universities. There are more than 3,000 institutions of higher learning in this country. For Pitt State to be the only institution to be recognized this year is truly meaningful. I appreciate the efforts put forth by our students, employees, alumni, and friends in making PSU a special place.”
PSU President Steve Scott said being recognized by one’s peers for a lifetime of achievement is the highest honor anyone can hope to achieve.
“It's great to see John's colleagues understand the impact he has had on the national level, while we certainly appreciate what his service to Pittsburg State has meant,” Scott said. “He has made a difference in so many ways.”
In her nomination letter, Shari Brogan, PSU’s director of advancement services, wrote that Patterson “continually balances the importance of ensuring that the institution is fiscally strong, while cognizant of the needs of the faculty and staff, and most importantly, the needs of our students.”
The campus has changed considerably in the years Patterson has served at PSU. Total square footage has increased from just under 1.5 million square feet to more than 2 million square feet, including the new Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, the Robert W. Plaster Center and the expanded Overman Student Center. In the same time period, residence hall occupancy has grown from 671 to 1,265 students and total university expenditures from $39.5 million to $131.3 million.
Patterson earned a bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University and a master’s degree from Wichita State University. He served as assistant budget officer at WSU, then controller at Washburn University and then the University of Kansas before coming to PSU.
In addition to his work on campus, Patterson has been active in both NACUBO and CACUBO (Central Association of College and University Business Officers) and in the Pittsburg community where he has provided service to the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the local YMCA. He served on the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Pittsburg United Way Board of Directors, and many others. He actively participates at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and has been a member on their memorial fund committee, school finance committee, and Knights of Columbus Council.
Patterson and his wife, Janet, have five children and eight grandchildren.