Frequently Asked Questions
A. About K-State 2025
1. How will we determine that we have met our goal to become a Top 50 Public Research University by 2025?
The president's cabinet selected eight benchmark metrics to be used to determine both our current ranking and to measure our progress against the Top 50 goal. These metrics are:
- total research and development expenditures,
- total endowment,
- number of national academy members,
- number of faculty awards,
- number of doctorates granted annually,
- freshman-to-sophomore retention rate,
- six-year graduation rate, and
- percent of undergraduate students involved in research.
These metrics were chosen following the examination of the data compiled by the Center for Measuring University Performance at Arizona State University. For more information, read Measuring Our Progress.
2. Where do we currently rank among public universities in the U.S.?
In most of the categories listed above, Kansas State ranks between 80 and 90 in comparison to other public research universities. As such, we will need to move up 35 spots or so against a very competitive set of schools—all of whom are also trying to grow programs and increase their national rank and stature at the same time. For more information on our rankings compared to peer institutions, see the Benchmarking presentation (pdf).
3. Why is it important to rank among the top 50 universities?
The higher education world continues to get more competitive, and our prospective students, staff and faculty are keenly aware of how universities are perceived. The ranking and prestige of Kansas State University is of critical importance to our graduates as they seek jobs, our students as they apply to top tier graduate programs, our doctoral students as they look for career opportunities in the research world, and our faculty members as they compete with better funded and higher-ranked universities on a daily basis. Finally, people want to invest in a winner—and the different constituent groups who support Kansas State want to invest in a university they perceive as moving upward to new heights of achievement.
4. What are K-State’s comparison benchmark institutions?
In 2010, seven institutions were identified as our K-State 2025 peers. In 2012, three additional institutions were added to the original seven to be used for Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Systems (IPEDS) comparisons. The ten IPEDS and K-State 2025 peer comparison institutions are:
- Auburn University
- Clemson University
- Colorado State University
- Iowa State University
- Louisiana State University
- North Carolina State University
- Oklahoma State University
- Oregon State University
- University of Massachusetts – Amherst
- Washington State University
These peer comparison institutions were chosen by the university based on the following criteria:
- must be a land grant institution without a Medical School or a Law School,
- with Undergraduate FTE between 14,000 - 25,000,
- with Graduate FTE between 3,000 - 7,000, and
- represent broad geographic distribution as a group.
5. Are we limited to using the University's benchmark institutions?
The university will use these benchmark institutions to measure our progress against our Top 50 goal. As colleges, major units, and departments develop their own plans and measures, they will determine the benchmark institutions appropriate for their disciplines.
6. How does K-State plan to resource the implementation of these activities?
We will resource K-State 2025 through private and corporate donations, state and federal funding, and internal reallocation.
7. The work I do does not fit into the 2025 metrics. Is my work still going to be valued by the University?
Everyone has a role to play in moving K-State towards 2025. The University’s key metrics will be important measures, but not the only measures, of our success. Additional university metrics to track progress toward each thematic goal and associated outcomes were identified in Fall 2012 following the completion of the initial College/Major Unit level planning. For a complete list of additional university thematic goal metrics, see Measuring Our Progress: Goals, Outcomes and Metrics.
8. How can I track the progress of K-State 2025 towards its goal?
You can track our progress moving toward K-State in 2025 on the 2025 website. The website is updated regularly to provide a snapshot of our progress.
9. How will the University benchmark metrics be defined?
Five of the University benchmark metrics are defined by the Center for Measuring University Performance (CMUP) at Arizona State University (ASU). These definitions will be used as a basis for aligning College/Major Unit/Departmental plan outcomes with the university benchmarks. The brief definition for each metric, along with the data source, is provided in the University Goal Metrics and Operational Definitions documents.
10. Where can I get K-State 2025 Summary Visionary Plan brochures?
B. About College/Major Unit/Departmental Planning and Alignment
1. Why is it important to align our College/Major Unit/Department planning with K-State 2025?
Realizing the vision of K-State 2025 requires an institutional commitment at all levels. This includes a commitment to planning and holding ourselves accountable at the University, College/Major Unit and Departmental levels. Everyone at K-State has a role to play in moving K-State toward our goal of becoming a top 50 public research university. Achieving this goal will require a concerted and coordinated effort to help us get where we want to be. Aligning our university, college or major unit, and departmental plans will facilitate moving forward together as Kansas State University.
2. What is meant by a "major unit" in the K-State 2025 planning?
For K-State 2025 planning purposes, Major Unit refers to the organizations headed by the Vice Presidents of Administration and Finance, Communications and Marketing, Human Capital Services, Research, and Student Life as well as the Deans of Kansas State Libraries, Global Campus, and the Graduate School. Department refers to Departments within the Colleges and Major Units as well as Divisions and Departments reporting to the President and Provost.
3. Where can I find help with the strategic planning and alignment process?
To help facilitate the next level of K-State 2025 planning, guidance and instructions are provided in the College/Major Unit/Departmental Strategic Action Planning and Alignment Guidance and Instructions (updated December 2014) (pdf) for College/Major Unit/Departmental Strategic Direction Planning and Alignment.
4. When is the alignment plan for my College/Major Unit/Department due?
The Strategic Action Planning and Alignment Response Chart (updated April 2015) (pdf) provides an overview of the response timeline. A detailed timeline is available in the College/Major Unit/Departmental Strategic Action Planning and Alignment Guidance and Instructions (updated December 2014) (pdf) for College/Major Unit/Departmental Strategic Direction Planning and Alignment.
5. Who should be involved in our planning?
Your planning process should be inclusive of all levels of your College/Major Unit/Department's faculty, staff, students, alumni and other stakeholders. You are encouraged to use web tools to support collaborative planning and feedback.
6. Is there a single process that we are all expected to use for College/Major Unit/Departmental planning?
No. Each Dean or Vice President is responsible for developing its College or Major Unit's own planning process consistent with the Guiding Principles listed in the College/Major Unit/Departmental Strategic Action Planning and Alignment Guidance and Instructions (updated December 2014) (pdf) for College/Major Unit/Departmental Strategic Direction Planning and Alignment.
7. Do initial department plans need to be submitted to the President and the Provost for review?
No. Review of initial departmental plans of Colleges/Major Units is the responsibility of the Deans and Vice Presidents. The President and Provost will determine the review process for their initial departmental plans.
8. How do we submit our plans?
To complete your College's/Major Unit's or Department's Strategic Action and Alignment Plan, you will need to submit two documents:
- K-State 2025 Strategic Action and Alignment Plan Template for Colleges/Major Units and Departments (updated December 2014) (doc)
- K-State 2025 University Strategic Action Planning Alignment Checklist (updated December 2014) (doc)
To review the current Guidance and Instructions, you will need to read:
- College/Major Unit/Departmental Strategic Action Planning and Alignment Guidance and Instructions (updated December 2014) (pdf)
College/Major Unit plans and associated checklists should be submitted to the President and Provost via email@example.com; Department plans and associated checklists should be submitted to your Dean or Vice President, who will submit your final plans to the President and Provost via firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. Do we need to plan out all of our short term, intermediate, and long term outcomes and key activities?
You do need to include short, intermediate, and long term outcomes to 2025. Include key strategic activities (what you plan to do) to progress to expected outcomes and measures, with particular emphasis on the first five years.
10. Must I align to every University-level thematic goal, common element, outcome, and key benchmark and thematic goal metric?
No, you are not expected to link every University thematic goal, common element, outcome, or key benchmark and thematic goal metric in the university plan to your unit plan. Your strategic action and alignment plan should be specific for your area and must work for your unit. The K-State 2025 linkages to your key activities and outcomes should be relevant to your unit and mission.
11. We are asked to identify in the Template what resources and/or opportunities exist and are needed for our College/Major Unit/Department to achieve our vision and outcomes. How much detail do we need to go into at this time?
Your College/Major Unit/Department will be responsible for identifying resources needed to fund your plans during the coming years. At this time and for purposes of completing the template, only a very brief summary at a high level for the overall plan is needed.
12. Is my strategic action and alignment plan the same as my College/Major Unit/Departmental strategic plan?
It may be. An assumption is that all Colleges and Major Units will have strategic or long range plans. You may choose to present your strategic or long range plan in the format of your choice or simply use the template. If you present your strategic plan in another format in addition to the template, you should provide a link when you submit your College's/Major Unit's/Department's K-State 2025 Strategic Action Plan and Alignment Template (updated December 2014) (doc) and K-State 2025 University Strategic Action Planning Alignment Checklist (updated December 2014) (doc).