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K-State Today

June 17, 2019

A critical juncture in K-State history

Submitted by President Richard Myers

As the state’s land-grant institution, Kansas State University has a unique role in providing access to education, research and outreach to the communities and citizens of Kansas. This mission is woven throughout the fabric of the university and the state, counties and communities we serve. We take it to heart.

Today, K-State is at a critical juncture in its history. We are in the second year of a five-year strategic process designed to dramatically transform our university and how we serve Kansans at all levels.  We are implementing a new budget model to drive strategic decisions that meet market demand and generate growth. Key to our future are bold new enrollment strategies based on data analysis and targeted marketing.

K-State is on the cusp of implementing this new enrollment approach and timely investment is essential to advance our plan. With this in mind, we submitted a modest tuition increase request to the Kansas Board of Regents this year. K-State’s student-led Tuition and Fees Strategy Committee overwhelmingly supported the university’s recommendation and its plan to invest back into the university with the additional funding.

After hearing board feedback at the first hearing, we submitted a revised proposal for consideration at the next meeting. If approved, the new funds are targeted for the strategic enrollment initiative, to help us recover and begin growing again. Even a modest tuition increase will allow for some progress with our multi-year plan.

The strategic enrollment plan requires immediate, mission-critical investments in technology, recruiters and scholarships. The revamped scholarship programs will have a positive impact on enrollment in the coming years. Our collective future depends on reaching new and broader populations, including our state’s growing cohort of first-generation students.

We embrace the need to keep tuition stable and understand the communities we serve count on us to think and act strategically. We’ve done our homework, have a strong plan and are ready to move ahead.

We deeply appreciate the initial efforts made by the Kansas Legislature and Gov. Kelly to restore funding for higher education this past session. The return on this investment for Kansas taxpayers and our graduates is profound and proven. An educated citizenry drives prosperity for the entire state and results in a healthier, more affluent populace.

Strategic efforts require focus and investment over time. The continued support of our communities and state leaders is essential for us to achieve our unique land-grant mission.