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2025 Visionary Plan

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

Feedback for Theme 6: Facilities and Infrastructure

Thematic Goal
Provide facilities and infrastructure that meet our evolving needs at a competitive level with our benchmark institutions and are an asset to recruit and retain quality students, faculty, researchers, and staff.

What is missing that should be added?
What activities or outcomes are no longer needed?
General suggestions and comments

What is missing that should be added?

Core facilities refer to facilities and equipment used by multiple departments or colleges in which the initial purchase and maintenance expenses exceed the funding capacity of a single department or college." This idea has never be achieved at KSU. It has always been and continues to be the burden of the researcher and Department in which the equipment is housed. Fees alone do not cover expenses of major research instrumentation."
Greater emphasis on facilities that can be shared across disciplines and that will foster interdisciplinary collaborations. Something like an arts & technology center or an art and biology center. Here are a few examples: http://artsci.ucla.edu; https://www.mat.ucsb.edu; http://www.symbiotica.uwa.edu.au; https://www.buffalo.edu/genomeenvironmentmicrobiome/coalesce.html
Goals toward becoming a more environmentally friendly and sustainable campus. K-state is SERIOUSLY behind countless other schools in this regard and frankly it's embarrassing, not to mention harmful.
Number 12 needs MAJOR expansion. "12. Complete an independent needs assessment/audit of Facilities Services staffing, processes, and operations and implement recommendations to improve services as appropriate." This does not go nearly far enough to encourage support for the administrative needs of the central VPR office. This is the only item within this list (or others from the other Themes) that I could find which could potentially be interpreted as supporting central sponsored research initiatives. And it does not effectively cover the items that needs to be addressed on behalf of central administration. The initiative to assist central administration needs at least 3 action items in itself (increase funding for facilities to address growing staff base, increase funding to pay competitive salaries for competent staff, and increase funding to support an electronic, campus-wide grant management system).   If these issues are not addressed under this "Facilities and Infrastructure" Theme, then where can they be found? It does not seem as though K-State has a realistic vision for the work it is going to take at the administrative level to accommodate growing RSCAD. Our current structure is about to buckle from the weight of the additional demands and we are losing quality staff who are frustrated with bloated workloads and insufficient pay. Their work does not make headlines, but the ship will not move happen without these people shoveling coal into the boilers.
More study spaces.
Storage. Space for all the items that are required to do the job. When new buildings are designed storage space is often reduced because it's not revenue generating (or some such term), but it makes doing the job so much more difficult. 
We have done LOTS in this area with the new buildings, the chilling plant, and so on. What is missing is some very strong push to improve the older buildings. There is a growing sense of haves" and "have nots" that is unhealthy."
Ensure that funding models for new spaces/buildings allow for adequate maintenance/custodial support.
Plan for providing funding for renovation of space from central sources when groups are moved from one space to another. To expect the unit to absorb that cost is ridiculous, yet that is what is happening. Moving laboratories is expensive, yet necessary to improve space, but not money is provided by central administration to do this. Often it is not provided by colleges either, it is up to the unit to come up with all the cost to move labs and renovate spaces when they are given new spaces. Nothing about providing funding to do this is mentioned in this theme, which is stupid.   Give people improved teaching and lab space sounds good until you realize the space is NOT really an improvement until it is renovated and there is no money to do that.
What I think is missing from the 2025 plan is having an enterprise-level strategic plan for Information Technology (IT) following best practices to support University objectives. The emphasis in that sentence is on enterprise-level.
Information Technology can meet the University objectives in many, many different ways, but not all ways are equal as far as the best long-term interests of the University. Right now, we have different groups developing things in their own applications in their own ways both in IT and outside of IT (in the departments), and there may be no thought put into "Who else may need similar functionality? How can we build this so others can reuse it? What are the same types of information that many people across campus need? How can we collaborate to have a smarter long-term solution?" I worry that we are not thinking at an enterprise level in regard to IT. One example of this is workflow. K-State needs to have a framework for automating the many manual processes around campus and passing electronic documents around. We have two groups trying to address this separately in their own ways. My hope is that they would build common tools that can be used by both groups. Another area is data. How do we in IT make information available to all who may need it in a way that can be consumed? My hope is that we would use the data warehouse. Pre-Award information is in the data warehouse, and there is a project that is in progress to get financial data in the data warehouse.   For the University to be able to answer questions involving Student, HR, Financial data, all of that must be in the data warehouse (or be accessible together in some common way).   For example, there is information in three disparate systems for student employees who are in the College Work Study Program (CWSP). This information needs to be brought together in order to answer questions like, "Have the College Work Study students received all of their money?". Now that I have related all this, there are two things that, I hope, indicate this is beginning to be addressed: 1) The change in reporting structure, moving the CIO to report directly to the University President with a dotted line to the Provost. I think that is a change in the right direction. We need IT objectives to be at an enterprise level (when applicable). 2) I have also noticed Betsy Draper putting a lot of effort into bringing the different IT groups together and coordinating project management. I hope her efforts will continue to gather momentum.
Roads on and around campus. There is a need for more turn lanes and other updates of the roads on and around campus due to the expansion of KSU and the city of Manhattan. The current roads are insufficient and getting traffic to flow well is a must to accommodate the increased traffic in the area.

What activities or outcomes are no longer needed?

Claflin should remain a through traffic road
7-14 are either done or not likely to be done and updated, faculty are not consulted, needs assesments are done and then not implemented because all the money was spent on the assessment, and stakeholders are not engaged (over a year ago when our heating/air conditioning units went out and the temperature in the building fluctuated from 45 -92 degrees winter to summer - measured by facilities - central administration, without consulting us, chose not to spend $40,000 to fix or replace the units deciding we would just have to make do" - we ended up spending nearly twice as much of our own earmarked money a year later to do this because you simply cannot work in those conditions)."


General suggestions and comments

I see this as likely needing a longer timeline - it needs resources and those are currently very scarce.
Actual support major research instrumentation and proposals to acquire major research instrumentation with University wide/administrative funds. Not individual researchers or Departments.
We need to finish the upgrades before building new buildings.   Complete the maintenance before we add to the list of new buildings.
Arts and Sciences buildings are in woeful shape - having recently visited other campuses, the difference reflects poorly on us.   Every student takes classes in these core facilities and they are the worst on campus. 
There some old buildings on campus that contain asbestos, this puts the lives of faculty, staff and students who use these facilities in danger, the university should focus on getting rid of those buildings as soon as possible.
First impressions are what stay with prospective students and their families, seeing dirty facilities and unkept work spaces leaves a less desirable first impression.
Facilities is too often non responsive. 
Need a better contractor for new buildings.
There needs to be a way we can monitor buildings from the outside (as is the case w/ Leadership Studies) but also have control over it on the inside. Nichols Hall, for example, has been rife with problems related to HVAC. It's unpredictable, unmanageable, and unhealthy.
This entire section is such total BS. It is all about spending money and no money is going to be spent on this. Certainly no money that is actually discussed with faculty. Our Dean is spending $950,000 to renovate space in Justin Hall to put in a snack bar to serve soups and sandwiches without discussing the implications of this in open forum. Many faculty have openly fought against this idea (which benefits only a small portion of a program) because we are supposed to be teaching higher level critical thinking not how to make sandwiches and soup. But that input is not wanted, not taken, money is wasted (Justin Hall sits between two buildings with Radina's coffee shops), and other programs suffer for lack of funding.   Why even bother to have a section like this when administration does what it wants regardless of what anyone wants or thinks.
I am concerned that we sell logo placement in college classrooms. This will undermine public support over time and K-State's objectivity. Let's avoid this temptation.
I think the community needs to be more aware of exactly how funding for building projects works. Right now there's a lot of hostility, especially towards the College of Business and College of Engineering, because students and faculty believe they are being "favorited" by administration, while other colleges are ignored. When in reality a lot of the funding for these facilities came from outside donors who chose to donate specifically to those projects. I would also like for their to be study spaces available for students from all colleges, like the study rooms in the business building. I think this would help students in other colleges to feel like they're valued as well as free up more space for business students to use their own building and cut out some of that resentment.
The Seaton Hall remodeling and addition should be paid by contributions to the College of Architecture, Planning and Design--I don't care how many years it takes them to raise money. The cost should not be paid by the fund that was intended to repair all campus buildings. (This fund was inadequate when we had 100% of it to use--imagine how poorly maintained our buildings will be 25 years from now.) A general student fee should not be paying for buildings that were constructed prior to the full cost of construction and future maintenance being raised through private funds.   The things happening now are a major break from decisions made after the State decided it would no longer pay for building construction projects on campus. I am disgusted to learn about the GeoScience and Agriculture building plans that will continue these same strategies. You have no idea how much this wears on morale when there are faculty working in contaminated (sick) buildings who have been told that their significant medical symptoms are not caused by the campus building in which they have been assigned an office and must teach. When you add all of these things together with compensation/benefits issues, weapons on campus, and the wearying grind of asking everyone to do more and more with less and less, you will be lucky to keep any faculty and staff who have reasonable options.
I think the new transparent space planning and reallocation process has been really great. I have appreciated the opportunity to look at other areas' proposals and see what is going forward. I've learned a lot about other programs this way.
To reduce the cost of new spaces room for maintenance and equipment is often minimized. This often adds considerably to the time and effort required to do the work the building is built to do. In several areas I am aware of space is rented off campus, at some cost, to store required equipment. It then needs to be transported back and forth, at additional cost and time. More thought and upfront spending could reduce post construction ongoing spending that eventually exceeds the money saved.       
More emphasis needs to be put into transportation and parking and how to pay for it. It's in the activities, but not in any of the outcomes and it could be read that several of the outcomes directly run counter to providing parking and transportation.
Building another or adding onto the current parking garage. The garage should have increased parking spaces; however, we lost parking spaces by building the garage. It either needs to be added onto or another larger parking garage needs to be built to address the parking issues on campus. In addition students could park at another location and bus them in. For example, have students park at Bramlage and have them bused to campus. Faculty and staff are here for the long haul and should have access to the parking on campus. No state vehicles should be parked in parking spots. They should all be in a motor pool. These would help with the parking issues.
I was very unhappy to learn of a planned razing of the Campus Court Bldg, and its replacement with a high rise, and the planned erection of an another high rise between Anderson and the parking garage. Our university cannot afford any other new building until the budget stabilizes and departments are not continually required to cut base budgets and provide call backs year after year. There should be a freeze on new construction until faculty get a raise. There should also be a freeze on hiring into NEW administrative positions until faculty have a raise.