Myers said K-State will suspend 2025 plan, create a 10-year process

President Richard Myers gave the State of the University address Sept 27, 2019, in person. This year, he addressed the public through a YouTube live stream. (File photo by Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

Correction: In an earlier version of the story, Bryan Samuel, chief diversity officer, was misquoted. The Collegian regrets this error.

At the State of the University address Friday, President Richard Myers said the university will suspend the Kansas State 2025 Refresh plan and launch a post-COVID-19 ten-year strategic process.

“There will be a ten-year K-State 2025 report in the spring,” Myers said.

Myers said the university plans to focus on the ongoing COVID-19 response, enrollment, financial stability and health of the K-State community for FY 2021.

“This has been a year like no other and has created hardships, disorientation, illness, and loss,” Myers said.

Charles Taber, provost and executive vice president, said to keep students, faculty and staff safe, the university will expand COVID-19 testing on campus by adding asymptomatic testing at Lafene Health Center

Students can get tested by appointment beginning Oct. 5, but the turnaround time will still be 48 to 72 hours.

While the Manhattan community worried football games and large gatherings associated with games may result in a spike of positive COVID-19 cases, Myers said the home football game against Arkansas State did not result in a spike.

However, he said the student section needs to spread out for the upcoming games.

K-State recently announced the spring semester won’t have a spring break to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus. Taber said mental health care is important at that time and students need ongoing support. Taber said students can access support staff around campus.

“It’s essentially important to show each other grace in this time,” Taber said.

Additionally, Bryan Samuel, chief diversity and inclusion officer, said Black Lives Matter is not a racial superiority issue.

“I recommend starting with addressing any misconceptions and false narratives around the Black Lives Matter movement and what it actually means,” Samuel said. “Black Lives Matter is a humans rights and a social justice issue and it’s born out of the fact that being only 13 percent of the United States population, Black men and women are murdered at a rate of 30 to every 100,000 members of the population.”

Also, Myers announced construction projects around campus near completion. Myers said Hale Library plans to open completely in January.

Since the Derby Dining Center renovations were not completed for fall 2020, the university has been working on alternatives to provide dining access for students in the coming semester.