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2025 Visionary Plan

Innovation and Inspiration Campaign

If you have questions or comments, or suggestions, please send an email to 2025@k-state.edu

Fall 2019 Feedback and Suggestions: Metrics

Feedback from online survey and email

What changes to the university benchmark metrics would you suggest as you consider our vision to be a premier student-centered, public research land-grant university?

I would like to see benchmarks related to eliminating the university's carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuels.

I am not sure about the Endowment pool as a metric.   It should be what you are going to do with the money! Include Post-doctorates employed Citations

The list above is mostly inputs ($s and awards) and progress milestones for students. I realize that benchmarks are measurable influencers of the outcomes we seek, but I would like to attempt to measure real results/outcomes. For example: What good does our research do in the world? Does it make people healthier and more safe? Are we really changing the lives of those we educate? Do our graduates attain lives that are meaningful and fulfilling?

Concrete metrics of sustainability of KSU, such as: university divestment from stranded asset fossil fuel funds proportion of university investments in renewable energy funds proportion of KSU kilowatt hours consumed that is produced by renewable energy   proportion of buildings with solar panels installed on them proportion of buildings with batteries (for storing excess solar energy to use at night, and provide resiliency when the grid is down)   More concrete metrics for research productivity, such as: number of research awards number and dollar value of extramural research grants awarded number and impact factor of peer-reviewed publications number of presentations at leading research conferences   More concrete metrics for teaching productivity, such as: number of teaching awards number of presentations at leading teaching conferences

How do you measure learning? Graduation is essential but we need to commit the quality of learning experience at the institution at the undergraduate and graduate levels.   I like several from Nebraska: Student experience Engagement in Nebraska and Beyond Diversity and Inclusion Campus community Also: Building community innovative pedagogy to transform lives and learning

Are there other student measures that capture transfer and nontraditional students that could be added to the benchmarks?

Meeting workforce demands (difficult to measure, maybe # of graduates in key fields)

Additional bench marks- Number of undegraduate degrees awarded Time to graduation Faculty salaries Facilities Endowed Faculty awards

Include the following idea: Evidence of the ability to attract and retain a talented committed workforce that assumes ownership of the vision and mission of the university.

Many of the proposed benchmarks within the K-State 2025 Sustainability Strategic Action Plan have not been met. These need to be a priority and embraced as part of the 2025 core goals.

There are no metrics related to Extension work, which is what separates K-State from all other state institutions and truly makes it a Land Grant. Everyone has teaching and most have research, nobody else has Extension. Yet, we don't measure by it. This is what also makes us a Public Land-Grant.

student and employee engagement metrics

I'm not sure what "development expenditures" are for the first bullet. I suggest we add a metric about patents, licenses, and revenues generated from royalties or corporate partnerships.   Faculty (and student) publications (including monographs) and juried exhibitions and performances are measures of quality not necessarily tied to funded research. These are harder to track and would require thoughtful annual reporting. If we are going to be student-centered, then perhaps some student research metrics like authored articles, presentations, juried shows should be metrics for K-State?

We never have benchmarks for those who serve the students, alumni and friends. You are missing the heart of the university. It's called STAFF.

For public presentation, I suggest the student-centered metrics (graduation and retention rates and doctorates granted) be at the top of the list instead of placing financial goals there.

None of these actually measure the value imparted to students by their educational experience. Annual giving could be considered a proxy for the value that former students attach to their experience and retention rates speak to only one part of that question. The rest, not so much. How about percentage of students landing first jobs at or above the salary median for their major after graduation? Number of programs with a top ten rating in their field?   Percentage of students who get meaningful undergraduate research experience. Percentage of doctorates who have tenure-track jobs within five year of PhD.   We are much more free to pursue actual improvement if we stop benchmarking against what other schools measure and report out. The benchmarks have essentially been misaligned with the mission of the university from the beginning because none of them help us answer the question of whether we are improving what we are providing to our students, to the community, etc. It was just decision to play some other school's ranking game, and we are still being boxed in by that decision. If your goal is to be called a "premier land-grant" -- then how are you going to define the word premier?

I think enrollment (head count) is important.     Rates are important, but quantity of students and SCH are important, too.

I think all of these are important metrics, and I would also add something about engagement/outreach.   I also think it is important to consider the four initiatives that have been proposed so far. The one with food and health should also include water as this is a diminishing resource that is important in all arenas of life. There should also be additional clarity regarding the cyber land grant initiative so faculty can have a shared vision to work toward. I would also like to see additional individuals, particularly leaders on our campus in research, involved in these discussions. I think it is critical that the VPR be involved in the discussions regarding the initiatives as well as the Associate Deans for Research. Faculty Senate should also be involved in this process to ensure shared governance.

Diversity and Inclusion - related to staff, faculty and students. Particularly measuring inclusion, because links more to a shifting culture in which all people feel welcomed and valued.

we need to measure/report SO to JR and JR to SR retention rates; Is there something that is unique to Land Grant universities that can be benchmarked with other Land Grant universities?

Even though it might be debatable, it might be still critical to include (1) enrollment growth, (2) some diversity measures, and (3) a key index from annual senior student/alumni satisfaction survey.

No change

Concrete measures of sustainability such as solar panel installations, recycling in all facilities, utilization of funding to make advancements in these areas.

Once again, we are saying that we are student-centered but not one of the benchmarks are related to the health and well being of our students. There are four items listed before you even mention anything related to students. Abysmal.

Masters degrees granted Number National Competitive Awards (Undergraduate and Graduate) such as NSF Graduate Fellowships

It seems if we are student centered we might want some student voice here - not sure if advising surveys have been consistent enough to consider for this purpose. Not familiar with other measures of student satisfaction.

The list of faculty awards that count is strange and could be improved.


I suggest no changes, but I believe that K-State’s sustainability benchmarks should be addressed either in a reworked version of this survey or by a separate survey, as it an extremely important component of the 2025 Plan.

Degree attainment seems key (and so the last two remain essential, in my view). Doctorates granted is less clear to me. It's not a badge of honor to crank out doctoral degrees just for the sake of the numbers, right? What kind of PhD's do we need. The others seem to be about money. If it helps the University financially to make these metrics and if it brings in more resources, then these are fine with me. I would be careful about spending too much time, money, and energy on chasing resources that may not produce a clear net resources benefit. I prefer metrics that are more directly about teaching and learning, research and discovery, and service than the more indirect ones. But if these *are* the ones that will help us most, then that's okay by me.


Given predictions that workforce needs may decrease the need for doctorates and increase the need for master's degrees and other types of graduate level credentials,   I wonder whether 'Doctorates Granted' remains a relevant metric. I suspect it comes from the 'top 50' goal?

Sustainability measures— a land grant university with such a strong agriculture community should hold a focus on improving the environment.

Impact of peer reviewed publications

Retention rates beyond freshmen-to-sophomore rates. Include junior-to-senior rates.

adding something related to service or community engagement (extension, etc.)

Doctorates granted should be higher on the list if this list is in the order of importance. University needs to set the priorities and one of them is certainly quality and quantitiy of doctorates as well as GTA support for Ph.D. students, especially those that are involved in teaching.

If you are going to use freshmen-to-sophomore retention as metric, I feel it is very necessary to use expenditures on student success and support programs as a metric. None of the other metrics encompass the significant outlay of resources that is necessary to enhance retention.

The above metrics do not measure how we serve communities or measure our fulfillment of the land grant mission. In addition to retaining the above, I suggest something along the lines of how we prepare our students to give back to others. I am not an expert at measuring this, so the below are "back of envelope" suggestions: 1) graduates entering careers that traditionally serve communities (military, charities, county/state govt). 2) statewide distribution of graduates

Take out Faculty Awards and substitute with More Student Awards and Scholarships

I would change the order to: 1. Freshman to Sophomore retention rate 2. Six-Year graduation rate 3. Research and development expenditures 4. Endowment Pool 5. Annual Giving 6. Faculty Awards 7. Doctorates Granted And add another one at the top - Academic superiority, hiring the best professors, and raising our admissions standards.

-Demographics of our faculty/staff/students -Reports regarding student services (e.g., students engaged in a tutoring program, students utilizing physical & mental health resources) -Data about KSRE Extension Programming -Climate reports regarding student/faculty perceptions of support, inclusion, experience, and general happiness. -Reports on undergraduate research (e.g., number of undergraduate students involved in research, the number who travel using University grants, the number who are published while undergrads at our school)

Why is annual giving a metric for success?

Make it "Faculty Awards, Accomplishments, and Accolades."

An evaluation of the commitment and effectiveness of professors/instructors in successfully educating students.


The operative in both the current vision and revised visionary goal is "public research university." I would actually put substance behind that.

Growth in Agriculture and Engineering

Again what levels are we hoping to attain? Is just increasing Research expenditures enough?   Or are we looking at a particular goal? Again, do we want a particular 6-year graduation rate or are we happy if we increase it by 1%?

Once 'premier' is defined it will be easier to suggest benchmarks. Who is going to decide what these are and how are students supposed to interpret the term 'premier.'

Number of First Generation students Percentage of international students Numbers of students involved in service projects Numbers of students who study abroad Percentage of students who vote

Job attainment rates upon graduation Student engagement in campus life, committees, etc. Innovative teaching/learning techniques implemented Student awards

There needs to be a benchmark for internationalism/globalism.

Focusing on ‘rates’ may not be financially beneficial long term. We may need to include head counts, overall degrees granted, SCH, etc. to help incentivize recruiting students.

Why don't we drop the Doctorates Granted benchmark and use "degrees granted" to be inclusive of both the baccalaureates and the graduate degrees? The public cares about education, only higher ed cares about doctorate degrees.

Retention rates for a university that offers broad access is a mistake. It should be easy to get in, but should be challenging in order for the degree to mean anything. Research expenditures are not going to go up without our ability to grow faculty numbers. We are already at capacity for the faculty we have.

Diversity initiatives met

something about the number of graduates who are leaders in their fields

Why are there no benchmarks related to extension, one of the three missions of a land-grant university?

- increase in positive perceptions of K-State about a variety of issues, as collaborating with the public (surveys/interviews/etc. of Kansans) -increase in Kansans understanding of problem-solving using science and evidence-based decisions using science -increase in Kansans understanding of diversity and inclusion issues in a global economy -increase in positive experiences of historically underrepresented students at K-State (surveys/interviews/etc. of historically underrepresented students) - increase in positive experiences of historically underrepresented faculty at K-State (surveys/interviews/etc. of historically underrepresented faculty) - increase in positive experiences of historically underrepresented faculty at K-State (surveys/interviews/etc. of historically underrepresented faculty) -freshmen -to-sophomore retention rate of historically underrepresented students - expansion of what is considered contributing to K-State from the focus on a narrow type of research (publications in academic journals with little impact outside academia) - increase in interdisciplinary student experiences, with an emphasis on collaborating in teams with diverse knowledge bases

As a professor in English, I'm not sure the above recognizes my work. I have won awards, but I'd like to see a metric that recognizes my research and publications.

I'd remind all of us that not all research and development hinges on grants and external funding. Let us not forget the valuable research, creative activity, and discovery that faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences engage in and produce. Just because it might not always be as easily measurable by particular metrics does not mean it doesn't exist nor that it isn't valuable. Pedagogical research, for example, has a direct effect on student engagement, retention, and learning. If we are to be a STUDENT-CENTERED university, we must value all kinds of research and scholarly activity.

Some type of metric related to student learning or achievement

Extension/outreach contacts with general public we serve.

The retention rate metric gives an incentive to reduce low grades that could undermine our objective of providing a high-quality education. Be careful about the incentives you are creating. I think a metric should be added for publication quality. There are several options in terms of citation metrics or publication in journals with certain quality metrics. Each discipline will be unique (some have higher citation counts that others) but some creative thinking on this issue can create incentives for each discipline to increase high-quality publications. Can you think of a metric that incentivizes faculty to innovate in their teaching methods?

Given the student-centered value and public land-grant, I would think benchmarks such as public humanities and community engagement, as well as student research and creative activities would be important benchmarks. However, I understand that those aren't easy metrics to measure.

I think the big focus should be on degree completion.

Add: Basic, foundational research Data Analytics (including ethical questions in relation to data use) Resiliency (individual and community)

How will you measure the climate for students, faculty, and staff?

I'm not familiar enough the metrics that are in vogue right now to know if anything should be changed. Maybe something about % of undergraduates involved in service learning, research, or other engagement

I believe we need to utilize the county KSRE offices more ways than what are being done at the present time. Many counties are being overlooked for growth and development.   Every citizen should matter, not just the larger populated counties.

1. Student services benchmarks, for example, those that encompass staffing diversity, orientation services, disability and counseling services. Metrics to gauge progress in providing access to underserved populations. Reasons for noncompletion. 2. ROI for specific programs and majors.

Scholarships awarded (dollar and number) Placement of graduates (undergraduates and graduates) Students continuing their studies International student enrollment Out-of-state enrollment Kansas enrollment

The benchmarks need to align with the budget model, so perhaps the budget model needs to be adapted to recognize criteria beyond students and credit hours. We have a tripartite mission, but only one aspect is considered in the budget model.

Why only doctorates? Masters degrees may be even more important concerning the nation's workforce needs. Why not retention rate from freshman to graduation? This would be more impactful and a noble target.   How about benchmarks in providing more ways to allow access to our programs? For example--more online opportunities for out-of-state students, transformative uses of technology for enabling student success (online but also on campus), and more partnerships with community colleges and even other universities (international)?

Extension as the core to the outreach and engagement efforts.

The current metrics do not match with the new budget model. Work needs to be done to align the metrics with the new budget model. It will take quite a bit of work to accomplish this.

Since we are now mostly 120 credit hours, a four-year grad rate seems realistic.

Student, Staff and Faculty satisfaction data (how likely are you to recommend KSU to others)

I would suggest inclusion of metrics that also reflect the value of the degrees and their rigor. We can improve retention and graduation by just making the curriculum really easy, so including some metrics that reflect career outcomes, licensure success, or other metrics that reflect the value of the education obtained. I'd also suggest something related to professional service to the larger community. Finally, including an extension and outreach benchmark would more accurately reflect the land grant mission and maybe underscore the support for these activities.

Is there really a will to become a "premier" land-grant university? Many changes would be needed to provide a student experience on par with premier institutions like UC-Davis, Purdue, UGA, UIUC, etc. Is the leadership going to promote and support the culture change that is needed?   I don't think any of those benchmarks are well-suited to judge our progress towards our mission. They are all easily gamed (e.g. by lowering standards, redirecting effort towards metrics, etc), especially if there isn't clear sense of mission. I'd be more interested in specific actions that would change the culture and raise the expectations for delivery of knowledge and technology that helps KS and the world.

Service to the people of Kansas

Master's degrees granted, engaged university rating

Greater percentage of transfer students. We have an untapped source of students that have associates degrees or incomplete degrees. Try to recruit and retain these students to K-State.

Student enrollment should be included. What are the aspirational student enrollment goals. The current benchmarks should be retained.

faculty hires. my department has lost faculty lines and has many unstable instructor lines. the result is that every remaining TT faculty member is teaching on overload (or at least a heavy load) and this compromises our ability to invest in our RSCAD activities.

It seems to me there should be metrics around SEM in support of student-centered. Also, wondering if we could bench mark key measures of impact around student placement or other student-centered impact?

We've got to secure more state funding. That will help with access and make the university more student-centered.

The absence of faculty salary in the above list is really quite remarkable. Perhaps that shows up later in the survey. By comparison, "faculty awards" is trivial. Also, perhaps "recruitment" should be on this list?

Add Faculty Publications, Performances, Exhibitions, and other public manifestations of creative and scholarly production. Add percentage of students receiving scholarship aid.

Student and faculty/staff engagement (our students work on our campus and learn by doing...).   We are one of the few land-grant university's that have agronomy and livestock learning facilities in the same town as the university.     We have a connection to every county in the state via extension. Grants funded. Anything that shows and tells a story of work actually successfully conducted. Anyone can make up a number... tell a story.

Metrics for Recruitment and enrollment needs to be given a specific up-front priority. It is the future of the institution.   Dropping enrollment over recent years should be of the highest concern, and is not supported by a "reasonable" explanation for an institution such as KSU. In my short time here, recruitment activities at KSU seem to be very "poor" for an institution of this historical caliber.     KSU must extend its efforts not only domestically, but internationally as well. Recruitment is a responsibility that must be assumed by each member of the institution; whether alumni, faculty, student or associated party. It is not a singular effort that can only be delegated to particular individual, department or office. --- Secondly - KSU needs to increase improve its relationship with relevant business and industry, particularly those that will be employing and engaging the product we produce; our students and graduates.   KSU should be looking to the future commercial environment to determine those skills and attributes that well be highly sought after, and engage business to develop related curriculum.   Metrics should be designed to meet these future requirements.

I believe there should be a benchmark related to engagement and hope the students who respond to this survey can add a "student-centered" benchmark.

Publications in internationally acknowledged journals and presses.


First generation students

Community Engagement Public Facing Scholarship

Add: The protection, growth, and enhancement of full-time, tenure-line faculty positions.


While I know that Doctorates Granted is one of the ranking metrics, I think the number of Graduate Degrees Granted is significant.

student awards, student satisfaction, employment rates after graduation, salary after 15yrs.

If we can get employment data, from Career & Services, that may be another interesting metric, one that could also be persuasive for future groups of students. There is little focus on faculty and undergraduate/graduate student research--perhaps more of a focus there?

Engagement of undergraduates in research Student awards (across the boards, not just one or two deemed as "premier") Masters granted

Add in total graduate degrees granted.

I am concerned that "faculty awards" represents too small of a sample of our faculty's behavior. The other metrics represent a broad sample of the behaviors of a large number of people, but awards does not. It risks recognizing the outcomes for a select few as currently defined (in our case, none of my faculty). If Awards were broadened to include people designated as "Fellows" of national organizations, that might help as long as you solicit a list of acceptable organizations from departments and their peers (e.g., one of my organizations appoints every member as a Fellow - clearly an insufficiently narrow metric).

Fewer than half of the benchmarks directly relate to "student-centered"-ness.   Scholarships and/or student population needs to be addressed.

So here's the benchmarks. Will comparisons be made to other land-grant universities? What is the qualification for "premier?"

Endowment pool and annual giving seem too closely related and to some extent duplicate each other. I argue against faculty awards (too small of a pool, non-robust metric), and in favour of a bibliometric measure such as average faculty member H-index or annual number of citations to K-State-created literature. I recognize that this does not do justice to some colleagues in the Arts, but it does much better justice to the width and depth of our academic accomplishments

I would include number of external partnerships (engagement) and the number of undergraduates on our campus that take advantage of an internship/mentoring program. KSU is way behind other campuses on that.

How about faculty productivity in scholarship? How about teaching excellence?

Expenditures toward full-time non tenure track positions for teaching faculty.

It would make sense to have a metric related to whether our graduates get a job in their field or not. I believe that is why most of them are here.

I would add extramural funding (it is not obvious that is is part of faculty awards).

"Freshman-to-sophomore" is needlessly gendered language and ought be renamed "first-to-second-year" to be more aligned with both our equity&inclusion goals as well as national norms.

I'll comment on research only. The general problem with the original 2025 plan is that it proposed to do everything and set no priorities. The new plan, at least as espoused through the recent letter from the President and Provost, gets more specific about research priorities:       (1) global food, health and biosecurity; (2) aviation;   (3) the cyber land-grant university; (4) innovation in education   (1) global food and (1) biosecurity indeed do make a lot of sense in the NBAF context. (1) health is clearly part of the plan for HHS, but structurally badly flawed.   KSU has no health education infrastructure. There are   risks here and questionable upside. (2) I suppose refers to Polytechnic, but the aviation slot in the state is already occupied by Wichita State. (3) is marketing department gibberish. (4) is OK, but generic.   What we really want is "effective and cost-saving innovations in education" Missing completely is any commitment towards continuing the support of KSU's already overachieving natural science departments, who pay an awful lot of university bills through already innovative teaching and considerable indirect cost return on competitive grants.

I would add "publications in top research journals and other appropriate evidence of creative scholarly activities"

Those remain as useful metrics. The faculty awards chosen as benchmarks were not all useful regarding significant national recognition.

Success in research should not be measured, or should not be measured only, in dollars spent or faculty awards: the former is only indirectly related to productivity or quality, and the latter recognizes only preeminence. I suggest a publication/creative activity metric. Adjust the rate of productivity for each department level unit by department size and area-specific productivity in peer institutions, and produce a university level metric by averaging over the ratio of a department's adjusted productivity to its budget.

Faculty/staff retention, K-State graduate college debt amount, and student satisfaction score

the top 50 designation

Do not emphasize annual giving in this list of benchmarks. It is offensive to be always asking for money for a Public university.

The single most important thing that Kansas State University does is provide "high quality education for students".   How well we do this is difficult to quantify. I am not opposed to the above criteria, but let's not let these criteria lead us astray.

I suggest an addition of "Student Rewards".

Where is anything about service? Where is anything related to actual productivity from research - not just how many dollars we can bring in (the first 3)?   Who actually is working to make "faculty awards" happen beyond giving our more K-State awards?

The metric of Doctorates Granted is fine, but many programs emphasize graduate education at the Master of Science level due to the specific needs of the job market. The mentoring and culmination of MS (or MA or MBA) degrees are as important to our success in preparing students for careers, and these need to have importance in our 2025 metrics accounting.