From the Provost's Desk

February 27, 2013

Dear Colleagues,

On Valentine’s Day, we kicked off our sesquicentennial celebration marking 150 years of excellence as America’s first operational land-grant institution and Kansas’ first public university. It was a fun weekend with colleagues, students, alumni and friends with events ranging from a specially composed symphony piece, Wildcat 150 ice cream, highlights of each of our colleges and units on campus, wonderfully decorated wildcat statues, inspired talks by state and university leaders, and a 150th gala where we proved we could “clean up very well,” as my grandmother would say! Happy 150th, and happy anniversary K-State.

I know I am looking forward to the many, many planned events in the coming months. Our sesquicentennial committee worked very hard to start us out right — my sincere thanks.

As we honor our history this month and throughout the year, we are also moving toward the future, working together to reach our vision and goals for K-State 2025. Let me give you a brief update on what has been happening since Kirk and I visited with you during the fall college/major unit visits.

Aligning our college/major unit and departmental planning with the K-State 2025 visionary plan was an ambitious multi-year initiative begun in 2011. College/major unit planning has been in full swing for more than a year, and I invite you to check out the plans completed to date. Seeing these plans together tells us how we are truly going to put K-State 2025 into operation.

On Jan. 25, 145 academic, library and student life leaders participated in a departmental planning retreat with their deans and President Schulz as they begin their own planning processes to align with their college and the university plans. My favorite quote for the day was from Socrates (courtesy of Dean Floros): “Excellence is not a goal, it’s a habit.”

It was exciting to see the energy in the room as we talked together about planning to further advance our excellence in education, research and engagement. These departmental plans are critical for making K-State 2025 complete. See Guidance for Aligning College/Major Unit/Departmental Planning to find the time line for your department, including the presentation slides from the retreat and updated guidance.

Measuring and reporting progress and results are integral to any successful plan implementation. Our first K-State 2025 annual progress report, covering academic year 2011-2012, is now available. As outlined in the report, our first year focused on laying a foundation for progress while undertaking several key university initiatives to advance our goals. The report also includes updated comparative data on our key visionary goal metrics. You will see that Kansas State University was ranked in the Top 50 in terms of number of faculty awards, thanks to our outstanding faculty! Communications and Marketing is working on additional presentation formats for this and future reports to be more easily shared or read on mobile devices. 

We are continuing to move forward on key university initiatives during this academic year. You can see the final university 2025 internationalization plan and K-State Olathe plan, along with comments received during the comment periods, here. Our vice provost for undergraduate studies, Steve Dandaneau, is taking the lead in working with the campus community to implement the recommendations of the Undergraduate Research Task Force. I want to once again thank the committee members who participated in developing these plans.

The report of the Faculty Compensation Task Force, “Structuring Faculty Salaries Towards K-State 2025 and Beyond,” was released for comment in January. Please remember to submit your comments by March 15. We expect to see the final campus master plan update, as well as the recommendations of the Human Capital Services Assessment, in the next month.

Please visit the K-State 2025 website for the latest updates on K-State 2025 and related university initiatives and continue to send your comments and suggestions to 2025@k-state.edu. The success of K-State 2025 depends on a very large team. That team is all of us.

 

Thanks for all you do!

April

 

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