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?
  2. Where do we currently rank among public universities in the U.S.?
  3. Why is it important to rank among the top 50 universities?
  4. What are K-State's comparison benchmark institutions?
  5. Are we limited to using the University's benchmark institutions?
  6. How does K-State plan to resource the implementation of these activities?
  7. The work I do does not fit into the 2025 metrics. Is my work still going to be valued by the University?
  8. How can I track the progress of K-State 2025 towards its goal?
  9. How will the University benchmark metrics be defined?
  10. How is K-State defining Benchmark Metric 1 — Total Research Expenditures?
  11. How is K-State defining Benchmark 4 — Faculty Awards in the Arts, Humanities, Science, Engineering, and Health?
  12. 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?
  2. What is meant by a "major unit" in the K-State 2025 planning?
  3. Where can I find help with the strategic planning and alignment process?
  4. When is the alignment plan for my College/Major Unit/Department due?
  5. The focus seems to be on planning by organizations reporting to the Deans and Vice Presidents? What about units reporting to the President and Provost?
  6. Who should be involved in our planning?
  7. Is there a single process that we are all expected to use for College/Major Unit/Departmental planning?
  8. Do initial department plans need to be submitted to the President and the Provost for review?
  9. How do we submit our plans?
  10. Do we need to plan out all of our short term, intermediate, and long term outcomes and key activities?
  11. Must I align to every University-level thematic goal, common element, outcome, and key benchmark and thematic goal metric?
  12. 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?
  13. Is my strategic action and alignment plan the same as my College/Major Unit/Departmental strategic plan?

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.

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  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).

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  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.

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  4. What are K-State’s comparison benchmark institutions?

    Our benchmark institutions for our University metrics are:

    • Auburn (23,547 students);
    • Clemson (17,309 students);
    • Oklahoma State (23,692 students);
    • Oregon State (19,352 students).
    • Colorado State (27,636 students);
    • Iowa State (25,462 students); and
    • North Carolina State (31,130 students).

    These benchmark institutions were chosen by the cabinet and are all Land-Grant institutions without Medical or Law Schools. (Data taken from Center for Measuring University Performance at Arizona State University.)

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  10. How is K-State defining Benchmark Metric 1 — Total Research Expenditures?

    Five of the University benchmark metrics are defined by the Center for Measuring University Performance (CMUP) at Arizona State University (ASU). The definition for Benchmark Metric 1 includes total research expenditures: total federal research expenditures along with the data source are provided below:

    Source of data: NSF Survey of Research and Development Expenditures at Universities and Colleges

    Each year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) collects data from hundreds of academic institutions on expenditures for research and development in science and engineering fields and classifies them by source of funds (e.g., federal government, state and local government, industry, etc.). This "organized research" may be funded by an external agency or organization ("sponsored research") or by a separately budgeted organizational unit within the institution ("university research"). NOTE: The report excludes activities sponsored by external agencies that involve instruction, training (except training in research techniques, which is considered organized research), and health service, community service or extension service projects. With the exceptions noted above about instruction and training activities, the survey does collect research expenditures for education, arts and humanities, business and management, communication and journalism and social work. These figures are included in the institutional Research and Development (R&D) total, but not reported with the same level of detail as the Science and Engineering fields.

    Total Research expenditures include:

    1. Federal Government. Report awards for R&D (including direct and reimbursed indirect costs) by all agencies of the Federal Government.
    2. State and local governments. Include funds for R&D (including direct and reimbursed indirect costs) from State, county, municipal, or other local governments and their agencies. Include here State funds that support R&D at agricultural and other experiment stations.
    3. Industry. Include all awards for R&D (including direct and reimbursed indirect costs) from profit-making organizations, whether engaged in production, distribution, research, service, or other activities. Do not include awards from nonprofit foundations financed by industry; these should be included under "All other sources."
    4. Institution funds. Report funds, including related indirect costs, that your institution spent for R&D activities from the following unrestricted sources: general-purpose State or local government appropriations; general-purpose awards from industry, foundations, or other outside sources; tuition and fees; endowment income; gifts; and other institutional funds. In addition, estimate your institution's on-campus and off-campus unreimbursed indirect costs associated with externally funded R&D projects, including mandatory and voluntary cost sharing.
    5. All other sources. Include awards for R&D (including direct and reimbursed indirect costs) from nonprofit foundations and voluntary health agencies as well as from all other sources not elsewhere classified. Also include gifts from individuals that are restricted by the donor to research. Funds from foundations that are affiliated with, or granted solely to your institution, should be included under "Institution funds." Funds for R&D received from a health agency that is a unit of a State or local government should be included under "State & local governments."

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  11. How is K-State defining Benchmark 4 — Faculty Awards in the Arts, Humanities, Science, Engineering, and Health?

    Five of the University benchmark metrics are defined by the Center for Measuring University Performance (CMUP) at Arizona State University (ASU). The definition for Benchmark Metric 4 along with the data sources is provided below:

    Source: Directories or web-based listings for multiple agencies or organizations.

    The CMUP collects data from the following grant and fellowship programs:

    • American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellows
    • Beckman Young Investigators
    • Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Awards
    • Cottrell Scholars
    • Fulbright American Scholars
    • Getty Scholars in Residence
    • Guggenheim Fellows
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators
    • Lasker Medical Research Awards
    • MacArthur Foundation Fellows
    • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Awards
    • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellows
    • National Humanities Center Fellows
    • National Institutes of Health (NIH) MERIT (R37)
    • National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology
    • NSF CAREER awards (excluding those who are also PECASE winners)
    • Newberry Library Long-term Fellows
    • Pew Scholars in Biomedicine
    • Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)
    • Robert Wood Johnson Policy Fellows
    • Searle Scholars
    • Sloan Research Fellows
    • US Secretary of Agriculture Honor Awards
    • Woodrow Wilson Fellows

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  12. Where can I get K-State 2025 Summary Visionary Plan brochures?

    A brochure providing a summary of the K-State 2025 Visionary Plan (pdf), which includes a list of every benchmark, theme, and outcome, is on the 2025 website.

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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.

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  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, Research, and Student Life as well as the Deans of Kansas State Libraries, Continuing Education, 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.

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  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) (pdf) for College/Major Unit/Departmental Strategic Direction Planning and Alignment.

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  4. When is the alignment plan for my College/Major Unit/Department due?

    The Strategic Action Planning and Alignment Response Chart (updated) (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) (pdf) for College/Major Unit/Departmental Strategic Direction Planning and Alignment.

    Completed plans for each college or major unit were due on December 21, 2012. The timeline has been extended until May 31, 2013, for the College of Agriculture/KSRE and K-State Salina to enable their new Deans to fully engage in their planning. The Vice President for Student Life and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies will work together on a joint plan, which was also due December 21, 2012.

    The President and Provost will hold a January retreat with Department Heads and Deans focused on departmental level planning. Colleges will then work with their departments to develop and align departmental plans with the college and university-level plans by May 31, 2013. Each college or major unit will develop its own planning process and timeline for its departments. Departments should coordinate with the Dean or Vice President of their College/Major Unit.

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  5. The focus seems to be on planning by organizations reporting to the Deans and Vice Presidents? What about units reporting to the President and Provost?

    The K-State 2025 Strategic Action Planning and Alignment Response Chart (updated) (pdf) identifies the departmental plans to be completed for units within the President's and Provost's Offices. Completed departmental plans for units reporting directly to the Provost are due December 2013. The Directors within the Office of the President will submit completed alignment plans by the following dates: McCain Auditorium and Beach Museum - due May 2013; Affirmative Action – due December 2013.

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  6. 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.

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  7. 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) (pdf) for College/Major Unit/Departmental Strategic Direction Planning and Alignment.

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  8. 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.

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  9. How do we submit our plans?

    To complete your College's/Major Unit's Strategic Action and Alignment Plan, you will need to submit one document:

    To complete your Department's Strategic Action and Alignment Plan, you will need to submit two documents:

    To review the current Guidance and Instructions, you will need to read:

    Plans should be submitted to the President and Provost via 2025@k-state.edu.

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  10. 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.

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  11. 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.

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  12. 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.

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  13. 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/Major Unit's K-State 2025 Strategic Action Plan and Alignment Template (updated) (doc) or your Department's K-State 2025 Strategic Action and Alignment Plan Template for Departments (updated) (doc) and K-State 2025 University Strategic Action Planning Alignment Checklist (doc).

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