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K-State Today

April 9, 2018

Letter from the vice provost for undergraduate studies

By Steven Dandaneau

Dear colleagues,

This is my third quarterly update for the 2017-18 academic year.

There's an adage that may apply to our situation: A lot of things have to change in order to keep things the same. We aim to maintain our fidelity to the land-grant mission. Access to excellence. Democratic education for democratic society. Etc. And President Myers recently summarized some of what is changing in order so that K-State can best meet this challenge, emphasizing a new budget model and strategic enrollment management.

I would underscore in this context the obvious: the quality of undergraduate education is critical to K-State's strategic development. While quality includes quantity, as rendered in persistence and graduation rates, it is not reducible to such indicators. And while quality is most certainly signaled by nationally competitive scholarship recipients, undergraduate researchers presenting and publishing, overseas study, internships, students landing competitive professional positions and places in the graduate and professional schools of their choosing, etc., we cannot be satisfied until all students, regardless of circumstances, identity, and upbringing, enjoy equitable access to such opportunities. Indeed, we cannot be satisfied until all students experience equitable outcomes as well. This result, for which we hold ourselves accountable, is at the core of the K-State land-grant mission.

Let me list recent Undergraduate Studies highlights and updates that bear on this core institutional goal:

K-State First, under Greg Eiselein's leadership, has been recognized by the Reinvention Collaborative, a national consortium of research universities dedicated to strengthening undergraduate education. K-State First will be featured at a national conference as well as in a national publication.

Camilla Roberts, director of the Honor and Integrity System, has been named vice president of the International Center for Academic Integrity, the premiere organization in her field, one that she has served for many years.

Jim Hohenbary's Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships has enjoyed another banner year, adding K-State's first Gates Cambridge Scholarship recipient to the university's already lengthy and distinguished honor roll.

Daralyn Gordon Arata, retiring this semester after 16 years at K-State, was recently celebrated by KU Law Dean, Stephen Mazza, at the annual Charlie and Julie Hostetler Dinner for K-State pre-law students and KU Law leaders.

Anita Cortez, retiring after 33 years, invites the university community to attend the 18th annual Developing Scholars Program Symposium from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 15, in the K-State Student Union Ballroom. Symposium, as it is known, is arguably the premiere venue for K-State undergraduate research.

Student Success Collaborative, or SSC, users have made 15,412 appointments for 6,972 distinct students since the advent of SSC's time-saving and convenience-enhancing appointment functionality. Thank you, advisors!

Mark your calendars: The sixth annual K-State/NACADA Summer Undergraduate Academic Advising Institute will take place May 17-18 in the College of Business Building. Registration information is soon forthcoming.

Recent research on K-State 8 confirms a past study: undergraduates enroll in 20 tagged courses on average before fulfilling their general education requirement, and 75 percent of these are K-State courses — as opposed to transfer or AP courses that substitute for K-State area requirements.

The University Honors Program will offer the Honors First-Year Seminar, UHP 189, this fall. Thanks to Justin Kastner and Jim Hohenbary, and to Honors College Coordinators and Faculty Senate, for their leadership.

I was honored to help represent K-State at the inaugural convening of the Center for First-Generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA and the Suder Foundation, which I serve as an advisory board member. I was also honored to attend NASPA's 100th annual national meeting and to represent the Reinvention Collaborative at NACADA's Administrator's Institute.

Finally, I want to thank David L. Griffin Sr., who is retiring, for his leadership on the University Advising Committee and Undergraduate Programs Council. Through these and countless other means, Dr. Griffin has contributed deeply and extensively to the quality of undergraduate education at Kansas State University. As with Anita Cortez and Daralyn Gordon Arata, his absence will be a presence for many years to come.

Very best,

Steven P. Dandaneau, Ph.D.

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies

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