KSU President Reflects On 5 Years At Helm - And His Future

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas State University's leader is letting it be known - he plans to stick around.

Kirk Schulz appeared on 13 News at 4 on WIBW-TV Wednesday to mark his five-year anniversary as K-State's president. He reached the milestone this week.

In an interview, Schulz said his proudest accomplishments are the building projects that have taken shape on campus, including the West Stadium expansion which was completed last fall. He also said a $40 million expansion to the College of Engineering campus will break ground once the snow is gone and a $55 million College of Business building will begin construction this summer. A campus welcome center at the Old Memorial Stadium and improvements to the College of Architecture also will take shape in the next couple years.

Schulz also said he is excited to see the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility come to campus. He says the task now is to maximize the opportunities it presents by hiring the right staff and ensuring students will be able to take full advantage of its presence. In addition, he says K-State must work with community leaders to use NBAF as an economic engine to bring businesses to Manhattan and Riley County so the state can see its investment pay off.

Private donations have made the projects possible and Schulz said he will work to build the donor base. In addition, he says he works with students to ensure they have a voice in any tuition decisions and understand, in a time of shrinking state support, why increases are made.

Part of his communication strategy includes a presence on the social media site Twitter. Under the handle @KState_Pres, Schulz himself updates his daily activities and answers questions and concerns from students. He says he believes it is the way a modern-era university leader must function.

As for whether Schulz will be around to see his vision for the future come to fruition he replied, "Absolutely." He says he and his wife, Noel, love the K-State community and it is a good fit for them. He says he has no intention of leaving.

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