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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 5: Faculty and Staff


Foster a work environment that encourages creativity, excellence and high morale in faculty and staff, responds to changing needs, embraces diversity, values communication and collaboration, and is respectful, trusting, fair and collegial for all.

Strategic Action Plan (pdf)

Latest news

Read more K-State 2025 news

Activities and Accomplishments

  • 107 new endowed faculty funds were established through private giving during the past 10 years.

  • Faculty salaries were enhanced through a new faculty compensation plan, which includes increased salary increments for promotion through tenure-track faculty ranks and the creation of targeted faculty salary enhancements to address faculty salary issues.

  • Professional titles were established for non-tenure track faculty as a way to recognize their contributions and achievements.

  • The K-State Postdoctoral Association was founded to support recent doctoral graduates engaged in research.

  • New programs for faculty and staff development were created, including supporting faculty through the pivot to remote teaching in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • More faculty are engaged in education abroad experiences, with faculty-led programs from every college.

  • International scholars visited the university in record numbers with the all-time high of 452 in 2019 before the pandemic.

  • Total Rewards, a new job classification, grade and compensation structure, was put in place for unclassified professionals and university support staff.

  • In a major change, K-State's classified employees chose to leave the state system and transition to university support staff.

  • The All University Awards Ceremony and a new Student Employee of the Year award were established to honor the outstanding work of faculty, staff and student workers. A faculty honors website was launched to recognize outstanding faculty.

  • Following a comprehensive assessment, university human resources related services were consolidated into the new Division of Human Capital Services, or HCS.

  • Recruitment and hiring processes were streamlined and automated and resources developed to support recruitment of underrepresented faculty and staff.

  • Numerous initiatives across the university were undertaken to advance an inclusive culture valuing human diversity and where all faculty, staff, and students can thrive. Examples include:
    • Two climate surveys of faculty, staff, and students were completed.

    • The university's first chief diversity and inclusion officer position was established as a cabinet-level position and the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Student Affairs was created in the Office of Student Life.

    • KSUnite, launched in 2017 during a pivotal time, in now an annual event that reaffirms who we are, what we value and what we stand for as a community of belonging.

    • Multiple forums were created to celebrate diversity and connect community, such as Wildcat Dialogues, Difficult Dialogues and What Matters to Me and Why, and faculty, staff and students were trained as facilitators for difficult conversations.

    • The Action Plan for a More Inclusive K-State was put in place in 2020 to address racial and social injustice through student and faculty/staff focused action steps — all of which are underway.

  • The Center for Advocacy, Response and Education, or CARE, expanded its services to provide confidential advocacy to any K-State student, faculty or staff member impacted by sexual, domestic or dating violence, stalking or sexual harassment.

  • New or updated policies were put in place, including a more flexible remote work policy, paid parental leave for all benefits-eligible employees and an expansion of the dependent/spouse tuition assistance program for term employees with five years of service.

Leading the Way

How a community responds to a crisis says a lot. K-State faculty and staff showed they were #KStateStrong as they stepped up to face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic with creativity, resilience, flexibility, collaboration, and empathy. Faculty and instructors quickly changed teaching methods. Staff members adjusted procedures for maintaining facilities. Classrooms were equipped with technology to support online and hybrid learning. Everyone collaborated to maintain university operations.

K-State employees created resources, including the Keep Teaching and Keep Learning websites, to help transition to online/remote learning. One initiative — Keep Teaching: Resources for Higher Ed — was an online community among the first of its kind in the U.S. 

Faculty and staff also battled the pandemic from multiple research angles: exploring vaccines and treatment options, improving COVID-19 tests, 3D-printing test materials and assisting communities.

Through multiple Biosecurity Research Institute projects, our researchers aimed to better understand SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory performed thousands of COVID-19 tests since the pandemic began. Lab staff also performed overflow tests for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and provided testing for community partners.

Faculty and staff also stepped up to help our communities throughout the pandemic. Fabric face masks were sewn by local volunteers in a project coordinated by the university and the Department of Interior Design and Fashion Studies. Members of the Digital Fabrication Club in College of Architecture, Planning & Design created and distributed 3D-printed face shields to health care facilities. The Department of Grain Science and Industry brought the Hal Ross Flour Mill back online to make flour for those in need in the local community. These are just a few examples of community engagement that is at the heart of a land-grant university.