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K-State Today

January 20, 2017

Letter from Provost and Senior Vice President Mason: K-State 2025 Progress Report, 2011-2016

Submitted by April Mason

Dear Colleagues,

It seems like yesterday that President Myers and I began our annual fall visits to the colleges and major units where we talked together about the first five years of progress toward the goals in our university and unit K-State 2025 plans. We took time in those meetings to reflect the work we have done together to advance Kansas State University. Just prior to winter break, our fifth K-State 2025 progress report was published.

Unlike previous annual reports, this report covers the first five years of K-State 2025, highlighting key accomplishments since the visionary plan was launched in September 2011. The K-State 2025 website has also been expanded with a revised "our progress" section where you can find links to the latest news, formal reports, and for the first time, view the presentations from deans, vice presidents, and other leaders on the advances made on their 2025 college/unit goals. An important new feature is focused on our university metrics, where you can find the most recent institutional, comparison, and rankings data along with the metrics definitions and sources.

Throughout our history as the nation’s first operational public land grant institution, students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, donors, partners, and friends have made us the institution we are — a public student-centered research university working to build an educated citizenry on behalf of our communities, our state, our nation and the world. Thanks to the many dedicated people who are part of the K-State community, significant progress was made since 2011 advancing K-State 2025 goals and outcomes across all seven themes.

We reached record highs in research expenditures, student body diversity, and freshman-to-sophomore retention and six year graduation rates. The number of doctorates awarded increased. Working with the KSU Foundation, we integrated K-State 2025 with our $1 billion Innovation and Inspiration comprehensive campaign and are now nearing our billion dollar goal. Our endowment pool increased (moving up to 66 from 77 in the rankings), and our annual giving placed us in the Top 25 public research universities rankings at No. 20 (moving up from 61 five years ago).

National measures are important but not our only measures of success. K-State 2025 has had many positive impacts beyond specific national performance metrics. It served as a catalyst for change and dialogue across our K-State community, helping to create a culture of inclusion, transparency, and shared planning and accountability for aspirational goals that move us forward together. It acted as an attractor for recruiting highly talented faculty, staff and administrators. We transformed institutional processes — aligning them with K-State 2025 goals and priorities. We invested in student success and creating an exceptional educational experience for all our students. We established new degree programs and partnerships, including those on our new K-State Olathe campus. We brought more focus on research and its important ties to teaching, learning and service. We built scholarship funds, created endowed chairs and professorships, and invested in new academic and athletic facilities, thanks in large part to the philanthropic giving of our alumni and friends. Most importantly, we have strengthened the bonds within the K-State community as we achieve success and address strategic challenges along the way.

Moving forward required shared commitment, along with new ideas, plans, resources and ways of doing things. Continued shared commitment will be needed to further advance and excel as a public land grant research university. Together we are pursuing excellence every day in education, research, and service as we reach toward our K-State 2025 goals.

Reflecting back over the past five years, the progress forward has been remarkable. Thank you for all you do!

April Mason
Provost and Senior Vice President