Former Assistant Provost for Enrollment Management Bob Bontrager has died


Bob Bontrager

Bob Bontrager, former Oregon State University Assistant Provost for Enrollment Management, passed away early Oct. 17, 2014 after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 57.

Bontrager came to Oregon State as the Associate Director of Enrollment Services after serving as Vice President of Enrollment Management at Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia.  His tenure at Oregon State was filled with innovation and achievement.

As director of Admission & Orientation, he oversaw an unprecedented enrollment expansion from around 13,000 students to 17,000 in a 4-year span.  He was the architect of the Degree Partnership Program, a unique co-enrollment partnership with 17 Oregon community colleges and three Hawaii community colleges.  Bontrager was awarded the Beaver Champion Award in 1998 for these achievements.

He also was an instructor in the College of Education for the College Student Services Administration program.  Bontrager established an enrollment management structure at Oregon State in 2000, a model that still exists today that effectively manages long-term strategic enrollment.  In 2004, he helped launch holistic admissions review at Oregon State including the Insight Resume, which is used by numerous institutions around the world.

Dad and sons

Bontrager and his family.

After serving as Assistant Provost for Enrollment Management, Bontrager joined the Association of American Collegiate Registrar and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) to launch AACRAO Consulting and Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Initiatives.  While at the helm of AACRAO Consulting, his innovations continued as this consulting service to AACRAO member schools expanded to institutions and educational systems worldwide.  While with AACRAO, he served in many capacities including as an AACRAO Board member and launched the AACRAO Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) conference.

Bontrager was seen as a leader and innovator amongst his peers.  He authored numerous journal articles and books, served as editor for “Strategic Enrollment Management:  Transforming Higher Education” and also created and edited the SEM Quarterly research journal. Bontrager just co-authored a book with Don Hossler called Handbook of Strategic Enrollment Management.  It came out Oct. 1.

Bontrager earned a Doctorate of Education from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Goshen College.  He is survived by his wife Beth and his children Jesse, Erin and Kevin.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m., in Dennis Hall, First Presbyterian Church addition, 8th & Monroe, Corvallis .

One Response to “Former Assistant Provost for Enrollment Management Bob Bontrager has died”

  1. Shirley B Yoder says:

    Bob Bontrager was one of the best. He knew the enrollment profession inside and out. He was always willing to support fellow enrollment professionals even if from competing schools. He, more than anyone else, understood the nature of our work and the ways in which we are torn between competing priorities and expectations.

    Shirley B Yoder, VP for Enrollment and Marketing at Eastern Mennonite University 1999 – 2004.