Strengthen recruitment, teaching, and mentoring to prepare undergraduate students for lifelong learning, leadership, and success
Strategy 1-A: Establish a new KU core curriculum for all undergraduate students
Visit kucore.ku.edu for detailed information on the goals, learning outcomes, and nomination process for submitting courses and educational experiences for inclusion in the KU Core.
Six satellite committees developed learning outcomes specific to their assigned educational goal, describing the skills or competencies students must demonstrate to achieve each goal. The committees also generated specific learning activities for each outcome and developed metrics to assess evidence of student learning.
The KU Core Transition Committee finalized learning outcomes, set requirements for fulfilling each goal, and established the process for nominating courses and educational experiences.
KU will launch the KU Core in fall 2013. All undergraduate students must complete 12 units within the curriculum.
The policy establishing the University Core Curriculum Committee (UCCC) was presented to the Faculty Executive Committee, Faculty Senate, and deans and approved by the provost in June 2012.
Strategy 1-B: Strengthen the pipeline of undergraduates to and through KU
The process of raising retention and graduation rates has begun. New recruitment and orientation strategies are in effect, and a comprehensive scholarship plan that provides four-year renewable scholarships to every qualifying freshman started in fall 2012.
Marketing Communications, working with the Office of Admissions, created postcards, brochures, and catalogs ranging from first contact with prospective students to new-student orientation handbooks. These have consistent messages, tone, look, and feel. Complementary print and social media campaigns incorporated new data development to expand the pool of prospective students.
The Board of Regents approved new admissions standards that will be effective in fall 2016. These are intended to identify academically prepared new students who can succeed at a flagship university.
A new support system, MySuccess, was introduced in fall 2012 and will track the progress of more than 2,900 students in nine pilot courses, mostly large survey courses in such subjects as biology, geology, and psychology. This early warning system will permit faculty and advisors to quickly identify students who are having academic difficulties and refer them to a range of resources such as tutoring and stress management.
Strategy 1-C: Invest in first-year intellectual experiences
Orientation, Hawk Week, Hawk Days, First-Year Seminars, Living Learning Communities, and KU Common Book are now part of the Office of First-Year Experience under the umbrella theme of Discover. Engage. Belong.
KU’s first common book – Notes From No Man’s Land, a collection of essays by Eula Biss — was selected from more than 125 nominations by faculty, staff, and students. All incoming students received a copy at orientation. Fall 2012 activities include small group discussions, a visit by the author, and conversations about a Spencer Museum Common Work of Art. Courses in multiple disciplines are incorporating the common book. Visit commonbook.ku.edu for more details and full event listings.
Incoming freshmen could choose to enroll in one of 11 first-year seminars offered this fall. The seminars — built around provocative topics in science, the humanities, and culture — are limited to 19 participants each to encourage discussion and collaboration. All are led by professors, and all fulfill a general education principal course requirement. In the future, the seminars will satisfy at least one KU Core learning outcome.
KU offered two living learning communities this fall:
The Mount Oread Scholars program is the pilot for a living learning community in the Gertrude Sellards Pearson Residence Hall. A cohort of 60 students is co-enrolled in a Mount Oread Scholars seminar and a course fulfilling a general education requirement. These students will have recurring opportunities to connect with fellow scholars, faculty, advisors, and administrators.
Ten students in the University Honors Program who are interested in health-related fields are living in Templin Residence Hall and have enrolled in an honors seminar and in one-semester courses around the theme Current Trends in Health & Health-Related Fields. These courses fulfill requirements in majors such as biology or English. The project also encourages co-curricular activities such as peer mentorships by honors alumni enrolled at the KU Medical Center and study abroad opportunities in Guatemala and Peru.
Updates on this strategy will be available in late-fall 2012.
Strategy 1-E: Redesign courses to enhance student learning
Led by the centers for Teaching Excellence and for Online & Distance Learning, the primary work of course redesign involves blended or hybrid courses delivering information online and reserving face-to-face contact for discussion, problem-solving, and enhanced learning activities.
KU is the lead school in the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APL U) psychology course redesign, intended as a pilot for a broad range of fields.
KU is participating in the Bay View Alliance, a consortium leading efforts to positively affect the culture in teaching by engaging larger percentages of faculty.
Prepare doctoral students as innovators and leaders who are ready to meet the demands of the academy and our global society
Strategy 2-A: Develop sustainable funding for doctoral education
For the first time, KU has made a comprehensive, university-wide review of how doctoral education is funded. The Doctoral Funding Work Group, chaired by Danny J. Anderson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, met to re-envision how KU financially supports its highest degree. Besides gathering comprehensive data on funding, the work group reviewed KU’s peers and their models for funding and for doctoral training through teaching and research assistantships. A key consideration was the ideal balance between teaching and research.
A preliminary report, completed in June 2012, suggests strategies for implementing a KU-specific model and is being reviewed by the provost, senior vice provost, and dean of graduate studies. In order to develop the new KU model, a committee will be charged with implementing specific recommendations from the report.
Strategy 2-B: Use comparative data to set academic program standards
The Doctoral Program Profiles (DPP) was launched in summer 2011 and updated in summer 2012.
Every department with a doctoral program provided a link to the DPP so that program data are accessible to prospective students comparing programs in their chosen fields of study.
Strategy 2-C: Develop a comprehensive doctoral student recruitment plan
Updates on this strategy will be available in spring 2013.
Strategy 2-D: Size academic programs based on upon merit, mentoring, and placement
Updates on this strategy will be available in spring 2013.
Strategic initiative theme summits were held drawing more than 900 attendees across the four themes:
Sustaining the Planet, Powering the World
Promoting Well-Being, Finding Cures
Building Communities, Expanding Opportunities
Harnessing Information, Multiplying Knowledge
Individual reports were generated for each theme outlining our biggest opportunities and honestly assessing our weaknesses to determine the biggest impact KU can have on the four strategic initiative themes. Faculty made new connections and created exciting opportunities for multidisciplinary projects at the summits.
The Research Investment Council has been established to review the strategic initiative grant applications, which provide funding for faculty and researchers’ multidisciplinary projects connected to strategic initiative themes.
The council completed its first review of applications in August 2012 and will review new applications on Oct. 15, 2012, and Feb. 15, 2013. Funding may range from large Level 1 grants of more than $50,000 (typically $100,000 to $300,000) to smaller Level 2 grants of $5,000 and $50,000.
The Bold Aspirations Visitor and Lecture Series began in fall 2012 to highlight eminent guests and local community talent who give presentations related to the strategic initiative themes. Visitors will meet with the KU community and give a public lecture. The visits range from a few days to a semester or longer. A full listing of the Bold Aspirations Visitors and Lecturers is available at provost.ku.edu/strategic-plan/visitor-lecture-series.
With support from Gov. Sam Brownback, KU’s request for $3 million a year for the hiring of 12 Foundation Professors received legislative approval for fiscal year 2013 and is an ongoing appropriation. These high-profile individuals will be international scholars of the highest caliber who will bolster KU’s status as an Association of American Universities institution and will be supported by additional faculty hires from new and replacement positions within the university and provided with substantial research and start-up funds through our comprehensive capital campaign. Visit foundation.ku.edu for more information on Foundation Professors.
Strategy 3-B: Increase research activities, innovation, and funding
In the Research Investment Council’s first review of strategic initiative grant proposals, three Level I and two Level II grants were selected for funding to support interdisciplinary research activities connected to the strategic initiative themes. Collectively, these five grants have been awarded over $1.1 million across the next three years.
Strategy 3-C: Document research excellence with enhanced accountability
Faculty use the professional record online (PRO) system, initiated in December 2011, to manage information on teaching, research, and service. Vitae of faculty in the schools of Music, Social Welfare, Law, Journalism, and Education have been entered into the system. Data entry has begun for faculty in the School of Public Affairs & Administration, School of the Arts, Department of English, and the Department of Spanish & Portuguese.
To date, 306 faculty use PRO for such applications as generating curriculum vitae, creating annual reports, and expanding collaboration. The Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations govern the confidential information housed in PRO.
Engage local, state, national, and global communities as partners in scholarly activities that have direct public impact
Strategy 4-A: Promote a culture that openly values engaged scholarship
Engaged scholarship was incorporated into the Professional Record Online (PRO) system.
A reorganized KU News Service prioritizes generating national stories featuring compelling accounts of research and scholarship at KU.
Strategy 4-B: Encourage, support, and coordinate engaged scholarship
Updates on this strategy will be available in spring 2013.
Strategy 4-C: Promote active entrepreneurship and vibrant external partnerships
The KU Center for Technology Commercialization (KUCTC) was organized around the management of intellectual property, entrepreneurship, company formation, and industry partnerships. A new executive team is in place to provide leadership and focus across those areas.
A comprehensive industry engagement partnership among Research & Graduate Studies, KU Endowment, and KUCTC organizes external partnerships and collaborative industry visits across campus. A plan has been developed for a Strategic Business Partners Program to cultivate and steward key industry partners.
A new KUCTC website, under development, will provide an entry point for industry, entrepreneurs, investors, faculty, students, and staff in regard to commercialization and entrepreneurship.
Licensing processes were streamlined to increase efficiency and transparency.
Recruit, value, develop, and retain an excellent and diverse faculty and staff
Strategy 5-A: Enhance the recruitment process for excellence in hiring
All faculty hires in 2011-12 utilized the Hiring for Excellence protocols.
A Human Resources system upgrade designed to enhance hiring, time and leave, payroll, and funding processes was rolled out in October 2012. A website to help users understand the new features and the importance of the upgraded system is at hrpay.ku.edu.
Strategy5-B: Develop and retain talent and leadership at all levels to thrive in an era of change
In September 2011 KU reorganized its office of Student Success to reflect the institution’s emphasis on recruitment, academic excellence, persistence, engagement in academics and experiential learning, and graduation. The new organization includes the vice provost for enrollment management, the vice provost for student affairs, and the assistant vice provost for first-year experience.
Three newly created units — Undergraduate Studies, First-Year Experience, and the Center for Undergraduate Research — will enhance academics and learning opportunities.
Strategy 5-C: Be accountable
Updates on this strategy will be available spring 2013.
Strategy 5-D: Enhance the diversity of faculty, staff, and student body
In summer 2011, the diversity leadership position was elevated to the vice provost level and provides leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion for all faculty, staff, and students.
The Office of Institutional Access & Opportunity was designed, organized, and staffed with a director, an ADA director, and investigators to enhance and strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion at KU.
The Diversity Advisory Council began meeting in fall 2011 to develop a campus vision and plan to coordinate diversity efforts. The council created a basic framework that it will continue to refine in coming months. The council also drafted a university definition of diversity that was presented for campus feedback in spring 2012.
Responsibly steward fiscal and physical resources and energize supporters to expand the resource base
Strategy 6-A: Reallocate resources on a regular basis to priorities
KU is in the first year of implementing savings and efficiencies identified by Changing for Excellence. Major accomplishments of the past year include the creation of Facilities Services, enhanced purchasing contracts, and planning the creation of shared service centers. Updates are available at cfe.ku.edu.
Strategy 6-B: Create a comprehensive process for facilities planning
The office of Capital Planning & Space Management (CPSM) was established in April 2011. In the past year, CPSM has documented the capital planning process and has facilitated and/or been involved with several capital projects.
CPSM and the university architect are working together to develop a campus master plan. The group is drafting a Request for Qualifications (RF Q) with a late fall 2012 kickoff and late 2013 completion date.
The Capital Projects Council (CPC) was established in fall 2011 and is chaired by the chancellor. The group reviews all capital projects of $500,000 or more, all repairs and renovations (R&R) of $1 million or more, and any new use of university land.
Strategy 6-C: Energize Far Above, the comprehensive fundraising campaign
The chancellor welcomed alumni and friends of KU at the public kickoff of Far Above in late April 2012.
Every school and major academic unit of the university has an advisory board to prioritize and strategize and to set goals for Far Above.
The deans are prioritizing campaign development at the school level.
Office of the Provost
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Several initiatives are furthering efforts to ensure KU offers a welcoming and supportive environment for all to learn, live, work, and discover.