Strategic plan for K-State 2025 will ‘evolve’ in response to COVID-19

Anderson Hall, pictured here in November of 2019, is the administration building of Kansas State. It is home to the Office of the President, the Office of Student Life and other administrative offices. (File Photo by Kaylie McLaughlin | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State’s long term goal to be named a Top 50 public university by 2025 will be temporarily placed on the back burner as the university reckons with the impact of the pandemic, Jeff Morris, vice president of communications and marketing, said.

“In the year ahead, we will focus on the ongoing COVID-19 response, the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, community and financial sustainability,” Morris said.

In his annual State of the University address, President Richard Myers highlighted the university’s response to the coronavirus as it posed a threat the thematic goals of the plan such as research, scholarly and creative activities and discovery.

“We’ve always had cutting-edge research here at Kansas State and that has continued throughout this difficult year,” Myers said. “However the pandemic caused some of our research to pivot to learn more about the virus.”

The strategic plan was launched in 2010 — under the leadership of former Provost April Mason and former President Kirk Schulz — to build on K-State’s history as a land grant institution, prioritizing research, education and engagement on behalf of the community, state, nation and society.

It was already in the midst of a refresh announced last year to adapt to a roadmap filled with changing conditions. In lieu of that plan, K-State will launch a post-COVID-19 ten-year strategic process, Myers said. The first report attached to the new plan should be available in the spring.

“Strategic plans are dynamic by their nature and should be considered living documents,” Morris said. “The purpose of the refresh is to outline steps for the next 10-year period.”

However, due to the pandemic, K-State’s 2025 plan will need to adapt further, he said.

“In many ways, strategic plans are never completed, but evolve to provide a roadmap for the university’s growth,” Morris said. “We have successfully made progress on many of the milestones set out in the original framework, including this year during the pandemic.”