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Archive for Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Strategic plan charts course to 2015

Work by 3 task forces ready for input from faculty, staff and students

May 13, 2008

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Kansas University charts course to 2015

By 2015, Kansas University wants all students to have high-quality academic backgrounds, be active in extracurricular activities, and have a focus on community service. Enlarge video

By 2015, Kansas University would like all incoming students to have high-quality academic backgrounds, be active in extracurriculars and have a focus on community service.

The university would like all graduates to meet certain benchmarks, such as having an interest and capacity for research, being aware of global issues and diversity, and exhibiting strong communication and interpersonal skills.

As part of an effort to develop a new strategic plan for KU, three task forces developed those recommendations and 15 others to improve KU over the next seven years. The recommendations were released Tuesday by KU so all faculty, staff and students can make comments. The community will be invited to offer similar comments later this summer.

"It's still very much a work in progress," KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway said. "The three task forces met and made these recommendations. Now we've asked people within the university community to respond."

The plan, called Initiative 2015, is the first universitywide strategic planning exercise since Initiative 2001 was created shortly after Hemenway arrived at KU in the mid 1990s, said KU spokesman Kevin Boatright.

Hemenway said he was pleased with recommendations in the report, which centers on three main themes: Teaching and Learning, Discovering and Innovating, and Working for Kansas.

"I think there's a lot of good recommendations from the task forces, but there's no question there will be tweaks and changes," he said.

Hemenway said he would like campus members to have completed reviewing the document by July 1, at which point it could be brought out to the Kansas community at large.

In addition to sketching out the desired qualities for incoming students, it sets out two possible methods for admitting students with those qualities: telling educators that's what KU wants, and convincing the Legislature to adjust admission standards.

"Some of the proposals dealing with admissions may take longer to achieve because we need to work with the Board of Regents and the Legislature," Boatright said.

But other proposals in the strategic plan could be implemented soon. Among those are identifying the skills that every graduate should have.

Learner outcomes, as this is sometimes known, has been a major issue nationally and is a focus of the Kansas Board of Regents.

"There's no reason why we too shouldn't have a focus on that," Hemenway said.

Initiative 2015 is designed to coincide with the next accreditation of the university. When the university was accredited in 2005, some issues identified included those addressed in the report.

Boatright said, however, 2015 shouldn't be seen as a deadline but as a target.

Comments

compmd 6 years, 7 months ago

Kookamooka said:"I guess all of the feeder-school kids from Chicago will have to look elsewhere for their cheap and easy University. U of Illinois has rigorous admissions standards and that's what drives the New Trier kids here."The "rigorous" admissions standards at the University of Illinois are a formula relating your ACT score, class rank, and GPA. If you don't match the formula, you aren't in. This also means you could have an ACT score over 30, but choose more challenging coursework than your peers earning Bs and Cs and be rejected. However, your peer with the ACT of 25 and straight As in remedial classes are admitted. I was never a fan of UIUC, plus I think the cities suck.I am very curious as to why, of all the schools in the Chicago area, you singled out New Trier. Very curious.

penguin 6 years, 7 months ago

The only problem with demanding more of incoming students is that they have to get the BOR to go along with it. We still have qualified admissions in Kansas. KU has been pushing to get the qualified admissions standards increased ever since they came into effect. However, this has not changed. Even if they wanted to limit enrollment based on GPA, SAT/ACT scores, or any other measure...it will not happen without dismantling the current qualified admissions system.Also as anyone close to admissions policies knows...changes in this system will not come easily. All Kansas universities were open to any Kansas high school grads up until a few years ago. So even the week admissions criteria now required years of pushing. This is why this quote is so...well...hilarious:"Some of the proposals dealing with admissions may take longer to achieve because we need to work with the Board of Regents and the Legislature," Boatright said.This will be a long road to travel and I do not see it as very possible...even by 2015. Ultimately, this whole effort to restrict admissions is only an effort to boost USNWR rankings. KU get hammered in these ratings and others because the admissions criteria are viewed as rather lax.

Kookamooka 6 years, 7 months ago

I guess all of the feeder-school kids from Chicago will have to look elsewhere for their cheap and easy University. U of Illinois has rigorous admissions standards and that's what drives the New Trier kids here. Without the influx of wealthy students from Chicagoland, the Athletic department will lose quite a few of their biggest donors. Too bad, so sad.

Rickyonealku 6 years, 7 months ago

In 2015 my daughter will have graduated from the University of Kansas and be working. Entering college she had a 4.00 GPA from Norman, Oklahoma. Kansas University was her first and only choice for colleges to attend. The one big attraction being in her second year has been all the wonderful people she has met from the great state of Kansas.Question???? is the best interest for (Kansas) students being considered by The University of Kansas????

WHY 6 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone else smell US news and world report rankings?Yeah I thought so.

LogicMan 6 years, 7 months ago

"all incoming students to have high-quality academic backgrounds, be active in extracurriculars and have a focus on community service."Common sense, and real-world experience and skills should be added before the last two. "Step away from the keyboards/pads and game controllers, and get outside and learn/do things!"

compmd 6 years, 7 months ago

The first two paragraphs of this article essentially say this:"By 2015, Kansas University would like all incoming students to be from somewhere other than Kansas."They want students with better grades? Great, they will do an excellent job attracting mediocre students with inflated GPAs from underperforming high schools. This plan is going to be the single biggest reason for an increase in enrollment at K-State.

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