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K-State Today

May 30, 2014

President's letter to the university: Upcoming goals

Submitted by Kirk Schulz

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Summer has arrived! The Kansas Legislature has wrapped up its 2014 session, and we have successfully completed another academic year. Within the next week, our Manhattan campus will be filled with students attending summer school, and members of the K-State Class of 2018 will be going through our summer orientation and enrollment program. If you see a family looking a bit lost this summer, please stop and help them find their way across campus. 

Each year, I have the opportunity to sit down with the Kansas Regents and review the academic year; in particular the progress I made on my agreed upon goals and objectives from 2013-2014. The Regents felt that fundraising and external relationships were areas of strength during this past year, and asked me to continue to focus efforts on securing needed funding for NBAF. In many regards, we had another record-setting year for K-State, which is a credit to our institutional leadership team, our outstanding faculty and staff, and excellent students. Thank you to all!

Additionally, the Regents and I discuss my upcoming goals and objectives for the next academic year. These mutually agreed upon goals are developed in discussions with other members of the senior leadership team. My goals are structured in line with K-State 2025 themes and common elements and have the expectation that other campus leaders also will develop their goals around 2025 plans at the department, college and university level. As in previous years, I am sharing my 2014-2015 goals statement with campus so you have some idea where I will be focusing my time and energy during the upcoming academic year: 

Theme I – Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities, and Discovery

  1. Continue to work with the Kansas delegation, the Office of the Governor and the Kansas Legislature to secure $300 million from the federal government to fund the construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) beginning in late summer of 2015.

  2. Leverage the Global Food Systems (GFS) grant to grow interdisciplinary global food systems research activities, including growth in research funding and commercialization of GFS technologies.

  3. Leverage the Kansas NBAF research funding to enhance extramural research funding in the Biosecurity Research Institute from government agencies and corporations.

  4. Develop and implement the planning (including a financial model) for a multidisciplinary research building.

  5. Grow total research and development expenditures to $160 million.

Theme II – Undergraduate Educational Experience

  1. Remain the top college/university choice for Kansas high school graduating seniors.

  2. Increase the first-year retention rate above 82 percent.

  3. Increase six-year graduation rate to above 60 percent.

  4. Establish a baseline benchmark for the number of undergraduate students involved in research.

  5. Provide proactive advising to all students entering K-State through the exception window.

Theme III – Graduate Scholarly Experience

  1. Increase funding for supplemental doctoral fellowship funds in the Graduate School to $100,000 annually.

  2. Increase graduate student recruitment efforts for historically underrepresented groups and international students.

  3. Provide enhanced professional development opportunities for graduate students.

  4. Advance K-State Olathe's capacity to deliver/support innovative interdisciplinary graduate and research programs, including adding two additional graduate programs offered at K-State Olathe. 

Theme IV – Engagement, Extension, Outreach, and Service

  1. Develop an online catalog/knowledge base of university assets, services and opportunities of interest for industry as a joint effort with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and associate deans for research.

  2. Determine baseline metrics for K-State's current corporate partnerships that will assist the university in improving and monitoring existing and future partnerships.

  3. Communicate to Kansas residents information needed to address the K-State Research and Extension grand challenges (water, health, feeding 9 billion in 2050, community and rural vitality, and growing tomorrow's leaders) with a goal of enhancing the quality of life and livelihoods of people and their communities.

Theme V – Faculty and Staff          

  1. Continue implementation of the K-State faculty and staff compensation improvement plan and monitor impact on improving competitive faculty and staff salaries as compared to our peer institutions.

  2. Accomplish the first K-State faculty cluster hires for nanotechnology and big data.

  3. Complete first universitywide climate survey of all faculty, staff and students and an action plan to address areas needing improvement to promote success for all.

  4. Develop and implement a nomination strategy to ensure K-State faculty and staff members are being nominated for regional and national awards.

  5. Implement new post-tenure review procedures.

  6. Implement, under the leadership of our new vice president for human capital, Cheryl Johnson, the appropriate recommendations made in the Aon Hewitt task force report, the unclassified professional task force report and recruitment and hiring assessment report.

  7. Hire a dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Theme VI – Facilities and Infrastructure

  1. Start construction on the new residence hall.

  2. Complete fundraising and construction plans for the K-State Welcome Center with a construction start date of January 2015.

  3. Complete the K-State Student Union construction plans with renovation beginning in 2015.

  4. Continue to develop the research park/research corridor plans and begin implementing opportunities associated with those plans.

  5. Start construction of the K-State College of Business Administration in August 2014, with an expected completion date of July 2016.

Theme VII – Athletics

  1. Reach $50 million in fundraising for the north end zone phase III of Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

  2. Break ground on $65 million Bill Snyder Family Stadium master plan phase III during 2014.

  3. Fund and install new basketball video board and selected football elements.

  4. Implement temporary accommodations plan for Vanier Complex occupants during construction time frame.

  5. Sustain Ahearn Fund membership at 10,000 and grow National Leadership Circle to 450 members.

K-State 2025 Common Elements


  1. Develop and implement a fundraising plan for a campus multicultural center.

  2. Complete and implement the K-State 2025 diversity strategic action plan.


  1. Partner with campus to develop a strategy to expand Alumni Association programming efforts for international alumni.


  1. Complete and begin implementation of the K-State 2025 sustainability plan. 

Communications and Marketing

  1. Strategically support the Global Food Systems initiative and K-State 2025 with a dedicated communications team co-located with the KSU Institute for Commercialization team.

  2. Develop a Corporate Engagement brand management marketing and communications plan; including enhancement of the Corporate Engagement website, offering site visitors easy access to up-to-date information about K-State assets, services, opportunities and corporate engagement success stories.

  3. Improve communications across all campuses in support of the One K-State, One Voice initiative by integrating and co-locating communications staff from KSRE, College of Engineering and other campus units. Includes establishing a collaborative news unit in conjunction with KSRE to reduce redundancy.

  4. Perform a media audit and develop an integrated media strategy focused on key markets (e.g. Kansas City) and audiences with the goal of increasing ROI on the overall university spend.

  5. Support increased demand for video lecture capture and promotional video production across the academy by creating an operational plan to streamline processes and establish priorities.

External Constituents

  1. Conduct a five-year financial feasibility study that will guide plans for additional staff and programming resources at the K-State Alumni Association.

  2. Facilitate academic, government and business partnerships for K-State relevant to NBAF and global food systems.

  3. Mobilize state and regional assets – with a focus on the Kansas City metropolitan area – to grow NBAF and global food systems opportunities and outcomes.

  4. Add a staff position to the K-State Alumni Association to oversee the Denver and Houston Wabash CannonBalls and to coordinate the alumni and student awards.

  5. Develop a marketing plan within the K-State Alumni Association to reach out to campus departments and student organizations to further expand our reach with alumni and students.


  1. Increase student attendance at the Beach Museum of Art by 1,000 (a 16.5 percent increase).

  2. Increase number of patrons to McCain Performance Series events to more than 25,000 (7.5 percent).


  1. Grow KSU Foundation endowment assets to greater than $450 million.

  2. Raise total new gifts and pledges of $150 million in FY 2015.


  1. Select and deploy a customer relationship management (CRM) system in collaboration with Information Technology Services (ITS) and other key corporate engagement collaborating units.

  2. Develop a plan and identify funding to implement common data warehousing and dashboards to assist in strategic financial decisions.

  3. Establish a mobile application work group in conjunction with ITS to coordinate release of upcoming apps, including iSIS, K-State Alerts and K-State Online (potentially Canvas, depending on task force recommendation).

  4. Refresh the university Web presence and improve the user experience by implementing mobile-first responsive design into the existing universitywide content management system.

  5. Develop a more robust electronic newsletter platform with integrated ability to send, track and report on reach and readership.

I hope each of you has your own set of goals and objectives for the upcoming year. I appreciate the hard work and dedication everyone puts in to continuing to move K-State toward our goal of becoming recognized as a Top 50 public research university. 

Go Cats!



In this issue

From the president
Campus construction and maintenance
Volunteer opportunities