1. Kansas State University
  2. »Division of Communications and Marketing
  3. »K-State Today
  4. »An update from Interim Vice Provost Mary Tolar

K-State Today

August 19, 2019

An update from Interim Vice Provost Mary Tolar

Submitted by Mary Tolar

Dear Colleagues,

It has been a busy summer for the Office of Student Success. Much has happened since the office was established July 1, 2019 as part of our new organizational framework to better support and serve our students from recruitment to graduation. We have consolidated, made some moves and have updates to share.

In the spring, we announced plans to co-locate several programs for increased synergy serving students, efficiency, and reduced space costs. The Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry, known as OURCI, moved out of Wildcat Landing into 215 Fairchild Hall where it joins the University Honors Program, Nationally Competitive Scholarships and Pre-Law Advising. Honor and Integrity also moved from Wildcat Landing to 201 Holton Hall. You can find me surrounded by great student success colleagues in the Academic Achievement Center in 101 Holton Hall.

In addition to a new location, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry now includes the Kansas Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, known as KS-LSAMP. Brenee King, who has been the project director for KS-LSAMP since 2014, is now serving as assistant director, providing exceptional administrative leadership for the full range of programs supported by OURCI. Dr. King recently coordinated the successful National Science Foundation proposal resulting in an additional $3 million and five years of K-State's alliance.

Rethinking vacant administrative positions and the structure in the Office of Student Success also provided the opportunity to elevate faculty leadership in both undergraduate research and the university honors program. Joining Dr. King is Jeremy Marshall, associate professor of entomology, who serves as OURCI faculty director. Dr. Marshall brings to this role both his passion for undergraduate research and the Undergraduate Research Experience, a new model he developed of providing research experiences for all students, that has trained 124 students in the first three years from nearly all departments and colleges. Special thanks to Dr. Tanya González who stepped in to lead OURCI last year and prepared us well for this new leadership team.

Sara Luly, associate professor of modern languages, joins the Office of Student Success as University Honors Program faculty director. Dr. Luly brings to this role both a record of and commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching and research, and experience as director of undergraduate studies and director of undergraduate recruitment and outreach in the department of modern languages.

Our Vice Provost for Student Success search is well underway and the committee is looking forward to bringing finalists to campus in mid-September. We invite all to participate and will share interview details in the coming weeks.

This Sunday, Aug. 25, we welcome K-State's newest students at the 2019 University Convocation from 5:45-6:45 p.m. at Bramlage Coliseum. The planning and execution of this important event have transitioned to the K-State First team, under the direction of Greg Eiselein. I am delighted that this team, whose focus is to assure the first-year experience for students is exceptional, has stepped in to take the lead on this inaugural moment of that experience.

Thank you to all of our K-State community working to welcome — and welcome back — our students for a new academic year. On behalf of Student Success, we are excited to partner with colleagues across the university to deliver quality, high impact learning experiences and support services that help all students reach their goals.


Mary Hale Tolar
Interim Vice Provost for Student Success