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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: Vision

Feedback from online survey and email

Do you agree with the proposed change of the visionary goal from "By 2025, Kansas State University will be recognized as one of the nation’s Top 50 Public Research Universities" to "By 2025, Kansas State University will be a premier, student-centered, public research university serving communities at home and across the globe through our land-grant mission"?
What changes would you suggest to either the proposed vision statement or the revised visionary goal?

I would suggest including in the statement an outright commitment to sustainability, and to addressing climate change. It may be implicitly included in it as it is, with being stewards of the land, air, and water -- but as a land-grant university, we are responsible for presenting the findings of scientific research in a clear way to the public. Climate change has been politicized, but it is scientific fact, and we need to make that clear so people will act (and vote) accordingly.

I like part of the revised vision statement but it needs to have an aspirational goal. The revised vision statement could be applied to any land grant university.

Include sustainability in the vision statement. Climate change is the single greatest challenge facing future generations of KSU students and alumni, and the citizens of Kansas. KSU, as a land grant university, needs to be visibly leading the way toward meeting those challenges. This should be evidenced not only in our research and teaching, but also in our university infrastructure and daily operations of the campus. Our efforts to increase the sustainability of KSU and the state of Kansas should be plainly obvious to anyone living and working on campus, and that focus should be plainly evident in our vision statement. Furthermore, a vision statement for the university and the 2025 goals do not need to be the same thing. The 2025 plan includes being "one of the nation's top 50 public research universities" because it is both an aspirational goal and a concrete goal. If we drop that concrete goal, we are implicitly deciding that we cannot meet it, so we should no longer even try. Dropping high expectations is a recipe for failure. On the other hand, having a visionary statement does not need to have specific concrete goals such as "top 50 public research university." It can have broader goals like "premier, student-centered, public research university." So, it doesn't have to be one or the other. We can have both. They serve different purposes.

I think the commitment to engagement was overshadowed by the research. Although the goal has certainly strengthened our university for the better, we need a more balanced vision. I like it.

We should incorporate the following: Innovative and state-of-the art approach with leading edge and futuristic aim for a fast-paced continuously evolving dynamic world for people, spaces, groups, and family units with diversity expectations.

Added "strive for sustainability" as part of the proposed vision statement. As stewards of the land, air and water, we uphold the legacy of our past, strive for sustainability and commit to protecting the future.

Keep top 50 research We need to become more selective, and in doing so create more meaningful opportunities for the students that are admitted.

none suggested

I don't know what "premier" means for a university - does it mean "exclusive"? The next section mentions metrics, but what are the goals going to be? What goals will put us into the "premier" category?   We cite various "top 10" reports on places to live, value of education, and so on throughout our web sites, but these have little to do with the metrics below. Will we become "premier" by telling students we are and then surveying them later? So what are our goals for our metrics going to be? With a goal of top 50, we can measure ourselves against the metrics of those 50 universities and know whether we are making progress. Should we identify aspect of our KBOR peers and say that we will be in the top decile (or quartile or half...) What does "student-centered" mean for us?   Why no mention of faculty? Shouldn't we have premier faculty and staff?

Change "our" to "its."

I voted yes, but I think it would be better to stop talking about 2025 altogether, especially when we are adopting a goal for 2025 that we could claim right now. Why are we going to spend another six years implying that we are not yet premier, when we will obviously, in six years, announce that we think we've met our goal of "becoming" a premier student-centered, etc?   2025 was a bad idea from the beginning. It was a vision without a heart (Let's be better at somebody else's metrics than some other schools), obviously not likely to be met, and during the Schulz presidency, a constant drumbeat reminder of the fact that we were not as highly ranked as our core constituency had probably previously assumed.

I believe the benefits a community gains from K-State are equally reciprocal. This visionary statement should be modified to show that the flow of knowledge and partnership occurs both ways - rather than top down. Likewise, neither statement does not reflect diversity or inclusion as a core value/vision.

I like the visionary goal. The vision statement is long but I like what is addressed - many key statements within the whole. One concern - do we only transform talented individuals (that sounds exclusionary);

The proposed visionary statement is too long.   No need to say "Our aspirations are rooted in service with the expectation our labors will ensure a prosperous and healthy future for communities at home and across the globe. As stewards of the land, air and water, we uphold the legacy of our past and commit to protecting the future" here.   "address the questions of today and solve problems for tomorrow" is already broad enough.

I think there needs to be more discussion of the outreach extension mission. Also the use of champions in the statement seems odd.

Put more effort and thought into including sustainability in our goals both long and short term. If we want to be able to serve communities both at home and across the globe we need to be demonstrating how to be a leader in progress related to the environment.

maybe instead of ending with "through our land-grant mission" "as a testament to our land-grant mission" "fulfilling and exceeding our land-grant mission"

The goal moves the "goal line" to where we already are, so we can claim success without doing anything different. With no money to pursue what would be (and always was) needed to get to top 50 (significant new faculty hiring, with competitive startup and space), this is probably the best we can do.

I think having a mix of both of the vision statements will be good.

I would propose no change. When I looked at it, I felt that it was a promise of a more ideal K-State. Even if goals are not met on time, having a document that lists specifically what we still would have to and want to achieve is important to meeting those goals.

I like the new visionary statement. I have one small suggestion.   I think the "learning" at K-State needs to be engaged or "engaging" or interactive. It doesn't always need to be "innovative" to be effective. Indeed, one can imagine that some new ways of learning might not be as effective as some tried and true methods. I am 100% in favor of experimenting with new ways of learning to find better ways of learning. But it seems much more important to me that our learning is engaging for students (that it involves them deeply) for it to be effective. It might be innovative sometimes and sometimes perhaps more effective in a traditional mode. It depends. Exciting, engaging learning seems essential, however.     And our RSCAD does need to be innovative. I think that is the right word for RSCAD.


I think there should be a statement that acknowledges that we now live/work in an increasingly global environment, making it relevant for the University to extend its mission 'across the globe.' Just adding 'across the globe' without linking it back to the health and welfare of Kansas citizens might be off-putting to some constituencies.

None at this time.

Lots of money has been invested in becoming top 50 public research university. Huge start up packages have been given to tenure track faculty. They should bare some of the responsibility for reaching this goal. Otherwise it would be a detrimental investment.

Overall, I like the new goal, but I also liked having the inherent metric. It made it easy for everyone to remember if/when we attained the goal.

K State values our students' voices - learn from our professors' voices and reflect on our alumni' voices to ensure communication from the past, the present and our future. We strive for transparency and thoughtfulness with a goal to give each student the best education they deserve to be the best individual they can be.

I would change the words "we harness the power", I don't have any suggestions as to what we should change it to.

more focus on diversity and accessibility to all.     Stating it will serve as a notice of non-discrimination as well as a reminder that we have a responsibility to make our resources available/accessible to all, not just those with our privileges.

The new visionary goal is fine although is a dilution with respect to aspirations related to research, but is probably more realistic. Saying that we would be a top 50 public research university, was good to motivate people because we had metrics that could be used as a point of reference to say that we were making progress. Using the term "premier" is subjective and therefore it is easier fur us to say that we reached our goal. In reality we already are "a student-centered, public research university serving communities at home and across the globe through our land-grant mission"

Perhaps add the word "versatile."

A commitment to preparing students to be the best equipped to contribute positively to society.


I would figure out a word other than "premier."

We seem to have lost focus that the mission of a land grant is to teach agriculture and engineering. It is completely missing as the focus of the mission.

The goals by themselves are OK. But how are you going to benchmark them? They are rather general and vague. If you cannot tie them to solid standards then we will never really exert ourselves because we will not know what we are aiming for.

If we go to 'premier' how are we going to measure it?   What is the standard/reference here?


Revised Visionary Goal: By 2025, Kansas State University will be a leading, student-centered, public teaching, research and service university serving communities of Kansas and across the globe through our land-grant mission. Proposed Visionary Statement: Kansas State University, as a leading land-grant institution, is a public institution upon which our communities of Kansas depend. We harness the power of innovative learning, discovery and engagement to transform talented people into impactful, successful citizens. We prepare each generation to advance society and enrich the world for those who follow. Through research, creative, and scholarly activities, we add address the questions of today and solve problems for tomorrow. Our aspirations are rooted in service with the expectation our labor will ensure a prosperous and healthy future for communities of Kansas and across the globe. As stewards of the land, air and water, we uphold the legacy of our past and commit to protecting the future.

I am not sure how, but more tangible goals would be better. How do we plan to measure these things?

Define what makes us different through our "land grant mission". Everyone has a different idea about what it means. What do we mean when we invoke those words?

About the statement above, I am not at all fond of the "true champions" phrase and would delete/revise it if allowed.   I like the "stewards of the land, air[,] and water" phrase: kudos to whomever added it!   Finally, please add "that" in the second to last sentence: "with the expectations [that] our labors will ensure a prosperous and healthy future..."

I don't like the future tense "will be" and premier is too broad. I did not have for Top 50 either. I believe in strategic goals but each are off-putting to large segments of people.   The messaging should be cohesive for all of the practical missions (recruitment of students, faculty, staff; teaching; research; outreach; fundraising; career readiness and employer needs). Top 50 seemed to be a fundraising goal. I work in research admin and was not a part of any strategic discussions about how to actual grow research. It wasn't a strong pull for recruiting students either (or maybe for a small segment who were interested at ages 16-17 in research already and may have made that attractive but again it is a future goal put out there that says "yeah, we aren't great yet. come back in 10 years and we will be").   I don't exactly understand the focus on 4 areas. I think that is really problematic for recruiting students if they aren't already interested in one of those areas. I know we talk about them being broad, but 16-17 year-olds don't think in those terms. It seems to go against enrollment strategies to put ourselves in boxes.   I would offer that if you want to use those strategic goals, that you also name a 5th that is specific to creating a well-rounded student/employee by giving them a broad education in the interconnectedness of disciplines in solving problems. I'm not a messaging person so I don't know how best to succinctly say it. My husband calls it "knowledge networks" instead of liberal arts ("liberal" can have some negative consequences in KS). Some in KS think we indoctrinate kids. Lets turn it around and show them how liberal arts can make our students creative and adaptive to change which we all see at ever rapidly increasing levels.   Human experience and character are also built and studied through the liberal arts and benefit every discipline on campus and in the world. Let's be explicit about it. Framing it in the right way may help with the KS legislature valuing education and funding us better.

Diversity needs to be involved somewhere in the statement

I would add to the "discovery of knowledge" the "transmission and discovery of knowledge"

I've cut and pasted the above statement and edited it so that it is no longer a salad of buzzwords and to be less colonial (i.e.g treating people (in this case Kansans) as savages who will benefit from the elite, superior benefactors (in this case, academics) taking over and telling them how to live while stealing from them).   Kansas State University is dedicated to the mission of land-grant institutions- to promote the welfare of the public over the needs or wants of one or more individuals. To do so, we collaborate with Kansans using our passions and skills- life-long learning, evidence-based problem-solving, and diverse knowledge-bases- in service of building a healthy, safe, prosperous, and fun global community. If you use this, you'll want to give me credit. Chardie L. Baird

I might suggest putting "diverse" into the statement: "serving diverse communities at home and across the globe."

I was thinking about the phrase that I will paraphrase as “a student centered Tier 1 research university”. Even on LGU’s, we often struggle with effectively and efficiently capturing the third prong of the LGU mission, extension/engagement. I would like to encourage us to come up with additional wording to capture the extension/engagement aspect of the land grant university mission. It needs to be succinct enough to efficiently and effectively add it to the phrase above. I do not know what that wording should be, but I would offer these as examples to facilitate some directed thought: (1) “a student centered, publicly engaged, Tier 1 research university.“ (2) “a student centered Tier 1 research university committed to empowering people to improve their lives, livelihoods, and communities” (3) “a student centered Tier 1 research university dedicated to serving the public.

I like two parts of the revisions. First, it is important to put a vision about student-centered. Second, we are probably not going to be a top 50 public research by 2025 so we have to change the vision.   There are two things that I don't like. First, the wording makes it sounds like we are going to be premier at being student-centered among the public research universities. I get that the orginal vision statement was too focused on research. But it feels like the revised vision statement swings the pendulum the other way. I would like innovation or research to somehow be placed in the vision. Right now, the statment just says that we are a public research university. That is a fact. In what ways do we want to be premier? Second, I don't know what we want to change by 2025. Premier is vague and I would like to think that this vision statment is already true of us. I don't see tha that the vision statement tells us the direction we want to change by 2025.

I'd rather be the *best* K-State rather than a second or third best version of what other public research schools are doing. I think we can learn a lot from other universities, but I think these rankings are a little misleading. I care more about the quality of our research and our students' learning than the rankings.

Take care of faculty and students. Pay faculty a comparable salary to other sister schools and quit being so money hungry!!!

I was very disappointed reading the 9/30/2019 2025 update in K-State today by the president and provost . While good and innovative teaching is very important, according to this update, the majority of the (outstanding) science at the College of A&S does not appear to be on the upper administration’s radar screen at all! The four focus areas addressed in this update (global food, health and biosecurity; aviation; the cyber land-grant university; and innovation in education) clearly disregard that most of the research potential at the college of A&S is not targeted in these four areas. Rather than promoting KSU’s excellence in research and teaching towards greener pastures in 2025, this biased selection of focus areas tends to discourage those left out. It is a display of very poor HR management and contradicts the very idea of a university equally encouraging research across a broad spectrum of disciplines (as opposed to   special-interest research centers). It promotes frustration and insults the many outstanding scientist without whose dedicated work the K-State 2025 initiative will fail.

I think we could easily argue that we already are a premier, student-centered, public research university serving communities at home and across the globe through our land-grant mission. It is hard to measure against this goal

None at this time.

Premier is hard to define. Who's interpretation of "premier" will be used. I agree that only focusing on research is not ideal and appreciate that we are student-centered serving communities at home and across the globe.   Rankings are subjective but it is something we can aspire to. Perhaps indicating that each college aspires to be ranked among the top 25 of colleges offering similar programs.

Yes and No. I applaud to move the focus on students back to being central in our vision. The focus of being a top 50 public research institution detracted from our student focus. But I feel you should remove the "By 2025". We should strive to be that tomorrow, not in 2025. And that is achievable.

I would suggest going out further (e.g. to 2030--10 years) and defining what is meant by "premier university". What does premier encompass?

---premier, student-centered, public research, and community engaged university serving Kansas and communities across the globe through the land-grant mission.

I like them.

Adaptive along with innovative   I would move the following phrase to the ending of the proposed vision statement "Our aspirations are rooted in service with the expectation our labors will ensure a prosperous and healthy future for communities at home and across the globe."   This allows the whole statement to flow better from present activity to past acknowledgement and future stewardship and service. It also ends with

I agree with the idea of being more inclusive on the list of things to do, but this goal isn't specific enough to ever work towards any progress, because who can say when this goal is met? Seems like it just lets everyone off the hook because can't we say that we are that now with no specific metrics to achieve?

The previous "visionary goal" reflected no values, and was at best a metric. It was deeply disappointing. It provided no vision to rally around. It reflected a lack of leadership and understanding of KSU potential to help Kansas and the world. The new proposal is much better! And I would love to see more of specificity in the new Visionary Goal. KSU can't do everything, but it could do some things very well, if only we commit to areas that we can impact (food security, prosperity in rural community, stewardship of natural resources). The current proposal would be more powerful if it acknowledged the particular scope over which KSU could be held accountable.


In the proposed visionary statement, this seems like an odd phrase "...transform talented people into true champions." How about "....transform people into leaders who make a difference."

Although I support the proposed statement over the original 2025 statement, the proposed statement doesn't really say anything to me. What does "premier" mean? What does "student-centered" mean?

Research is totally de-emphasized. In addition, the vision is not measurable. In fact, administrators could claim that this has already been achieved.

In general, the 2025 plan, in my opinion, is very much associated with Kirk Schulz. So in that regard, it seems like a throwback plan in a way. Moreover, it was proposed to unfold over too much of an extended period of time. It also happened to coincide with diminished support for higher ed through the Brownback years. I'd be in favor of scraping the 2025 branding entirely.

The new goal is a watered-down nonstatement and more a definition of what K-Sate is by state and federal mandate. How do you define "premier?"

Yes in the sense that "top 50" was dishonest.   But "premier" is too vague.   One problem--inherited by the past misdeeds of Schultz under whom the 2025 plan was created--is that KSU needs to find a way to disavow the dishonest old version of 2025 and find a way to re-mold it into something credible and won't elicit cynicism from KSU staff who are primed to see the new version as having too much PR in it, and not enough academic substance.

I would like to see the vision statement reverse these items. While it was never realistic that KSU would reach that top-50 goal, the proposed language de-emphasizes our important RSCAD work too much. How about:   "By 2025, Kansas State University will be a premier public research university serving communities at home and across the globe through our student-centered,twenty-first century land-grant mission"?

Lets assume we already are...and that we will "continue...". We need to stop worrying about the words we say about what we do and focus on the work that needs to be done so we can prove that we are the best.

We should be in the top 25, not just the top 50; particularly in the fields of study and research that KSU are proficient in ...

Visionary goal: "a premier... research university" is vague. Should our visionary goal be definable and measurable? I have a hard time envisioning what we should be aspiring to at such a high level in the organization. Proposed Visionary Statement: "We harness the power of innovative learning, discovery and engagement to transform talented people into true champions." The words harness and champion are powerful and competitive which might appeal to people who are motivated by power and competition; however, this language is not inclusive. Transforming talent also might imply having control over people. Suggestion: "We provide students an opportunity to grow through innovative learning, discovery and engagement."

Stress more on international reputation/


The original mission was much stronger and clearer than the revised versions. The revised visionary goal is very weak, and the proposed visionary goal is vague, and they are a huge step backwards in defining what we want to be and how we want to move forward as a university

New section: Communication, Democracy, and Citizenship. None of the current strategic initiatives encompasses these primary ideas. Most of the initiatives are very much directed at future employment, not citizens and people--all of which are important. K-State has a strong history of community engagement and democratic deliberation.

KSU should not be designated as a "student-centered" institution. While such a claim makes good PR, it is a misrepresentation of what a university is. A university is an institution of higher learning that is committed above all to the discovery, creation, and dissemination of new knowledge. K-12 education is "student-centered." We must not confuse those differences.

I am very concerned about the areas of strategic focus that you have defined: global food, health and biosecurity; aviation; the cyber land-grant university; and innovation in education. This excludes many vibrant areas of research, teaching and scholarship. For example, how do music, art, pre-modern history, literary and cultural studies fit into this? what about research in Mathmatics, philosophy? You seem to either be requiring faculty to redefine their research to make them "fit" into these, very narrow, fields - or are sending the message that they are no longer important. Also - I think it will send the message to students that we are a tech school, only interested in these 5 areas.


In the Visionary Statement, I don't like "to transform talented people into true champions." It sounds like a sports goal not an education goal, and the transformation from those less talented into highly capable citizens is equally worthy. What about "to transform our students into global citizens."

It needs to be quantitative. By removing the "top 50" reference you are admitting that this is not an attainable goal and essentially leaves the university as an also ran. Why would you want to go to K-State without such aspirations.

The problem with the initial visionary goal was that it was not only rhetorical (that was not the problem) but that eventually, as we approached 2025, the definition of the "Top 50 Public Research Universities" would hurt us, especially if we did not receive some of the large alumni donations and government support that demarcate these type of Tier 1 institutions.   The second, revised goal, fortunately, no longer has us comparing to other institutions; we may question, however, to what extent we will be able to serve global audiences.

The vision statement is too long, which makes the "vision" unclear. The revised goal, following on from our previous 2025 goal, comes across as a major step down in aspiration. It sound more like a community college than a "premier" academic institution.

While I like the change it seems one is more clearly measurable that the other.

The new statement clearly takes priority from research by putting "student-centered" first. I would say "By 2025, Kansas State University will be a premier, public university making strong research and training contributions, serving communities at home and across the globe through our land-grant mission"

Why are we getting rid of the Top 50 goal? What does "premier, student-centered, public research university" mean? What's the benchmark? What makes us premier? This feels like we're moving the goal post so that almost anything we achieve can be used to suggest we achieved the goal.

No Changes. Its a shame to lower the bar, but that is the reality.

To make us a top 50 public research university, the state, funders and admins would have needed to pour resources into the departments to give faculty the time and ability to excel and innovate and publish. Instead we are resource starved, teaching more than ever, facing shrinking departments as retirees are not replaced and watching some of our most talented hires jump ship. The goal was laudable, but since it was merely a slogan with no muscle or dollars behind it, we must revise the goal downwards as reality dictates.

Recognize the value of non-tenure track and part-time faculty who, by the way, are often at least productive in terms of scholarly publications as many tenure-track faculty (some of whom are bypassing scholarly publications)--by increasing pay, offering full time non-tenure track positions, especially to those who are clearly excelling in the classroom (by virtue of having been shut out of tenure-track positions have had to focus on teaching excellence. Of course this then will benefit the revised vision plan in terms of cultivating a student-centered environment); and, give them access to teaching and other awards.

Seems like we are giving up on the goal of being a top 50 public research university. That's too bad! We still have 5 years, so why give up on that goal already. Better try and fail than give up too early.

I am concerned that the critical importance of research is being diluted here. Let's be honest, when we think of the "top" universities, it is the research and scholarly achievements that truly distinguish them amongst the others. Think of MIT, Harvard, U-Chicago, etc.. I doubt the State of Kansas would ever provide the investments necessary for KSU to one day be a peer of those institutions, but it can be better than it is now. Students at all levels, and society too, directly benefit from research in areas of a practical (and employable) nature. Graduate students are trained as they participate in this work, undergraduates are instructed by talented, leading experts in their fields, and the university receives overhead and capitol investment. More abstractly, the University's reputation is tied to its achievements in research, not service. I am not really sure what "service" is supposed to mean. We are all dedicated to our students; delivering the best instruction we can and giving back in ways that are constructive. Saying "student-centered" suggest that perhaps we have not been and implies that our focus will shift more to teaching.

I would stress building on our time honored areas of strength, and stress our character as R1 university. Research is our core.

By 2025, Kansas State University will be a student-centered, public research university serving communities at home and across the globe through our land-grant mission. Remove "premier" , student-centered should come first, "premier" is inherent in the statement.

There must be something measurable about a goal. There is nothing concrete to be measured in the restated goal. The original goal had a measurable end to be achieved. What are the measures that will be used to determine "premier" and "student-centered" to know if these goals have been met?

I would not change anything, but I question why we keep starting and pushing initiatives that cost a lot of resources and after careful consideration decide to change it? I understand the social, political and economic environment change, but we need to be careful on how we are using public resources.

K-State has already achieved the proposed 2025 goal, so it's not even a goal. I would keep the original goal and delete "50".

None. Unlike the 4 key elements mentioned in the Prov. & Pres' article, (Global food, health and biosecurity; aviation; cyber land-grant univ; and innovation in education) the above vision statement and goals DO include research and other scholarly activities.

Go back to the old visionary goal. We should aim to become a good RESEARCH university, not try to become just another super community college.

Go back to the original visionary goal. The new one de-emphasizes research. This is silly. It leaves one with the impression that we want to become a glorified community college with a vo-tech part grafted on to it. A recipe for failure. This changes indicates to me that the administration has decided we do not want to be good university and cannot be a good university. There are many community colleges. We do not need to become one.   I think the new proposed strategic initiatives are mostly silly. It looks like they were chosen to be what is fashionable now and written significant input from marketing. They ignore significant parts of the research now done here.

With the new visionary goal we can declare success in 2020.

I do not think it is important if we are the best, or among the 50 best, or among the nth best universities. I think it is important that we graduate students who can be handed a novel problem situation, think clearly and imaginatively about what matters in that context, and about the range of possible solutions, rigorously evaluate the consequences of the alternative solutions with respect to the values that matter, and clearly communicate that analysis. It is important that we are known to graduate students with these skills.   Doing that requires that we give all our students, in whatever college or professional track, a suitable general education. It requires as well that in the specializations we offer, faculty are actively engaged in nationally recognized scholarship, research or creative work, and that we are known as an institution whose faculty routinely produce quality work.


Balance research with educational needs. Stop wringing money from students for computer fees and other hidden agendas. Charge an adequate but reasonable amount for tuition.

I am especially pleased to see "student-centered" re-enter the vision of the university. I was saddened when that was removed under the previous leadership.


We should strive to be a top 50 public research university. The new rather silly change to a vision that is completely meaningless (no actual goals) is all the result of not being strategic for the past 3-4 years except in terms of budget and bringing in more dollars for high level administrators.