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K-State Today

September 20, 2012

Certified excellence: K-State 2025, strides in diversity recognized by Higher Learning Commission as it continues Kansas State University's accreditation

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Some of the core components Kansas State University prides itself on also made officials take note as they examined the university to continue its accreditation.

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association voted to keep the university accredited until a review in the 2021-2022 academic year. Among the aspects noted repeatedly in the commission's report was K-State 2025, a series of goals including rising in the ranks among the nation's public higher education institutions.

"It's energizing to see how often the Higher Learning Commission cites our plan to become a Top 50 public research university by 2025," said President Kirk Schulz. "The commission was impressed by how many faculty, staff and students mentioned K-State 2025 as our plan to move forward. It's not surprising given the commitment that I see across the university and among our alumni and friends."

The commission also took note of the university’s initiatives to encourage diversity among faculty, staff and students. This includes a $3.5 million National Science Foundation grant to increase women's success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as actively recruiting undergraduate students from around the world. The commission found that international students, many of whom are from China, are finding positive experiences at Kansas State University.

Moreover, the commission cites immense progress in diversifying the campus since its last review in 2002, evidenced by the increasing number of students from underrepresented groups. The report also notes the university's deep commitment to the success of these students.

"The Higher Learning Commission brings into focus just how far we've come in supporting a diverse university," said Provost April Mason. "Its members recognize that our commitment to diversity is deep and broad, encompassing members of the K-State family who come from varying backgrounds, from around the world and with different abilities. I feel as proud as ever to be a part of this university family."

The commission notes other aspects that the university prides itself on, from its impact on the state's economy to fulfilling its land-grant mission for the past 150 years.

"The positive evaluation from the Higher Learning Commission is a validation of the excellence of our programs and a testament to the hard work of many people -- faculty, students, unclassified staff, classified staff, facilities and administrators," said Brian Niehoff, associate provost for institutional effectiveness, who led the yearlong process. "Our last report in 2002 identified needed work in the areas of assessment and diversity, and we clearly demonstrated tremendous progress in both. We have much to be proud of with our programs at K-State."

You can view the report and letter online at http://www.k-state.edu/hlcstudy/.