Kris Klima, new director of admissions at Washburn, recruits potential Ichabods

Shaun Collins Washburn Review

If you’re anything like me, Admissions is simply that office on the first floor of Morgan.  You get letters from them when you’re still deciding on where to go to college.  So the idea of a “director of admissions” was nebulous at best for me.  But after speaking with Kris Klima, my eyes were opened.

The position is an important one for the university, handling recruiting, targeting of new demographics of students and partnering with different university departmental heads to seek out potential students for their various programs.

“It focuses the direction of recruitment, where we need to focus on as far as are we going to look at increasing direct from high school students. If so, how many are we bringing in from community colleges [and] really streamlining the recruitment process,” said Klima. “Are we looking at particular areas, Kansas City, Wichita, that kind of thing depending on what the university is looking for.”

A big part of her job is increasing the number of students who attend Washburn and sometimes that includes a certain demographic.

“Hypothetically, if an institution wants to increase their students in computer information science, what can we do with the faculty to target that population to then bring more CIS majors on the campus,” said Klima. “Working with faculty and other administrators to identify where we want to grow and increase our student profile.”

This is what admissions does.

“Our office looks at ways to do that.”  Klima said.

Her office takes a look at a variety of factors before pursuing a type of student for recruitment, with the end goal of improving the student and university dynamic. 

“There are so many different populations that we work with, one isn’t necessarily better than the other, they’re just different,” said Klima. “I haven’t been in this position long enough to have solid goals, just focusing on the fall.”

Klima has been with the university for seven years, and is herself a graduate of Washburn, with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Media. Most recently she was the associate director of admissions before taking over the reins as director of admissions.

“It’s a great opportunity. It’s nice to have already been acclimated to the environment and the campus and the procedures at the office, and looking at ways to improve those and carry forward,” said Klima. “I think our office wants to partner with a lot of the departments on campus to make sure we’re recruiting the students that are going to be successful and that is going to make Washburn make that next step. The students are what make this institution.”

She took over the new post in January.