February 17, 2020
A new semester of much promise
As spring approaches, our university community is hard at work to help us thrive and grow as we strive to fulfill our land-grant mission. A major focus of this semester is our K-State 2025 plan refresh, which is entering its second phase.
Provost Taber and I look forward to dialogues with all campus community members about these plans as groups are being assigned to fully develop a path forward in four areas:
- Global food, health and biosecurity
- Cyber land-grant university
- Innovation in education
Even as these teams define new initiatives to propel us forward, we continue to make progress on our previous strategic initiatives regarding the new budget model and strategic enrollment management. The new budget model is being implemented into our processes. Last semester, three service level agreements were created and the Service Center Working Group is reviewing opportunities for more.
Our strategic enrollment management initiative is strengthened this semester as two new leaders bring their talents to K-State. As vice provost for enrollment management, Karen Goos leads implementation of the university's comprehensive, multiyear strategic enrollment plan. Also, our first vice provost for student success, Jeannie Brown Leonard, will help provide the programming and tools needed for student retention, success and graduation. I welcome them both to K-State and look forward to their progress in helping K-State grow.
I also welcome Bin Ning as the university's first associate provost for institutional research and Kelly Brundage as the university's new registrar. Both individuals bring a wealth of experience with them to K-State in their respective areas and will be critical in the university's continued progress. Please also join me in congratulating Alysia Starkey, who has been serving as interim leader of K-State Polytechnic and was appointed to the permanent position in October. She has already shown valuable leadership and is an asset to the Polytechnic campus.
This semester, we look forward to the return of a vital part of our campus. Most of Hale Library's second floor is scheduled to reopen in March after spring break and will include the new library and IT help desks. While the reopening won't include everyone's favorite study place, the Great Room, work is continuing on restoring this university treasure. Hale has made amazing progress since the May 2018 fire that forced its closure. The new first floor, featuring the Dave and Ellie Everitt Learning Commons, has been a hit with students for studying, group work and collaborative projects. To get the latest on progress at Hale, check out the Hale Library: The Next Chapter blog for updates.
Another thing to watch this spring is progress on the Morris Family Multicultural Center east of the K-State Student Union. Concrete has been poured for this much-needed facility, which will include gathering, meeting and performance practice spaces; a kitchen; office spaces; prayer/meditation room; and additional core support spaces for our multicultural student organizations. We hope to have this ready in the fall 2020 semester.
With the 2020 national election season now in full swing, it is clear that universities play a leadership role in setting the tone of public discourse. Campuses are often susceptible to antagonistic and unfounded statements that may be disparaging to individuals or groups with differing points of view. Kansas State University has a long and proud history of commitment to free and open inquiry, deliberation and debate in all matters. I ask everyone to uphold their role in maintaining an atmosphere based on respect for each other and encourage you to read our Principles of Community. These aspirational principles are endorsed by our shared governance groups. By living up to these principles, we make ourselves stronger as individuals and as a university community.
It has been a busy semester so far and we have much to look forward to. I want to thank students, faculty and staff for their efforts in making K-State better. We're glad you're here.
Richard B. Myers