Letters to campus

May 2013

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Summer has certainly arrived in Manhattan. After seemingly months with little or no rain, we now seem to have too much water in some areas of Kansas. The joys of living in the Midwest!

The Kansas Legislature continues to debate the state budget and possible changes to both the income and sales taxes. Things can change quickly in Topeka, and we will continue to keep the university community as updated as practically possible. Please be assured that the entire higher education community is working hard to ensure that we emerge from the legislative session in as strong a financial position as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me or Sue Peterson as soon as possible.

So, what do you want to accomplish during the next academic year? Each spring I have my annual evaluation with the Kansas Board of Regents, and I share with them my proposed goals for the coming year. These goals are grouped by area, and are mutually agreed upon following discussions with different senior administrators. If anyone has any questions or concerns about anything on the list, please let me know. I want to give everyone an idea of where I will be spending my time this next year.

  1. Fundraising and Development
    1. Increase total new gifts and pledges to $135 million in FY 2014.
    2. Secure total gifts and pledges in excess of $10 million designated for the Campus Welcome Center.
  2. Research and Scholarship
    1. Increase new grant and contract activity to $160 million during the coming year.
    2. Develop a fundraising plan for an interdisciplinary research building.
    3. Further develop conceptual plans for a significantly expanded K-State Research Park.
    4. Identify a person to serve as a full-time NBAF liaison to coordinate efforts from all of the different groups (Kansas State University, State of Kansas, DHS, and other interested parties) to ensure a successful launch of NBAF.
  3. Intercollegiate Athletics
    1. Complete construction of Bill Snyder Family Stadium Westside Expansion on time and within budget.
    2. Complete construction of new facilities for tennis and rowing on time and within budget.
    3. Identify scope and future of Bill Snyder Family Stadium enhancements including a new video board.
    4. Provide national leadership on intercollegiate athletics through my role on the NCAA Division I executive committee.
  4. Alumni
    1. Develop a program to reach out to international students before graduation to enhance the association's program with international alumni.
    2. Utilize the two Distinguished Young Alumni at the inaugural university convocation for freshmen to kick off the Wildcat Week of Welcome.
    3. Add five out-of-state alumni club dinners at spirit club locations.
    4. Initiate planning for an additional out-of-state Wabash CannonBall to take place in 2015.
    5. Continue to reach at least 100,000 alumni, students and friends at association-sponsored events.
  5. Governmental Relations
    1. Continue to work with the Kansas delegation, the Office of the Governor, and the Kansas Legislature to secure funding for construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) and start laboratory construction in spring 2014.
  6. Communications and Marketing
    1. Create a consolidated news operation in support of the university’s strategic focus in biosecurity and food safety, proactively generating publicity in key national and international media markets.
    2. Lead coordinated planning efforts within the university for emergency communications planning in anticipation of NBAF, specifically the RIPSTOP statewide training exercise scheduled for October 2013.
    3. Launch a second-generation application for mobile computing devices (tablets/smartphones) allowing access to K-State Online and integrating the suite of business applications for students. Target 10,000 downloads in FY 2014.
    4. Build a digital library of downloadable electronic publications related to K-State 2025 strategic initiatives, key task force reports, e-newsletters and magazines.
    5. Continue centralizing communications units across campus in support of the One-K-State, One-Voice initiative.
    6. Create a national marketing plan for the College of Veterinary Medicine.
    7. Integrate recruiting communications efforts between the College of Engineering, the offices of admissions and new student services.
  7. Administration and Finance
    1. Implement Asset Works in Facilities that includes work, space, key and motor pool management, storeroom inventory and finance by December 2013.
    2. Collaborate with the provost's office in developing a plan and identifying funding to implement data warehousing and dashboards to assist administration in decision-making.
    3. Enhance the safety program to increase safety awareness on campus. Provide in-person and online courses for fire, laboratory, radiation, hazard communication, hazardous waste and asbestos safety.
    4. Provide at least two tabletop emergency exercises with the president's cabinet.
    5. Hire an associate vice president for campus planning to provide support for the capital projects planned over the next decade.
    6. Support the implementation of the newly revised Campus Master Plan and design guidelines.
    7. Support the Alternative Service Committee in developing a plan to convert classified employees to university support staff for approval by administration and vote by the classified employees in November 2013.
    8. Improve HR processing efficiencies by implementing e-form paperless processing, expand the on-line time and leave entry and approval system with additional employee groups and expand employee self-service capabilities.
  8. Academic Affairs
    1. Develop and implement a three-year plan to improve K-State faculty and staff salaries as compared with peer institutions.
    2. Continue to identify ways to improve the campus climate for underrepresented minority faculty and staff.
    3. Add two additional master's programs at K-State Olathe, increasing the total number of degree programs from five to seven.
  9. Student Life
    1. Complete planning for a student-funded renovation of the K-State Student Union.
    2. Develop and implement a plan to successfully meet the annual graduation goals for new B.S. engineers as outlined in the University Engineering Initiative Act.
    3. Plan and execute a new student success program for students admitted by exception.
    4. Improve the academic advising-to-student ratio in high demand areas such as pre-health and the College of Arts and Sciences.
  10. 10. Corporate Engagement Office
    1. Investigate how corporate engagement is working at other universities; bring best practices back to K-State campuses.
    2. Develop information, training and communications systems to support corporate engagement activities across all campuses — Manhattan, Salina and Olathe.
    3. Create a strategic plan based on research task force findings and college/major unit strategic action and alignment plans.
    4. Develop the Corporate Liaison Network and continue building tactical teams by enlisting a coalition of faculty and staff members who are ready to embrace the "institutional change" required for the new world of university-industry relations.
    5. Continue to develop the five strategic corporate partnerships established in 2012-13 (Milbank, K-Tron, CivicPlus, Hershey, Caterpillar Work Tools), and bring a minimum of five additional corporate partnerships from "casual" to "strategic" level in 2013-14.
  11. Personal Development
    1. Read Leading Change: How Boards and Presidents Build Exceptional Academic Institutions by Terrence MacTaggart, 2011, AGB Press.
    2. Attend American Council on Education meeting to identify higher education best practices suitable for inclusion at Kansas State University.
  12. Engagement and Extension
    1. Publicize the five grand issues in which K-State Extension will be engaged in creating solutions: water, health, feeding 9 billion in 2050, community and rural vitality, and growing tomorrow's leaders.
  13. University Programs
    1. a. Increase student visitation and participation in Beach Museum activities from 5,400 to 6,000.
    2. Increase the number of Friends of McCain from 318 to 338.
    3. Increase the number of patrons to McCain Auditorium events from 21,500 to more than 23,000.

Will we successfully accomplish each of these goals? Probably not. However, I think it is important to set stretch goals for each and every year I have the opportunity to serve as your president.

I wish each of you the best of success as you look toward the 2013-14 academic year and set your own professional and personal goals.

Go Cats!

Kirk