A new plan taking shape at Kansas University will point the way toward 2015 and beyond, said plan organizers.
Three key areas for the university will be given attention in KU’s Initiative 2015 plan, which is currently receiving input from stakeholders.
KU intends to focus its goals on teaching and learning, discovering and innovating, and working for Kansas.
Danny Anderson, vice provost for academic affairs, is helping organize the teaching and learning recommendations on the Lawrence campus.
That portion of the plan aims to, in part, determine what the university wants to see in its students and its graduates.
For example, the plan calls for potential students to be evaluated on a number of criteria, including leadership ability, creativity and understanding in conducting research, and global awareness and breadth of thinking. It also seeks to improve the undergraduate research experience.
KU has sought to gain tighter control of its admissions standards, should the Board of Regents get control of setting the standards from the Legislature.
The plan is seeking to prioritize goals for the university, and to ensure a quality education is received by everyone who attends, Anderson said. Specific projects and programs will be designed later to meet these goals, he said.
Anyone wishing to view and comment on the recommendations outlined in the teaching and learning portion of the plan may do so online at chancellor.ku.edu/2015/tl/comments. Comments will be accepted through today. A link providing an opportunity to review and comment on the plan as a whole is also available at that site.
Steve Warren, vice provost for research and graduate studies, is helping organize the discovering and innovating area of the plan.
Goals identified there center on things like improving the research infrastructure at KU, expanding communication efforts with the public, and expanding collaboration within and between KU’s two major campuses.
The third portion of the plan includes two major recommendations to help increase the university’s service to the state — instituting a reward system to encourage and recognize contributions to the state, and supporting an entity that would coordinate outreach activities.
The Initiative 2015 plan is still in its developing stages. Organizers said they hope to have it completed by the end of the current academic semester.
Warren said the timing was right as KU conducts its search for a new leader.
“I would think that this document, as it’s being developed, would be extraordinarily useful to a new chancellor,” he said.
Warren said that it was important for the university to continue to move forward even in tight budget times.
“You can’t freeze up and try to retreat,” he said.
In many ways, he said, the formation of a plan now will be more useful with the budgetary realities the university is facing.
“If you’d have made a plan a year ago, you might have made a plan that would have maybe been irrelevant in some areas,” Warren said.