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  6. »Engagement, Extension, Outreach, and Service

2025 Visionary Plan

As K-State's 2025 strategic plan comes to a close, our strategic planning efforts continue as Next-Gen K-State. See the latest updates on the Next-Gen K-State website.

Theme 4: Engagement, Extension, Outreach, and Service


Be a national leader and model for a reinvented and transformed public research land-grant university integrating research, education, and engagement.

Strategic Action Plan (pdf)

Latest news

Read more K-State 2025 news

Activities and Accomplishments

  • K-State's visibility as an engaged university was raised, including receiving the Carnegie Foundation classification for community engagement and the APLU designation as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University.

  • The Excellence in Engagement Awards were launched to recognize engaged scholarship and an engagement seed grant program was established.

  • Food insecurity is one of the world's great challenges and became a focus of our engagement work. Examples include:

    • Students, the Division of Student Life and the Parents and Family program, and colleges worked together to address food insecurity on the Manhattan Campus. Opened in fall 2017, Cats' Cupboard, our campus food pantry, now provides students, faculty and staff access to food and personal hygiene items at no cost.

    • The Kansas Healthy Food Initiative, launched in 2017, supports projects focused on increasing access to healthy food at the retail level in low-resource and underserved areas of Kansas.

    • The Global Food Systems initiative was established to support adopting multidisciplinary approaches to address some of the world's global food systems challenges while helping to create jobs and wealth for the state.

  • Originally conceived as the North Campus Corridor, the Edge Collaboration District is now growing on the north edge of the Manhattan campus as a prime example of the university, city, state and federal governments, and business/industry working together to stimulate economic growth and prosperity.

  • K-State Olathe opened its doors to students, creating university, public and private partnerships advancing innovative education, research and outreach in the Kansas City metropolitan region.

  • Direct engagement with the military, soldiers, veterans and military families expanded through partnerships with the Army, Navy and Air Force; the Institute for Health and Security of Military Families; and 4-H Military Partnerships.

  • The Applied Aviation Research Center and the Kansas State University Bulk Solids Innovation Center were opened by K-State Salina in partnerships with industry and local, state and federal agencies.

  • The university and Biosecurity Research Institute researchers and staff collaborated with federal agencies and others on the construction of the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility, or NBAF, and contributed to NBAF-funded transition projects in anticipation of the federal facility becoming fully operational in Manhattan in 2022-2023.

  • Twelve reciprocal articulated agreements with Top 200 global universities were established, exceeding our goal of 10 by 2021.

  • Kansas State University in Orvieto, Italy, was established as an anchor for programs of study and other university activities within that region.

  • International noncredit programs grew with programs such as the Go Teacher program, the Korean Summer Institute, the Engineering Summer Institute and the Mandela-Washington Fellowship program for Young African Leaders.

  • The Leading Changes Institutes, an endowed program of the Staley School for Leadership Studies, was established, bringing together individuals from different countries and backgrounds and K-State students involved with multinational service organizations to discuss solutions to global challenges.

  • Engagement with Australian partners expanded with the Oz-to-Oz program, active student exchange programs and the Australian Fulbright Initiative.

  • The McCain Performance Series and the Beach Museum collaborated with university, corporate and community partners to offer expanded, unique, high-quality and diverse arts and cultural enrichment programming and leaning opportunities. For example, McCain performances increased from 15 to 30 per season and the Beach Museum exhibitions showcasing works by artists of diverse ethnicities and gender identities increased from 24% to 38%.

  • The university completed the Plan for Economic Prosperity in Kansas in 2021, which envisions leveraging our strengths in education, research and engagement/extension to support job creation and investment for our state, building on four areas of global leadership: food and agriculture systems innovation; digital agriculture and advanced analytics; biosecurity and biodefense; and K-State 105, leveraging our presence in all Kansas counties.

  • Alumni membership grew by 4% as the K-State Alumni Association was ranked fifth in the nation in the Power Five Athletic Conference for percentage of graduates who are members.

Leading the Way

More than 800,000 Kansans do not have access to grocery stores or healthy food options in their communities. K-State is a leading the way with the Kansas Healthy Foods Initiative. A public-private partnership, the initiative aims to increase access to affordable, healthy food to improve the health and economic development of Kansans and their communities.

Seeded by the Kansas Health Foundation, the initiative is a partnership among K-State Research and Extension, NetWork Kansas and IFF, with strategic guidance provided by The Food Trust. The program works to bridge informational and financing gaps faced by healthy food stakeholders and food retailers operating in low- to moderate-income areas.

Putting these values into practice, K-State also opened the Morrison Family Cats' Cupboard, an on-campus food pantry, in September 2017 to fight food insecurity on the Manhattan campus. Cats' Cupboard provides students, faculty and staff with immediate access to much-needed food items as well as personal hygiene items at no cost. It is a vital resource supported by the K-State community to help ensure students can meet their primary needs so they can focus on their education.