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Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President

From the Provost's Desk

K-State 2025 Strategic Initiative Planning Groups

February 3, 2020  


Dear Colleagues,

As part of the K-State 2025 Refresh effort launched last fall, President Myers and I announced that one aspect of the work would involve organizing planning groups to explore new strategic initiatives that recognize our strengths, acknowledge areas for improvement and identify opportunities for growth. More than 180 faculty, staff, students and alumni were nominated to serve on three planning groups focused on innovation in education; global food, health and biosecurity; and the cyber land-grant university.

The Innovation in Education Planning Group began work in November with the charge to recommend an action plan to improve pedagogy and stimulate entrepreneurship to support growth and impact K-State's academic portfolio. The planning group is addressing the following two different, but related workstreams aimed at enhancing the quality and variety of educational programs K-State offers to Kansans and beyond: 

Academic innovation. Define a structure and growth strategy for a new or reimagined unit that will support K-State’s academic units in innovation of academic programs and the development of cutting-edge pedagogy. 

Online growth. Catalyze the expansion of online education at K-State by aligning strategy, tactics and structure for online growth to enhance revenue and K-State's marketing positioning. 

The innovation in education initiative builds on calls to action outlined in the university's strategic enrollment management plan. The planning group's work, scheduled to be completed in March, is being facilitated by our Huron consulting group partners and supported by Emily Lehning and Lynn Carlin in the provost's office. Members of the K-State 2025 Innovation in Education Planning Group are: 

Academic innovation

  • Sam Bell, professor and head of political science, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Billy Croslow, doctoral student in history, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Vibhavari Jani, associate professor of interior architecture & product design, College of Architecture, Planning & Design.
  • Sara Kearns, professor, K-State Libraries, and coordinator of the Faculty Exchange for Teaching Excellence, Teaching and Learning Center.
  • Jeremy Marshall, associate professor of entomology, College of Agriculture/KSRE, and faculty director, Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry, Office of Student Success. 
  • Sylvia Robinson, alumna, Kansas City, and immediate past-president, K-State Alumni Association.
  • Don Saucier, professor of psychological sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, and faculty associate director, Teaching and Learning Center.
  • Ben Ward, instructional technologist, College of Business Administration.
  • Lisa Wilken, associate professor, biological and agricultural engineering, Carl R. Ice College of Engineering.

Online growth

  • Ethan Erickson, chief financial officer, Office of the Chief Financial Officer. 
  • Bronwyn Fees, professor, School of Family Studies and Human Services, and associate dean for academic affairs, College of Health and Human Sciences.
  • Trisha Gott, assistant professor and associate director, Staley School of Leadership Studies.
  • Jerry Johnson, professor and chair of educational leadership, College of Education.
  • Thomas Lane, vice president for student life and dean of students. 
  • Grace Palcic, senior in philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Michael Pritchard, instructor, School of Integrated Studies, Kansas State Polytechnic. 
  • Chwen Sheu, professor and associate dean for academic programs, College of Business Administration.
  • George Widenor, director of marketing, K-State Global Campus.
  • Sue Williams, professor of sociology, anthropology, and social work, College of Arts and Sciences. 

The Global Food, Health and Biosecurity Planning Group will kick off its work next week. A preeminent challenge facing us and future generations is how the world will address the food-health-biosecurity nexus. The work of this planning group will focus on exploring how K-State can and will lead through teaching, research and service to address these challenges. The work of this group, which will take place between February and early May, will be facilitated by Jan Middendorf, associate director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research and Sustainable Intensification, and Lynn Carlin, Office of the Provost. Sandra Brase, Office of the Provost, will also support the work.  

Members of the K-State 2025 Global Food, Health and Biosecurity Planning Group are:

  • Brad Behnke, professor of kinesiology, College of Health and Human Sciences.
  • Alfonso Clavijo, director of the USDA National Bio and Agro-defense Facility. 
  • Chris Culbertson, associate dean for research, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Justin DeBlauw, doctoral student in kinesiology, College of Health and Human Sciences. 
  • Erika Geisbrecht, professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Jessica Heier Stamm, associate professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering, Carl R. Ice College of Engineering. 
  • Colyn Heimerman, sophomore in biology, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Chad Jackson, director of the Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship, College of Business Administration.
  • Katrina Lewis, associate professor and director and of environmental design and international programs, College of Architecture, Planning & Design.
  • Heather McCrea, associate professor of history, College of Arts and Sciences. 
  • Susan Metzger, senior executive administrator, Office of the Dean, and director of AES, College of Agriculture and KSRE. 
  • John Morris, senior vice president of development, KSU Foundation.
  • Nancy Muturi, professor of journalism and mass communications, College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Annelise Nguyen, associate professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, and associate director of the Johnson Cancer Research Center. 
  • Maureen Olewnik, Global Food Systems research coordinator, Office of Research Development, Office of Vice President for Research. 
  • Vara Prasad, professor of agronomy and director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Sustainable Intensification, College of Agriculture. 
  • Ric Rosenkranz, professor of food, nutrition, dietetics and health, College of Health and Human Sciences. 
  • Vaishali Sharda, assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering, Carl R. Ice College of Engineering. 
  • Mary Kay Siefers, teaching professor and director, global food systems leadership secondary major, Staley School of Leadership Studies. 
  • Jeanette Thurston, director of the Food Science Institute, KSRE. 
  • John Wolf, meat lab manager, animal sciences and industry, College of Agriculture. 

We are in the process of appointing the cyber land-grant planning group over the next several weeks. The work of that group will take place during March and April. 

I want to thank all the planning group members for their enthusiasm, commitment and willingness to contribute to these initiatives that will help shape our future. Stay tuned for an overall update later this week on where we are with the K-State 2025 Refresh and what's next!


Chuck Taber
Provost and executive vice president 

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