President Myers meets with Honors Program students

President Myers shakes hands with a faculty member at the Kansas State Honors House in Manhattan, Kan, on Oct. 24, 2017. (Photo by Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State University president Richard Myers visited the Honors House on Tuesday to address questions from students in the University Honors Program.

Questions ranged from specifics about the future of the program, to plans for the whole university, to inclusivity on campus.

Myers said he plans on continuing the K-State 2025 Visionary Plan pushed by former university president Kirk Schulz by increasing outreach to the Kansas City metropolitan area and expanding opportunities for international students at K-State’s polytechnic campus.

“It’s a pretty good roadmap we refresh every year,” Myers said. “It takes about four months out of the year to meet with the heads of every department to discuss what’s happening with the plan, where we’re at and what they want to happen.”

Also included in the 2025 Plan is work on agricultural facilities, as Myers said 60 percent of the research done at K-State is in the College of Agriculture.

“If we want to be a top 50 public research university, we need more research, and they’re pretty much out of research capacity in the College of Agriculture because of their facilities,” Myers said.

Myers responded to a prompt regarding the recent divisiveness on campus and plans for promoting a more inclusive environment among the student body.

“The trends we’re fighting on campus are national trends where civil discourse has fallen apart,” Myers said. “We don’t have national leadership that talks about unity.”

Regarding university responses to recent controversial events on campus, Myers said K-State needs to be more proactive.

“We need to be more proactive than just writing a letter every time somebody hangs a poster we don’t like,” Myers said. “We’re going to try to do something about it.”

Myers said if K-State were a private college, like Texas Christian University or Baylor, the policy would be different, but as a public university there are limitations on how to respond to controversial events on campus.

Steve Dandaneau, director of the University Honors Program, said bringing Myers to the Honors House was important for the program.

“It’s important for the president of the university to understand the great value honors students bring to the institution,” Dandaneau said.

The event was held in the lower lobby of the Honors House. The room was full of students and faculty involved with the program.

“It’s been on my calendar for a long time,” Benjamin Rauth, freshman in political science, said. “This is kind of why I did the honors program.”