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Wednesday, January 14, 2004
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Family Matters
Boschini makes wife and kids a priority
Responsibilities at work and home keep Chancellor Boschini running, day after day.

By Meghan Youker
Skiff Staff


He has spent seven months in his new Fort Worth home, but Victor Boschini’s closet is still unorganized.

The university’s 10th chancellor does not have much time to arrange his clothing. In addition to TCU commitments, Boschini also juggles demands as a husband and father.

As the TCU community looks to the chancellor to lead it into the future, Boschini’s wife, Megan, and his children, Elizabeth, 16, Mary Catherine, 14, Edward, 10, and Margaret, 8, are relying on him, too.

With such a full house, Boschini admits he could make better breakfast choices when his day begins around 6:30 a.m.

“This week it’s Pop Tarts,” Boschini says. “They were on sale at Sam’s Club.”

Breakfast time means Boschini has already woken his two teenage girls and helped his younger children lay out their school uniforms.

“I feel like my wife does so much more than me since I’m gone so many nights,” Boschini says. “I try to do as much as possible in the mornings.”

By 8:30 a.m. today, Boschini will have met with Cornell Thomas, his assistant for diversity and community. Before the morning is out, he will also meet with a vice chancellor and a campus committee.

As the day continues, it does not get any less hectic. After a lunch meeting with editors from the Fort Worth Business Press, Boschini is off to a doctor’s appointment, then to speak to members of TCU Ambassadors, and to a dinner with alumni.

From fundraising concerns to TCU’s plans for the future, Boschini manages it all.

“The chancellor handles the demands on his time quite well,” executive assistant Mary Nell Kirk says. “I honestly don’t know how he does it.”

Kirk says working with Boschini is a great privilege.

“Each of the three chancellors I’ve worked for have been wonderful leaders and just what TCU needed at their time of service,” Kirk says. “But each has his own style.

“He goes at break-neck speed all day long every day,” Kirk says. “Hopefully, this will slow down after his first year of ‘learning the ropes,’ but it may just be his energetic style.”

Kirk says she tries to give the chancellor 30 minutes to an hour at his desk each day so he can get some work done, but it does not happen very often. Most of his appointments are scheduled at least three weeks in advance.

While Boschini’s day stays full, former SGA President Brad Thompson says he has been amazed with the chancellor’s responsiveness.

“I needed to speak with him about something urgent, and he e-mailed me and said he would call me at 9 a.m. the next day,” Thompson, a senior radio-TV-film major, said in an e-mail. “At 8:59 a.m., my phone rang and I went right in to see him.”

Whenever he can, Boschini tries to work in time with his family, which he says has adjusted well to the move from Normal, Ill., where he served as president at Illinois State University. Although he is on campus many nights for a dinner or event, Boschini says he tries to bring his children as often as possible.

“I think it is good for them to be exposed to many of the college events,” Boschini says. “And it seems like college students, especially, love seeing a real kid around once in awhile.”

With a full day behind him, Boschini says he keeps in shape by running three or four nights a week. If he is not running, at 8:30 p.m. Boschini puts his two younger kids to bed.

“We usually read and I fall asleep on their bed before they do,” the chancellor says. “My wife wakes me up later and I try to answer e-mails and read through mail before really going to bed sometime around midnight.”

As he prepares for bed, Boschini says he tries to mentally organize the things he has to do the next day. He even consults a weekly calendar.

“I generally look at it at night to see if I need to remember anything special the next day,” Boschini says. “(For example) take my wallet since I am going to a lunch and will need parking money or get a map to wherever they are meeting me.”

The chancellor says he feels most guilty about not spending enough time with his wife and children.

“My wife is the best; and she really is a single parent who lives with another parent,” Boschini says. “Whenever I am feeling sorry for myself or thinking my schedule is not manageable, I think of her and I smile and I continue on because it really is nothing compared to taking care of four other human beings and meeting their every need.”

The chancellor’s wife, Megan, says that while Boschini helps out as much as he can at home, his job demands the flexibility of someone who is not tied down by family commitments.

“Sometimes I tell him that he is an independent operator for a married man with four children,” Megan Boschini says.

Because Boschini and his wife go out a lot, his wife says the two of them prefer to stay home and relax when he does get some free time.

“The treat is to stay home,” Megan Boschini says. “When the older girls are out, and the younger ones are in bed. We say ‘wow.’ What do we do with this time?”

The chancellor’s wife says the nice thing about moving was starting off with a clean plate, without extra community or extracurricular commitments.

But as Boschini’s two oldest daughters have settled in, they have become involved in ballet, basketball, volleyball and their school play. The youngest children are focusing on schoolwork, his wife says.

“It’s always a juggle,” Boschini’s wife says. “You have to be flexible. Things change at the last minute. You have to be everywhere, see everyone, meet everyone.”

Now with a semester under his belt, Boschini says he plans to be at TCU 24 more years. Now 47, the chancellor would be 71.

“I am certain I could do it,” Boschini says. “My dad is 82 and still has just about as much energy as people my age.”
Boschini and daughter
Stephen Spillman/ Staff Photographer
Daughter Margaret shows off her newly earned Camp Fire badges.
 
Boschini family
Sarah Chacko/ Photo Editor
Fitting right in: Boschini’s show off their more well -organized closets. The family can be found here throughout the day as they race from place to place..
 
Chancellor Boschini
Ty Halasz/Staff Photographer
Chancellor Boschini puts in his hours in his office on the third floor of Sadler Hall.
 
Boschini family
Stephen Spillman/ Staff Photographer
The Boschinis: (left to right) Elizabeth, Margaret, wife Megan, Edward, dad (Boschini), and Mary Catherine.