New year, new initiatives: K-State 2025 Refresh continues to progress

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Former student Nathan Laudan points out the various features of campus to Manhattan High School students during a campus tour in 2013. (Archive photo by Parker Robb | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State launched its K-State 2025 Visionary Plan in 2010. Its end goal: to become recognized as a top 50 public research university.

A decade later, the goal hasn’t changed, but the university has acknowledged the need to adapt to the changing world. Beginning in September 2019, K-State launched the first phase in the K-State 2025 Refresh.

Six more phases are slated to occur, per K-State’s website. Eventually, the university hopes to receive feedback on the updated plan from their community.

“We believe that by refreshing the plan we can re-energize the university communities behind our goals and initiatives,” Provost Charles Taber said via email.

While acknowledging that new factors have come into play, Taber said the plan maintains its initial trajectory.

“The 2025 strategic plan is not off course and in fact progress has been made on nearly all of the metrics of success,” Taber said. “But we are facing new challenges and have new opportunities now that make a refresh of the plan a good idea. For example, changes in technology now give us an opportunity to rethink how we serve our land grant mission, which has become the Cyber Land Grant initiative as we refresh the 2025 strategic plan.”

The website lists a few strategic initiatives that K-State aims to focus on: global food, health and biosecurity, aviation, the cyber land-grant university and innovation in education. These focus areas will be explored by groups of individuals from across campus.

“We have kept the goal of becoming a top 50 public research university, but are discussing ways to be clearer about what our values and priorities are,” Taber said.

Taber said the university will continue to collect input from campus and other groups throughout year, hopefully producing an updated version of the plan by fall this year. In terms of keeping the plan on track to be completed in 2025, Taber said that the future is in consideration.

“We will maintain a focus on the final five years of the 2025 plan, but understand that our strategic planning now must be designed to set us up for future success,” he said.

In order to measure the progress made toward completing certain goals, Taber said the university uses metrics outlined in the plan. They also produce an annual report on progress and publish the state of those metrics on their website.

By phase six of the refresh, K-State plans to publish a 10-year progress report detailing the events relevant to the initiative during the decade.

Taber said the university is discussing ways to adjust their metrics that will be used in the refresh of the plan.

“The strategic plan is designed to drive continuous progress towards our goals as measured by our metrics, and most of the metrics show steady improvement,” Taber said. “Our work is never done in that we seek continuous improvement.”

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Hi there! I'm Julie Freijat and I'm a copy chief and an assistant news editor for the Collegian. I love science and technology, hate poor movie dialogue and my favorite subreddit is r/truecrime.