Goessel native named Bethel alumni award winner

Duane-Goossen.jpg

Duane-Goossen.jpg The Awards Committee of the Bethel College Alumni Association has named Goessel native Duane Goossen as the winner of the 2008 Outstanding Alumnus Award.

Goossen, a Republican now living in Topeka, is Kansas Secretary of Administration and State Budget Director in the administration of Democratic governor Kathleen Sebelius.

Goossen graduated from Bethel with a bachelor?s degree in 1978 and earned a master?s degree in public administration with a specialization in public management from Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, in 1998.

From 1978-96, Goossen was president and owner of Goossen Construction Inc. in Goessel. He served seven consecutive terms as a Kansas State Representative for District 70 from 1983-97.

During that time, he chaired the House Education Committee and Appropri?ations Sub-Committee.

As state budget director, starting during the administration of Gov. Bill Graves in 1998 and continuing to the present, Goossen has directed a 20-person office.

Since 2004, Goossen has led and coordinated the Kansas Department of Administration, an 800-employee cabinet agency responsible for providing state government central services in the areas of budgeting and accounting, personnel, facilities management, purchasing and information technology.

?Kansas (today) is much better off thanks to the efforts of one humble, hard-working man from Marion County who decided to run for office 24 years ago,? Sebelius in a letter praising Goossen?s selection as outstanding alumnus.

?I had the honor and privilege of serving with Duane Goossen in the legislature and have held the deepest respect for him since. When I was elected governor, there was no doubt in my mind that Duane should continue on as state budget director.

?His combination of institutional knowledge and flexibility made him the ideal candidate to balance the books, and the demands of elected officials, agency heads and the public,? she said.

?My first years in office, we faced inherited looming deficits, but with Duane?s leadership, we were able to find $1 billion in efficiencies throughout state government, increase revenue through economic incentives and present to the legislature a truly balanced budget.

?It soon became clear that Duane could not only handle a $12 billion budget with aplomb, but also had the experience and capabilities that qualified him to run the entire Department of Administration as well.?

Prior to entering state service, Goossen was a member of the Goessel City Council (1979-82) and a Goessel volunteer firefighter.

Goossen is married to historian Rachel Waltner Goossen. They have two children, Ben, a junior, and Elsa, a freshman, at Washburn Rural High School in Topeka.

Goossen and other alumni award winners will be honored at the annual Alumni Banquet at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 24, in Memorial Hall.

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