MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- It’s been a record year for Kansas State University in vital areas like enrollment and fundraising.
University president Kirk Schulz touched on those topics as he delivered his annual State of the University address Friday afternoon at the K-State Alumni Center.
Schulz recognized the accomplishments of faculty, staff members and students over the past year and noted several of the university’s milestones as it moves its goal of becoming a top 50 public research institution by the year 2025.
“We had the largest enrollment in university history, the largest fundraising in university history, more alumni contacts then at any time in our past. I think there’s just a really positive sense of momentum- athletics, academics, students- and that K-State 2025 is moving forward and the university is continuing to thrive so it’s a pleasure to be here. It’s fun to lead right now because we have a great group of people really doing wonderful things,” Schulz said.
“I want people to feel good about the institution. I want them to feel good about the leadership, where we’re going and where we’ve been and sometimes, everybody is so frantic and you’re focused on working on so hard that you stop occasionally and look and say, ‘Wow, we’ve really did have a pretty spectacular year.’ So I want everybody sitting the room or watching online to really feel a sense of accomplishment that the Kansas State family had a terrific year and that everyone played a part in the successes I shared,” he added.
With several major athletic construction projects in the works (including the expansion to Bill Snyder Family Stadium and a new basketball training facility), Schulz says K-State will also focus on adding research and teaching space for the university’s core academic programs. He specifically mentioned expansions to the College of Business and the engineering school.
After his address, Schulz spoke to reporters about the extensive media coverage this week stemming from reports that K-State was trying to move away from using its nickname and making an effort to specially use Kansas State University.
"You’re going to see more things on our campus that emphasize Kansas State University as opposed to K-State. This is very conscious on our part. If we’re going to build a national brand, people need to realize where we are, what state that we’re in…,” Schulz said Monday during a meeting with the governor and business leaders.
Schulz says while Kansas State University on a national and global level, “K-State” isn’t being done away with and will continue to be used throughout the state and region.
“Branding is absolutely important and you’ve already seen over the last two years some more consistency in our branding. It’s been interesting over the last couple days dealing with the questions, ‘Are you getting rid of K-State?’ Well folks, we just put a million dollar football field down, we’ve done the basketball training facility, we have K-State Powercats all over that so the idea that somehow we’re not going to use that anymore really just took on a sense of momentum that wasn’t true. So we will continue to use K-State aggressively but we’re also going to use Kansas State University when appropriate. Sometimes, if you’re on the East or West coast and you’re meeting with people, you need to make sure that they understand exactly where it is that we are so we’re continuing to use both. It’ll be interchangeable but we’re not going to minimize the use of one thing over another,” Schulz said Friday.