Office of the Dean
Dear K-State Salina family,
This month is when the winds of change begin to blow - not only literally with the weather but also around our campus. Just as a slight chill begins to permeate the night air and green tree leaves morph into their fall colors, the university shifts from a back-to-school frame of mind deep into the season of hustle and bustle. From major meetings and educational events to hosting visitors on campus and promoting our purple pride, K-State Salina is certainly firing on all cylinders in October. And this is truly where the fun starts…
K-State Salina is dedicated to giving each student everything they need to succeed, which includes more than what they learn in the classroom. On Sept. 10, the campus hosted the Study Abroad Fair, which provides students an opportunity to either spend an entire semester immersed in another culture or travel with our faculty for a week to a location that lines up with one of their classes. These trips enhance students’ global awareness, knowledge of another language and research skills in a particular subject matter; plus they have fun experiencing a different country!
Our students are also given the chance to explore life after they receive their K-State diploma. On Sept. 23 and 24, the student services department transported more than 50 students to the Manhattan campus for a career fair. These attendees were exposed to numerous companies in a variety of industries, giving them networking opportunities as well as building their confidence when meeting with professionals.
Of course, in order for students to give complete focus to their future, the financial pressure needs to be relieved, and thankfully, K-State Salina has many generous supporters that wish to see our students flourish. On Sept. 16, donor Jan Burton and I had dinner with some of the current recipients of the Connor Burton Scholarship as a way to not only honor those students’ dedication to flying but to also connect them with someone that believes in their future. The next day, the campus welcomed K-State first lady Noel Schulz with members of the group 1863 Circle. This organization represents alumni and friends who have given $1,000 or more to the university. It was a pleasure to show these group members around our campus and personally thank them for their support.
There are so many generous advocates of K-State Salina and many of them are right here on the campus. On Sept. 9, the All University Campaign kicked off with an ice cream social for faculty and staff. The goal of this campaign is to allow K-State employees a forum in which to give back to the university they take pride in being a part of, and this campus runs deep with good hearts.
One faculty member that has also been building hospitality on campus is Pat Ackerman, professor of language arts. She recently organized the new Faculty Resource Center and on Sept. 23, all faculty members gathered together for lunch in the new space. The center will provide a place for K-State Salina faculty to collaborate on various projects and to seek each other’s assistance and advice. The Faculty Resource Center encourages open communication and sharing of best practices. Pat is always soliciting suggestions from her colleagues on how to make the center efficient and appropriate for everyone’s needs, and that is a model we like to offer to our community.
On the first Friday of every month, I look forward to the Coffee with the Dean event at Starbucks. Anyone is welcome to grab a cup of Joe and share with me their great stories about K-State Salina and even concerns or questions. It’s nice to get feedback from a different perspective. On Sept. 19, the Foundation trustees held their annual meeting at the university and that is yet another opportunity to gain insight from varying viewpoints on how to move this campus forward successfully. The day before, K-State Salina hosted leaders from the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson. They took a tour of our campus and discussed ideas of possible working partnerships down the road. That is another example of how our university will stay successful and answer the call of the future.
But of course, with an important history like ours, we also want to consider the past as we make plans and decisions for our future. In December, you will be able to learn all about how this campus started when the K-Stater magazine features a story about our history. We were thrilled to host the article’s author, Tim Lindemuth, on campus Sept. 8 as he gathered details about our nearly 50 years of existence. We certainly are proud of our starting point and hope everyone will learn just how unique this campus really is.
And on a final note, something else K-State Salina is very proud of, almost to the point of bragging, is our flight team. This year at their national competition, the K-State Salina Flight Team won the coveted Loening Trophy, distinguishing them as the most outstanding all-around aviation program in the country. To give our students the proper recognition they deserve for their amazing efforts, the flight team will be featured during halftime at the K-State football game against Texas on Oct. 25.
Have a great month, savor the enjoyable changes in weather and we look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events or around the community.
Verna M. Fitzsimmons, Ph.D.
CEO, Kansas State University Salina
Dean, College of Technology and Aviation