From the Provost's Desk

July 31, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

Research, scholarly and creative activities, and discovery, or RSCAD, is one of the seven major themes in the K-State 2025 strategic plan. As called for in the very first activity in our plan, it is important that we identify our strategic areas of RSCAD strengths. During this past spring, I asked the colleges to identify their areas of RSCAD strengths to complement the work done previously by the Research Themes Committee. I am pleased to share the compiled results of that work today.

In 2012, the Research Themes Committee identified 12 areas of research strengths for the university based on two criteria: the likelihood of attracting support from funding agencies and a strong base of success already established at K-State. The committee also recommended that the process be extended to include RSCAD areas where criteria other than external funding could be used as a basis for determining strengths. President Schulz determined that the next step should be to identify college RSCAD areas of strength. 

After discussions with the deans and associate deans for research, we developed a reporting approach to promote consistency but also maintain flexibility for colleges to determine their strengths, recognizing that one size does not fit all. A reporting format was designed to answer two simple questions: What are a college's areas of RSCAD strengths and why? Guidance and a set of slides explaining the background and purpose of the reporting effort were provided to the deans in the spring and are included in the compiled report. That guidance includes 20 criteria to be considered as a basis for identifying a RSCAD strength and explaining why a particular area is a strength. 

The compiled report includes the following sections: 

  1. Summary Overview: The overview provides background and links to other related reports, such as the Research Infrastructure Task Force and Research Themes Committee reports.
  2. Summary Report of Strengths by College
  3. Summary Report of Strengths by Criteria and College
  4. College Reports: Reports submitted by all colleges are included, except the College of Engineering, which will submit its report in September. At that time the reports of strengths by college and by criteria will be updated.
  5. Appendices
    1. Guidance for college reports on areas of RSCAD strength
    2. Reporting template
    3. Slide presentation: Identifying and Reporting Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities, and Discovery, or RSCAD, College Strengths

The goal of this college reporting effort was to provide "ready lists" of RSCAD areas of strength that could be shared with both internal and external audiences. This report and the individual college lists can be used in a number of ways, including:

  • highlighting the value and potential of our RSCAD work to external stakeholders, such as the Kansas Board of Regents, legislators, funding agencies, and potential corporate/industry partners,
  • promoting interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and multi-institutional teaming and collaboration,
  • promoting outreach to attract and recruit outstanding graduate students, faculty, and staff in our RSCAD areas, and
  • assisting our new vice president for research, Karen Burg, by providing her with a portfolio of RSCAD strength areas.

I want to thank the deans, associate deans for research and the many others in the colleges who worked together to develop the college lists. I also want to thank Lynn Carlin in the Office of the Provost; Jan Middendorf, Sandra Brase, and Joel Wallace in the Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation; and Janelle Corkill, in the Division of Communication and Marketing; for their work compiling and publishing the online report. For further information or questions about this report, please contact Lynn Carlin at lcarlin@ksu.edu.

As we work together to build our reputation as a public research university integrating education, research and engagement as part of our land grand mission, our RSCAD strengths will continue to grow and evolve. This promises to be an exciting year on our journey to becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025. I look forward to working with Vice President Burg, our deans and associate deans for research, and our outstanding faculty and staff as we continue to move forward.

Thanks for all you do.

   April Mason

 

 

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