Schulz addresses state of the university

At the State of the University address on Friday, President Kirk Shultz speaks highly of the past and of the future of Kansas State. Many alumni and staff members attended to see what K-State has planned in the upcoming years. (Jenna Bryan | The Collegian)

K-State President Kirk Schulz delivered the annual State of the University address Friday afternoon at the K-State Alumni Center. He spoke about K-State’s standing nationwide, increased enrollment numbers, fundraising and the 2025 plan to become a top-ranked research university.

Schulz touted K-State’s national rankings in the Princeton Review’s Best Colleges. The university ranked No. 3 in quality of life and No. 7 in happiest students among a comparison of 378 colleges.

From 2010-14, K-State enrollment grew from 23,588 to 24,766 students, including the Salina and Olathe campuses. Schulz said he attributes the rising numbers to the quality of instructors and staff.

“When you talk to families and to students and to parents about why they chose Kansas State, more often than not we hear, ‘I went to this department and a faculty member sat down and talked to me about what it would be like majoring in this particular area,'” Schulz said. “It’s that personalized attention that our families get when they come onto campus.”

Fundraising for the university has continued to increase over the past four years, according to Schulz. In 2014, donors gave about $211 million to K-State, more than double the nearly $85 million raised in 2010.

Small video presentations were interspersed in Schulz’s address, each one focusing on different aspects of the university, such as diversity, research and athletics.

After the speech, Schulz answered questions from the audience and those emailed before the event. One audience member asked Schulz about K-State’s merit raise plan for academic staff and whether it would increase in the future. Schulz said though it is something the university will address, it is dependent upon future state funding.

“We’ve had to do everything that we’ve done basically off tuition,” Schulz said. “The state of Kansas has cut us by 3 percent over the last two years and we’ve been able to do what we could during the time when the state of Kansas dollars have been reduced. Do we want to do more? Absolutely. There’s only so much we’re going to be able to do with tuition and fees.”