The College of Arts and Science’s 2025 plan is comprised of eight key activities and seven key outcomes. But to Peter Dorhout, dean of the college, it is all about people.
“Hard-working, dedicated faculty and staff provide the rationale for investing in the future,” Dorhout said. “People make the institution what it is and what it can be. People from diverse backgrounds and cultures make the whole environment for scholarship much richer.”
Dorhout said most of the college’s goals are achievable if they invest in people who will move them forward, and make it a priority to provide competitive salaries that will attract high-achieving faculty and keep them at K-State.
“Faculty are dedicated educators and explorers in their disciplines, and we need to provide the infrastructure that enables them,” Dorhout said. “Focusing here will create a learning environment for students that is second to none.”
Growing the college faculty to the levels of comparable Top 50 programs is one of the long-term key activities outlined in the college’s 2025 plan. A short-term key activity is to develop a plan to grow general fund resources that follow student credit hour production.
“Resources dictate much of what we are able to accomplish,” Dorhout said. “Students should have access to excellence in public higher education, but there is a cost to investing in and maintaining excellence.”
Alumni and friends have swooped in to help K-State’s largest college reach its goals.
“Since becoming dean in 2012, alumni and friends have embraced our plan and share the vision of a college that provides an outstanding arts and sciences curriculum and a commitment to access to excellence,” Dorhout said. “Those alumni and friends are also stepping up with more scholarship funding than ever before. Our current students have also stepped up by supporting a college fee on our classes that has infused funding to provide improvements in classrooms, labs and studios; enhancements in tutoring and advising; and access to research and travel scholarships that build critical student experiences that complement the classroom experiences.”
To the college’s faculty, there is nothing more important than their students’ experiences.
“Ultimately, our part of K-State 2025 is about the students in the College of Arts and Sciences, both current and future,” said Tom Roesler, communications and event coordinator for the college. “We want to do everything we can to help our students become equipped to make a difference in the world, and this plan gives us the vision and structure needed to do just that.”
Michael Frampton, freshman in biology, said he thinks the college is moving in the right direction.
“The College of Arts and Sciences does not have the most expensive and up-to-date technology and research tools, but the funding plan seems to encompass that,” Frampton said. “Plus, it provides students and faculty with research opportunities to put them out in the field with an advantage to succeed. I mean, of course not everything is going to happen right away – but their long-term plans stack on top of their short-term plans, which will help them get to the level of other top research universities.”
Dorhout said he is excited about the future of the college.
“Providing our students with a Top 50 learning environment, which relies on all aspects of the plan to work in harmony – faculty excellence, classroom facilities, research and creative endeavors (and) focusing on projects that enhance these will raise the tide for everything else,” Dorhout said.