1. K-State home
  2. »Office of the President
  3. »2025 Visionary Plan
  4. »K-State 2025: A Visionary Plan for Kansas State University
  5. »Update
  6. »Feedback
  7. »Comments and Suggestions

2025 Visionary Plan

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

General Comments and Suggestions

"While a lofty overall goal, the reduction in budget have eliminated the ability to reach the stated goal of being a top-50 public research institution.     Asperational leadership at a time of decreased resources is extremely difficult, as we are just trying to stay afloat at our individual college/unit levels.   The emphasis on new space, which fits into several parts of the plan has further decreased our budgets in order to cover building costs, as well as ongoing maintenance costs.   2025 challenges us to do more, and we are struggling to to do our minimum outcomes for our unit.   From the beginning, I have voiced concerns about the fact that superior, quality teaching is not mentioned in the 2025 vision statement.   While it is interwoven into the goals, I believe that one of the reasons for our declining enrollment is that students do not see our commitment to them in our vision.   They see it if they are here and interact with us, but on the surface they don't appear to be important in our future.   
I think it's time to drastically revise 2025, or maybe scrap it and start all over.   It has helped us convey a clear message to the legislature and donors, and has obviously resonated with donors since there has been such good philanthropic work done lately.   However, despite the legislature funding specific project, like the engineering initiative, they have continued to defund higher education at an alarming, and consistent rate.   I don't the message is connecting in any way to their support for K-State.   
"K-State's strategic goal isn't merely aspirational: due to a technology-driven shake out in higher education, declining state support, and changing demographics, it is increasingly essential that we achieve recognition as a leading national research university, this, to fulfill our historic land-grant mission and to maintain our core statewide and regional market position.
I feel the University has lost site of it's mission. My second KSU student is graduating in May 2017 and her education was ok. The fees for engineering were increased twice while she was at K-state for faculty-teachers and the new hires where hired for research not teaching. The students are getting the shaft and we need to put the money toward their education not just the research. We were known for the faculty/student ratio and we were putting out a great student product. The alumni did well and came back to support the University. The students now will leave here feeling like they got the shaft, they will do well but will not come back to support the institution that screwed them. They will donate their money elsewhere. If we continue to focus on research and not the people we will be shooting ourselves in the foot by cutting off our alumni handouts.
We need to get back to being a service organization. We have lost site of the people we serve STUDENT! We keep increasing their fees and offer less services and in many cases they are peer taught not professors. In the past there was a good student/professor ratio and now it is TA's and instructors. Professors are expected to produce research money for the university, not be available to teach our students. We are becoming a business of making money not a university of educating our future.   We will pay for it.
Because we are in an enrollment decline, we need to revisit how the 2025 plan may have impacted how students and their families think about K-State. Prior to 2025, K-State was known as a great teaching institution. Since the primary emphasis of 2025 is on research (Yes, I know there are multiple themes that include undergraduate teaching, but look at the public perceptions.), we seem to have lost that focus. Conversations in the press no longer talk about teaching when discussing the plan.   Somehow we need to change the conversation across the state that truly emphasizes that teaching and research are co-equal partners. In addition, the entire initiative is too cumbersome. Too many plans, too much stuff...it is unwieldy. Given the amount of faculty and administrative time spent to develop and report, we could teach another class. Make it more manageable...no more than one or two goals per department. Please remember that your line staff have big responsibilities to teach and do the research. The more requirements we have for planning and assessment, the less time is spent on teaching and research.
K-State is fortunate to possess, arguably, the best undergraduate experience in the State of Kansas and perhaps regionally. But, as seasoned, expert K-State observers warn, undergraduate education is at a tipping point. A refreshed K-State 2025 strategic plan should double-down on the strategic importance of undergraduate education. Luckily, we can build on a strength, as suggested by our recent historic gains in rates of persistence and graduation. And even though some rocket science is in fact involved, K-State is more than capable of successfully meeting this core strategic challenge."
K-State needs to not become the monopoly of education in Kansas because people will push back. While there are a lot of higher education opportunities in the state, sometimes smaller colleges and communities feel K-State is acting like a bully in education. I say this knowing there are a lot of very good people in K-State. K-State because of its size, must be humble in its approach.
Overall, it is essential to have our goals made public so that faculty and administration can stay focused, not drift from the mission and establish priorities for funding. It unifies the campus rather than living in silos; we will accomplish more and be stronger if we are woven together by goals than standing separately. Kansas State provides individual faculty the most autonomy of any institution with which I have been associated. A common plan unifies. thank you. 
We have a lot to be very proud of here.   Our students get an outstanding education, and people here are extraordinarily committed to their work. But our challenges are great, and we really need some leadership to address the budgetary challenges we are now confronting. Money needs to go to faculty. Period. That may mean cutting some pet projects that are not central to the educational mission of the university, and which may be valuable, but need to be sacrificed, at least until we can afford them again. For example, Landon Lecture are quite expensive, I believe. I think they are fantastic, but can we afford them?
These goals are not feasible during a time when we are being asked to get by on fewer and fewer resources every passing semester. Efforts should be focused now on retaining faculty and students rather than asking us to do more without providing the necessary support. 
My impression was that the original 2025 Plan was not close to being achievable. Propose goals that are within the realm of being accomplished.
Accountability for our individual 2025 plans cannot occur, given that new and expanded programs are just not feasible under our current budget constraints.   We hear - "stop something" in order to create those new initiatives but for many of us we are already at a very basic level of services. And Central Administration has been clear that "negative" news, or being honest with the public about any reduction of services is not appreciated or allowed in some cases. Give us something to work toward that is achievable!
Generally, I find that all of the sub-plans are just fine. There was a point in time, however, when I was excited about the 2025 plans, and especially how they would unfold and advance our college (Human Ecology). I even participated on a few of the 2025 planning committees for our college. However, in recent years, my concerns are significant and I really find less caring about 2025 and more. To be very blunt, the morale, enthusiasm, trust, and respect is so very low in our college, that I really don't think any 2025 plan will ever make it to reality. So, while it looks great on paper, the lack of leadership and buy-in in our college will never let the plan really succeed, and it isn't because there isn't belief in the plan, but instead, lack of confidence in college and department administration. I'm sorry to have to state things in this fashion, but as luck would have it, from dept. heads on up the ladder, there are NO communication channels that are either effective or used, or unfortunately, could pose negative repercussions. Really sad state of affairs for a University, and poor working climate for sure. Thank you. 
It is unclear if the institutional will exist to do what is necessary to achieve the 2025 Visionary Plan in its current form.
One gets the impression that the K-State administrations does not always speak with one voice with respect to 2025, on the one hand, and the no enduring budgetary crises, on the other. But everyone knows that these two things are inextricably linked. So the K-State administration owes the K-State community an honest appraisal of which 2025 objectives are in the category of "in a ideal next 7 years" and which objectives are realizable under the current budgetary conditions. To the extent this issue is not clearly addressed the 2025 plan is open to serious criticism re: feasibility.
K-State 2025 is a brilliant plan but it is all for nothing if we can not achieve budget stability on campus. The continually cuts of 1%,2%,3% and on and on will undo it all. We have tremendous salary issues and facility issues. We have to have a budget model that is able to fund our aspirations in K-State 2025. Being a Research University is an expensive proposition, being top 50 even more so. We have to stop pretending all this stuff does not cost more money than we currently have access to. There are really only two options: More money is allocated by the state (an unlikely scenario), or we raise tuition and fees to fund K-State 2025. We have be willing to tell the students (and the Board of Regents), you may not like it but your are going to have to pay more if we are going to be the type of institution outlined in K-State 2025. It is ridiculous for me to comment on any other part of the plan if we are unwilling to take the bold step and acquire the revenue that it is going to take to fund K-State 2025. I beg central administration to raise fees and tuition commensurate with our peers and our aspirations.   If we do not do this we will be cutting academic programs in the next 2 years.     No institutions has ever cut its way to the top.
What the university needs most urgently, therefore, is a new business model. This model would be based on the integration of strategic enrollment management and undergraduate student success. The goal--as a business model--would be to produce annually available net revenue that can be reinvested in undergraduate affairs to maintain quality and, because we are a land-grant university, to provide meaningful access. Net revenue would also be distributed throughout the institution to replace funding lost mainly from years of state funding reductions. (Even if mitigated in the short-term, it would be prudent to anticipate continued decline of state funding as a proportion of operational revenue).
I've heard discussions lately about changing the funding models for the university. Right now, the colleges are able to pile on per credit hour fees, and they also take ownership of donations from alumni from their colleges. Some of these colleges are pulling in a lot of money. Those of us who provide extremely important support to those colleges are unable to raise funds in the same way and these colleges are very selfish with their funds. They need to help out the areas of the university that support them. Thanks.
Building on recent and very encouraging successes in philanthropy and extramural funding remains essential. But the engine which increasingly provides the lifeblood for national public research universities, not just private universities, is the undergraduate program. The type of revenue it produces--recurring operational revenue--permits for salary increases and professional development, new faculty and staff hires, and investment in new programs. Even increased graduate teaching assistant stipends should be tied to realizing value from undergraduate education, to which graduate students contribute.
At this point, I don't see how this plan is relevant. With shrinking dollars the continued trend, increasing administrator expenses, lower enrollment, decreased federal funding of research, etc. etc. this plan is but a pipe dream. Other than targeted investment in a few areas on campus, this plan has not touched/changed/impacted my role as a research faculty one bit. I was initially very excited about it, now, it just brings disappointment and demoralization.
Several thoughts: I think at this point in time this visionary plan is pointless without adequate resources or funding. It is also not focused at all. Why not have actual concrete themes? For example, why not have 1 theme solely focused on improving library system? It is impossible to have a top university without a top library, IMPOSSIBLE. You cannot support research without an adequate library. You cannot support teaching without an adequate library. The spaces lack, the resources lack, the human resources lack.   Therefore everything else the university is trying" to accomplish cannot happen. "
I strongly suggest that the University stop communicating the Top 50 Public Research University aspiration. Given the budget cuts that units are taking there are fewer faculty, graduate students, research personnel especially headed into next academic year (where we're planning for more cuts). The faculty that are left are looking at potentially heavier teaching loads as well. I anticipate that the impact of these cuts on research outcomes is going to become visible as a noticeable downward trend around 2019. Also I think the group refreshing this needs to look at the plan from expecting financial resources to be extremely limited.
We can have a great plan but without resources and having more and more funding pulled, both externally and internal at KState, it is impossible. It is clear that there IS money for certain priorities. Administrator salaries and new admin positions are just one source of evidence. And in general students are treated well and enjoy their experiences at KState. But there is very limited transparency in decisions made and increased demands on faculty, with no incentives. I would like to see tengible progress on these initiatives and not just being asked to complete another survey about the same things. And please don't ask us to spend more time revising and developing a new plan...let's focus on what we do well and recognize the great work being done."
The core of any institution is its people. Unless the issue of competitive salaries for faculty and staff can be resolved, I am afraid K-State is a sinking ship: without proper compensation, recruitment and retention are lost battles, as it is becoming increasingly obvious. Without top-level faculty to get the job done, the rest of the 2025 initiatives are just distractions and practically moot points in the long run. Pick your battles and allocate resources accordingly.
What is missing from all of this is a way to measure open transparent engagement of faculty staff and students by administration. Until such time as people actually feel like they are being heard and they have a voice in decisions that are being made, the 2025 plan will not succeed.   I was an early supporter of the plan and still think it is a great goal, but the implementation has been haphazard, has not vetted appropriately, and is implemented in unusual ways. When the goals and objectives say one thing, but the measurements on which the goals are assessed are something else, the goals and objectives get lost.   For example, the Dean of Human Ecology told me in a meeting that I should get rid of my M.S. program and only have a Ph.D. program since that is the only metric that counts - Ph.D. students.   That does not mesh with the goals and objectives, but meshes with the metric. That, of course, is incredibly short sighted, but I understand where it comes from. That is the problem with the plan and its implementation. There is not a good feedback loop in place that allows us to handle problems with the system when they arise - we have to wait 5 years to give feedback at this point in time and this feedback is probably too little and too late to do much good.
"I feel that 3 main issues make work very hard: low salaries, diversity in poor shape, and the upcoming guns on campus.
Important improvements would be to celebrate and reward faculty's work and achievements, and help showcasing both. Staff need to be better paid, and we need more. I also wish for more students to listen to our advice (about to make the most of their college years), but I don't know how to make that happen. And we need to be a lot better at diversity. "
"I love KState. This has been my only faculty position and I have risen through the professor ranks and also served in administration. I hope having a new president will bring good things for KState. We need administrators who are committed to KState, not just their own careers. That seems to have been the case with Schulz, Provost Mason and most Deans, but not all.
I think support and structure surrounding how we respond to sexual assault can become a component of 2025. Regardless, it's needs improvement
I realize that a strategic plan must include stretch goals, but right now the morale is so low that if it appears that faculty and staff will be expected to perform more and better for less and less in terms of support and compensation. This is exacerbated by the hostile environment toward higher education in Kansas--guns on campus, no new state funds for raises, reductions in budgets as if we haven't already gone too far and there are funds we don't need to just meet basic operating expenses. I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. We are at a tipping point. Small shifts won't fix the problems we face.
Often faculty says they are too busy with research to do 'silly tasks', such as grant students permission to enroll in classes or to complete a grade change. They usually reference research as the reason they are too busy.   I'm not sure how you find that balance between research and the student experience, but it feels lost in the current plan for how faculty should be assisting in the advancement of the 2025 goals.
It seems like we are going backward in terms of diversity initiatives rather than being progressive. Support the programs that are working well. Acknowledge (value) the people who do the work. Those in leadership should learn more about others.
I feel and have always felt like the plan ignores a very key component in everyone's lives, be it student, faculty or staff, and that is personal wellness. You see no mention of placing any emphasis on the well being of our people, neither in educating about well being nor actually practicing.   We have programs and facilities in place that do these things in various silos on campus, but there isn't much resembling an integrated approach to creating a healthier campus community. Nobody can perform to an optimal level if they are not taking care of their self. There have been increases in mental health issues, which tie in directly to physical health, social health, lack of sleep, substance abuse, etc., etc.   Physical, mental, social, financial, spiritual, and other types of well being are all closely tied together and related and affect one another. I feel like we should at the very least have some part of our plan that places some focus on these issues. A car can only go so far without getting an oil change. We all have to give ourselves these oil changes" in order to be the most efficiently running machine possible, which enables us to succeed in what we are pursuing without things like health problems getting in the way. I think this has been over-looked and taken for granted. You see examples of universities doing this in a larger scale fashion with either facilities, programs and/or people. I think K-State would benefit from this and showing a commitment to employee and student wellness would also serve a good recruiting tool for students and faculty.
The current K-State 2025 Plan is lacking in the areas of student and employee WELLNESS. Overall wellness (intellectual, financial, physical, mental, spiritual, social, occupational, environmental) is absolutely vital to academic success and workplace productivity.
As a member of the Wellness Coalition, we believe all facets of wellness including financial wellness should be interwoven throughout the programs of the University to ensure that students and staff alike are achieving their fullest potential.
I believe that we need more activities to promote health, wellness, mental health, and overall well-being for students, faculty, and staff. I believe that establishing wellness should be part of the 2025 vision at K-State.
Please do not make campus a walking campus by closing more streets and parking lots. It is hard enough to hire good USS staff at the wages here, but if parking becomes a mile or more away, it will kill hiring of good people. No one wants to be bused to campus. It will add a good 30-40 minutes to our day to plan around a bus schedule. If you want less traffic on campus, bus students in as they will only be here for a few years, unlike faculty/staff. Students could park on campus from 6p to 6a and then be bused during day time hours. They are the most likely to drive through a cross walk when people are using the crosswalk. Our custodians arrive extremely (4 a.m.). Are we going to start running shuttles at 3 in the morning to accommodate them? It would be much more efficient to run a shuttle from 6a to 6p for students. I actually run/walk everyday, but I have no desire to walk a mile in rain/snow when I am suppose to be professionally dressed for work. I have no desire to ride a bus with several other people who will have colds etc. I gave up the school bus when I left grammar school. Please do not take more benefits from the staff of Kansas State by removing our parking. It would just be another blow. Thank you for your time.
I am not sure where comments on Internationalization belong. I have two.
K-state has been steadily sinking in international rankings for the last several years. Many universities outside of the US do not even consider as partners universities that are not in the top 400, or perhaps even the top 200.   K-State is now in the 500-700 range.   2025 targets need to be aligned with at least some of what these surveys measure, and the information provided to the rating agencies if we are asked. To get there, a small group of people (3-5) should assess the rating evaluation process and determine what we are (or are not) doing that has resulted in our steadily decreasing rating. We should set a target to be back in the top 400 within the next few years and in the top 200 by the time 2025 arrives.

The Australia Initiative has been successful and has raised the university's visibility in Australia to the degree that we are recognized as the most engaged US university in Australia.   Our Fulbright program is recognized as a model that the State Department would like other universities to adopt. We also continue to be extensively involved with research projects that are funded through Australian resources and to be working with several institutions to develop Dual degree programs and to develop joint on-line course offerings.   Continuing and strengthening these activities is very important and should be included in the revised 2025 plan.
In this time of global competition and change, I would think that to be a Top 50 public research university means that you must be a globally minded, international university with global, international, and comparative perspectives mentioned more intentionally throughout the Themes. In addition, a Top 50 public research university should also be aligned with the goal to by a Top 250 Ranked International University.
Greetings, in today's K-State Today I read the following: After consulting with the Cabinet and deans, I have reached two conclusions. First, in regards to the five university metrics used to measure progress to our Top 50 goal, we will replace the Number of "National Academy Members" with "Annual Giving." This more accurately reflects where we are placing our efforts, particularly given our challenging financial situation. You can learn more about the K-State 2025 university metrics at "Our Progress." Here is what I take to be an analogy to this change: "To replace faculty publication records which will diminish due to lack of funding for research, K-State 2025 will now use the following metric: the ratio of total parking spots to total seats in Snyder Family Stadium as compared to our peer institutions; not counting Texas A&M, which is really big." This seems to just as accurately reflect where we are placing our efforts. Without the sarcasm the same point can be put this way: it seems very dishonest for a university to represent its academic mission in this way.
Since we are planning to change to put fundraising for the university as our first priority, along with that should be fundraising for our communities. We do an excellent job of raising funds for K-State but forget that it is just as important to lift up and support our local communities. Fundraising for United Way should be part of our planning, not an afterthought. This will also help attract and retain talented faculty and staff when we improve the quality of life around our campuses and where our employees and students live.
Can we somehow streamline that format of the strategic plan to make it easier to read and track? This word table format is really hard to use and read. Thanks.