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K-State Salina

Office of the Dean

July 2015

 

Dear K-State Salina family,

I hope each of you have been enjoying your summer and are finding ways to stay cool. I know this is the perfect time to spend with family, take an exciting vacation or simply relax, and I look forward to sharing stories about our summertime adventures.

I think we all can agree July has started with a collective sigh of relief. As I look back on last month's furlough possibility, I am grateful that every single member of this campus still has a job and is able to provide for their family. The Kansas Legislature's record-breaking 113-day session made the idea of furloughs for all state employees close to becoming reality. One of the most troublesome things I have had to do since arriving at K-State Salina three years ago was to decide which of our campus's faculty and staff should be recognized as "essential" and "non-essential" as the furlough loomed on the horizon. I balked at the thought of having to do this, and let me just apologize that we even had to go through with that process. Each one of our employees brings value to K-State Salina and I know this campus could not operate without a team effort. Thankfully, the legislature prevented the furloughs from happening and eventually passed the state budget.

As I just mentioned, this campus would not be successful without all of the pieces to the puzzle. Each faculty and staff member is crucial in providing our students with an innovative education and memorable experiences. We have had several job searches going on the past couple of months and I'm excited to announce the new additions to our family. These new members of the campus bring added energy, a unique perspective and fresh ideas, and I'm proud to welcome them to our group. 

  • Kyle Chamberlin – Student Life Center Coordinator
  • Cody Waterman – Residence Life Coordinator
  • Kris Grinter – Admissions Representative
  • Wayne Woldt – Unmanned Aircraft Systems Professor

Along with hiring new employees, K-State Salina just recently announced the addition of a new option in our engineering technology bachelor's degree program and a new minor. Starting this fall, we will offer an unmanned aircraft systems focus. Students' coursework will combine UAS with computer science and electronics and mechanical engineering technology. And the unmanned minor will have two focus areas: flight operations and data acquisition and management. This is an excellent example of how we are continuing to propel our curriculum forward by finding ways for our existing programs to collaborate while meeting the needs of industry.

The Kansas State University Bulk Solids Innovation Center is another impressive enhancement to the creative and cutting-edge opportunities we offer our students. The facility had its grand opening in May and celebrated an open house for industry partners at the end of June. More than 60 companies from across the United States as well as from Europe attended the event and the outcome was clear: each seemed very impressed by the center and were eager to discover how they could work with our university.

With the new employees, the new programs and the new opportunities we are establishing with outside industries, it is a thrilling and inspiring time at K-State Salina. We are ready for the students to return so that they can share in the excitement and begin to benefit from these amazing achievements. With a successful summer such as this one, I can only image what is in store for the upcoming fall semester.

Best regards,

 

Verna M. Fitzsimmons, Ph.D.
CEO, Kansas State University Salina
Dean, College of Technology and Aviation

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