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K-State Today

December 16, 2022

Defining our vision and values to guide our future

Submitted by Richard Linton and Charles Taber

Dear K-State Community, 

So many of you — faculty, staff, students, alumni and more — have engaged in our Next-Gen K-State strategic planning effort over the past several months, and we sincerely thank you for your participation. As we move into our winter break, we are pleased to provide an update on our strategic planning work as we move from listening sessions and surveys designed to understand our current environment to crafting a vision, values and themes that will guide our work this spring as we define what it means — and what it will take — to be a next-generation land-grant university. 

More than 10,000 members of our K-State community have lent their voice to this process — from dozens of interviews and more than 60 listening sessions held across the university to thousands of survey responses we received — including 1,868 from faculty and staff, 1,412 from students, 3,603 from alumni, 1,008 from parents or family members and 116 from employers of our K-State graduates. We heard many perspectives about K-State's identity, strengths, challenges and opportunities. We also heard about future-focused goals and ideas, as well as the need for more innovation and areas for improvement. We invite you to review the compiled research from the listening sessions and surveys on the Next-Gen website. You can also read the five individual survey reports. These reports provide a snapshot of where we are today and offer insights about where we need to go in the future. 

We are now at the point in our planning process to pivot from looking at where we are to where we are going. We recently held a full-day retreat with our strategic planning advisory committee, during which we reviewed the research with our strategic planning consulting partners and talked about how this input from our K-State community should inform our vision and values, as well as key themes to drive further planning. Today, we are excited to share proposed vision and values statements for your feedback. 

Our vision

Building on our foundation as the nation's first operational land-grant university, Kansas State University will once again lead the way as the next-generation land-grant university — operating as a future-focused, inclusive and connected community that inspires discovery, creates prosperity, impacts society and transforms lives in Kansas and beyond. 

Our values

As we face new and increasingly complex challenges, we look to our values and Principles of Community as enduring and uniting hallmarks of how we fulfill our land-grant mission — both in serving all throughout the state of Kansas and impacting the world. 

Our values serve as a framework for how we make decisions, how we build relationships, how we use our resources and how we innovate for the future. 


We are stronger and more resilient together — cultivating enduring relationships that foster an inclusive culture of solidarity and bind our broad K-State community. 


We lead with bold conviction — rising to the moment, even when the course is uncharted. 


We work with purpose — compounding our collective strengths to deliver the greatest good for areas of greatest need. 


We welcome all who seek to learn and grow — providing an experience that promises unconditional commitment and unlimited potential. 


We are everything because of our people — striving to support, inspire and positively impact every life we touch and driving an unwavering sense of belonging across our K-State community. 


We listen, adapt and challenge the status quo — pioneering change through learning and discovery that transforms lives and creates shared prosperity for all. 

We very much want to hear your thoughts and feedback on our proposed vision and values. Please provide your feedback through the Visions and Values Feedback Survey by Jan. 20, 2023. 

Moving forward, we plan to identify our thematic areas of focus in mid-January and establish theme task forces by early February. The task forces that support these themes will be charged with considering key questions related to the current state and future of K-State, using a series of framing questions and problem statements designed to push our collective thinking about what K-State can and should become. The answers to these questions will become critical inputs to drive recommendations for goal setting, strategies and outcomes in each thematic focus area. All of this work throughout the spring semester will then culminate in a new university strategic plan by the end of May.

We have the unique opportunity to define the vision for a next-generation land-grant university and then live out that vision. In doing so, we must continue pushing ourselves to think differently. We must think about how we can and should operate as one integrated community — one that leverages our collective capabilities and pillars of our institution, sparking innovation in new and exciting ways. We must think about the learners of the future and what they need from K-State to thrive. We must think about how we best engage with and support the state of Kansas and beyond. We must think about how we drive transformational discovery and innovation. 

Above all, we cannot constrain ourselves or our thinking to a single method or silo, or the way we've always done things — we must think outside of the box to drive how we transform ourselves, leaning into and embracing change. In doing so, I am confident that K-State will continue down the path of not only fulfilling our mission and achieving our vision, but doing so in a way that sets a new standard for what it means to be a land-grant institution. 

Go 'Cats! 

Richard Linton

Chuck Taber
Provost and executive vice president