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Longtime military HR professional leads Center for Veteran and Military Students

Aug 8, 2023

Bo Haugestad, a military veteran and human resources professional, is the new director of the Center for Veteran and Military Students at Indiana University Bloomington. He joined the university July 5.

Bo Haugestad. Photo by Peter Storm, Division of Student Affairs Bo Haugestad. Photo by Peter Storm, Division of Student Affairs In this role, Haugestad supports student veterans, current service members and eligible family members from their first day on campus until graduation. The Center for Veteran and Military Students provides military education benefit processing, advising and assisting with military related administrative issues, as well as connecting veteran students to other campus and community resources.

Haugestad recently retired after 32 years of military service, with the majority spent full time in the Army National Guard in Michigan and Indiana. He was a career human resources professional both as an enlisted member and warrant officer. His assignments included officer training, recruiting and service in the Middle East, equal opportunity advising, master resilience training and instructing.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration and a Master of Business Administration, both from the Indiana Institute of Technology.

IU Bloomington Today caught up with Haugestad to learn more about him.

Question: What interested you about the job of Center for Veteran and Military Students director?

Answer: As I was exploring my professional opportunities during my transition from a military career, it became clear to me that I wanted to continue to serve veterans, service members and their families like I have done for over three decades in uniform. The CVMS gives me the opportunity to continue that service as well as learn and grow in such an exceptional, smart and diverse environment.

Q: What goals do you have for the center in the short term and long term?

A: My short-term goals include improving on our processes for efficient certification of benefits and providing the best advice and clear instructions for those who contact or visit the center. This includes streamlining relationships between the CVMS and all the departments that impact our students.

Although the foundation of the center is to help administrate and assist with the multitude of veteran benefits, my long-term goals see the CVMS as a culture center where we are a central part of the students’ academic journey, exploration of campus opportunities and diversity, and future success.

Q: What can you apply from your more than 30 years of military experience to the job, and how do you think it will benefit the center and veterans on campus?

A: When military administrators provide great service to military members, they allow the members to focus on their current responsibilities as well as get ready for future challenges and greater responsibilities. The same applies for service to student veterans. Exceptional service from us will allow our students to focus more on their studies and enjoying student life, all which will contribute to better prepared graduates as they explore their lives and careers.

Q: What do you like best so far about the IU Bloomington campus?

A: When I drive onto this beautiful campus in the mornings, I can’t help feeling that I’m part of something much bigger than just my small part in the success of our students. The feeling is very inspirational and motivating!

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