1. K-State home
  2. »Human Resources
  3. »HR Strategic Initiatives
  4. »K-State Supervisory Foundations

Human Resources

K-State Supervisory Foundations

Human Resources (HR) is developing a comprehensive supervisory program for all K-State supervisors. The launch of this program will allow HR to achieve a key K-State 2025 outcome of providing supervisory training for all employees by 2020. HR has identified key content areas for the supervisory program as a result of the 2014 K-State Climate Survey, the 2017 Professional Development Needs Assessment, research of peer and aspirational higher education institutions, and a focus group of K-State supervisory stakeholders.  As a result, HR is partnering with subject matter experts (SMEs) throughout the University to offer training sessions.

K-State Supervisory Foundations will offer a tiered training approach for supervisors within three pillars. 

Pillar I: Establishing Your Supervisory Foundation

Pillar I programming provides essential supervisor information and best practices to promote effective supervision in a higher education environment.  Training content includes a combination of online and classroom learning integrating a mixture of discussions, case studies, and lectures from K-State subject matter experts.

Pillar I Sessions
  • Understanding Your Role as a K-State Supervisor - This session is suitable for all academic, professional and support staff with management and/or leadership roles across the University. Participants will understand the importance of a leader who encourages and guides employees, advances teamwork, inspires trust, and optimizes results.
  • Effectively Utilizing K-State Policies and University Handbook - This session provides an interactive opportunity for supervisors to apply K-State employment policies and the University handbook.
  • Mindful Communication for Supervisors - This session will provide participants insight into their own communication styles and anxieties. Participation will help supervisors understand how verbal and nonverbal communication can help to create more mindful, effective messages to employees.
  • Understanding Legal & Ethical Responsibilities of Supervisors - This session is designed to introduce participants to legal concepts by providing an overview of key laws and policies impacting the workplace. Participants will learn how to spot legal issues and how to best utilize resources to assist with potential legal and ethical concerns.
  • Beyond Race: Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace - This session will address the importance of employees seeing beyond the race of their colleagues and understanding characteristics most notable associated with positive and productive work environment. This session will help participants understand their own characteristics, their colleagues' characteristics, and how this knowledge can help make our work environment better in variety of ways.
  • Building Your Conflict Management Toolkit - Enhance your confidence in managing conflict within your department/unit by building your toolkit geared towards your supervisory role in responding to challenging situations that naturally occur within the workplace.
  • Collaborative Communication for Supervisors - This session focuses on communication and decision-making, highlighting ways that communication can facilitate of hinder collaborative decision-making practices in the workplace.
  • Performance Management: Supervisory Best Practices - This highly interactive session will highlight the strategic best practices necessary for efficiently completing performance reviews and disciplinary action.  It will also emphasize the supervisor's role in coaching employees for success and providing support.
  • The Strategic Leader - In this session participants will gain a deeper understanding of their own leadership styles and have an introduction to the leadership styles of others through completing the StrengthsQuest Assessment. Participants will then explore strategies to increase engagement and motivate their colleagues. Through case-studies participants will explore how to speak to loss and manage change at the unit and organizational level.


K-State Supervisory Foundations Pillar I Facilitators
  • Valerie Barnett, College of Business Administration Management Faculty
  • Kyle Bradley, College of Business Administration Management Faculty
  • Jenny Locanthi Dowell, Human Resources
  • Darren Epping, Communication Studies
  • Lindsey Fouquette, Human Resources
  • Erin Good, Office of General Counsel
  • Dr. Trisha Gott, Staley School of Leadership Studies
  • Jaron Harvey, College of Business Administration Management Faculty
  • Megan Eakin, Human Resources
  • Scott Jones, Office of Institutional Equity
  • Olivia Law-DelRosso, College of Business Administration Management Faculty
  • Shanna Legleiter, Human Resources
  • Amanda McDiffett, Human Resources
  • Dr. Brian Niehoff, Provost Office
  • Dr. Greg Paul, Communication Studies
  • Connie Pfaff-Eickhoff, Human Resources
  • Dr. Bryan Samuel, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
  • Charlotte Self, Human Resources
  • Dr. David Thompson, School of Family Studies and Human Services
  • Dr. Mary Tolar, Staley School of Leadership Studies
  • Dr. Bill Turnley, College of Business Administration Management Faculty
  • Paul Volino, Human Resources
  • Trysta Williams, College of Business Administration Management Faculty
  • LaVerne Williamson, Human Resources


K-State Supervisory Foundations Pillar I Focus Group
  • Jaci Begnoche, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Jason Hackett, Division of Communications & Marketing
  • Carol Marden, Counseling Services
  • Eric Montgomery, Biosecurity Research Institute
  • Dean Vakas, K-State Olathe
  • RJ Youngblood, Division of Student Life


Pillar II: Enhancing Your Supervisory Foundation

Pillar II programming will be designed to elevate knowledge and leadership competencies focusing on the transformation of supervisors into successful leaders.  Content for Pillar II will be developed over time.

Pillar III: Achieving Supervisory Mastery

Pillar III programming will be aimed at experienced managers and supervisors who would like to strengthen their influence and strategic outlook.  Content for Pillar III will be developed over time. 

K-State Supervisory Foundations Implementation

K-State Supervisory Foundations Pillar I will be launched to campus in June 2019 with offerings regularly scheduled for March/April, June, and October each year. The enrollment process will be managed through the Learning and Development Office in Human Resources. Announcements for enrollment will be made via K-State Today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who has had input into the creation and design of the supervisory program?

 A focus group was conducted in April 2018 comprised of various K-State stakeholders. 

In addition, HR created a Strategic Advisory Council that is expected to assist and provide solutions to HR leadership regarding the monitoring and implementation of yearly goals and the division's 2025 strategic plan. The council is charged to promote advocacy of strategic initiatives and best practices.

Advisory Members:

  • Becki Bohnenblust, College or Arts and Sciences
  • Lynn Carlin, Office of the Provost
  • Mandy Cole, Administration and Finance
  • Ambrosia Cooper, Ex Officio, Communications and Marketing
  • Cindy Delfelder, community stakeholder
  • Makenna Dunderand, student
  • Jenny Locanthi Dowell, Human Resources
  • Betsy Draper, Information Technology Services
  • Dr. Jason Ellis, Communication and Agriculture Education
  • Dr. Trisha Gott, Staley School of Leadership Studies
  • Shanna Legleiter, Co-Chair, Human Resources
  • Roberta Maldonado Franzen, Co-Chair, Human Resources
  • Dr. Debbie Mercer, College of Education
  • Madaí Rivera, College of Human Ecology
  • Roberta Robinson, Olathe
  • Adrian Rodriguez, Diversity and Multicultural Student Affairs
  • Morgan Ruhkamp, student
  • Major Oscar Ruiz, K-State Police Department
  • Dr. Bryan Samuel, Office of the President
  • Jay Stephens, Ex Officio, Human Resources
  • Diana McElwain, Recorder, Human Resources


What is the time commitment for Pillar I?

The classroom learning includes approximately 30 hours of instruction in addition to approximately 3 hours of online learning. 



What is the maximum number of participants who can enroll in Pillar I sessions?

Each session will have a maximum of 30 participants.  Learning and Development will manage a wait list for enrollment.



Does K-State Supervisory Foundations replace Introduction to Supervision?

Yes.  The final offering of Introduction to Supervision will take place in February 2019.



Who gets priority enrollment for the program?

Priority enrollment will be given to employees who are required to complete supervisory training in accordance with K-State policy, PPM Chapter 4880.  For instance, University Support Staff (USS) supervisors who supervise USS employees will get priority enrollment.  Other employees considered for priority enrollment include those who have not had supervisory training within the last three years.  Other enrollment will be granted on first come first serve.  



Am I required to enroll in all of Pillar I courses or am I able to take courses individually?

Supervisors are welcome to enroll in courses individually.  Learning and Development will track attendance towards Pillar I certificate completion.



What if I start Pillar I and am unable to finish it within the month it is offered?

Human Resources allows supervisors the flexibility to begin and finish the program as needed by employees.  Employees required to attain supervisory training within 6 months of supervisory appointment will have to extend their probationary status.



Will I get a certificate at the end of each pillar?

Yes, as long as supervisors have fulfilled all course session requirements within each pillar.


K-State Supervisory Foundations

  • Design and Pilot Pillar I

    December 2018 - March 2019

  • Implement Pillar I

    June 2019

  • Design and Pilot Pillar II


  • Implement Pillar II


  • Design and Pilot Pillar III


  • Implement Pillar III