Office of the Dean
Dear K-State Salina family,
The excitement on campus is at an all-time high right now as a brand new school year is quickly approaching. Faculty return on August 18, our international students arrive the following day, Convocation for all students and families is August 23 and classes officially start two days after that.
The outlook for our university this year couldn’t be brighter. Not only are physical characteristics of the campus changing, but also as a whole K-State Salina is moving forward with a positive attitude, an inspiring perspective and an overwhelming passion for furthering and improving education. A prime example of this is the new Kansas State University Bulk Solids Innovation Center, which broke ground on July 10 in north Salina. All of the community entities that have partnered together on this project, like the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce, Salina Economic Development Corporation, Coperion K-Tron and Vortex Valves, were a part of the ceremony as well as many Salina residents. Building the innovation center will bring K-State Salina and the city a multitude of benefits in the form of economic growth, strengthened community relations and education connected with industry.
As you can probably tell, having a personal relationship with the community is a crucial part of our university’s mission. I can’t think of a better location for our campus - the city of Salina and its residents have been very supportive of our initiatives over the years and it’s vital that we continue to reciprocate the loyalty. Just as K-State Salina provides a dynamic and innovative education to college students, we have also recognized the opportunity to shape and influence our community’s youth. This summer, K-State Salina’s professional education and outreach department held Discover Programs for levels kindergarten through eighth grade in the fields of aviation, engineering technology and sports. These programs allow K-State Salina to expand upon its academic offerings, serve the community and create an environment for advancing education.
An essential part of that environment is the campus’ look and feel. In order to successfully progress forward, stay technologically sound and provide the best education possible, physical restoration is necessary. There are quite a few recent changes that have been completed as well as several to look forward to. This summer, a variety of trees have been planted on campus that will hopefully give students a warm and cozy feeling as they walk to class and play in the open fields. And a new arborist is on staff to ensure these trees will thrive in our climate. Coming indoors, four residence hall rooms have been updated in Schilling Hall, the engineering technology department office has moved into a new space (TC100), professor Pat Ackerman is currently leading the setup of a new faculty resource center (TC109), and two rooms in the Technology Center have been created as overflow study labs with 10 brand new computers in each and 11 additional new computers have been added to room TC115. A locker room addition has been completed to the Student Life Center, a renovation of the building now known as the Welcome Center has taken place, and Residence Hall has been renamed Schilling Hall. Each of these projects have been a labor of love for the campus and in order to celebrate hard work coming to fruition, there will be two ribbon cutting ceremonies - August 29 for the official unveiling of Schilling Hall and September 4 for the Welcome Center and the locker rooms.
K-State Salina also has an opportunity to progress forward with connections made off campus and out of the community. Alumni and industry partners play such a big role in the prosperity of our university whether it’s in research, internships, careers, philanthropy or just good ol’ Wildcat spirit. This summer associate dean of research and engagement Kurt Barnhart, aviation maintenance professor Drew Smith, director of development Amy Cole and I traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska for the grand opening of Duncan Aviation’s expanded facility. K-State Salina has had a longstanding relationship with Duncan Aviation, and not only do several of their employees serve on advisory boards across our campus but they have also hired several of our graduates. Another big opportunity for the university to build relationships outside of our area is in Oshkosh, Wisconsin at the largest aviation gathering in the United States. A team of our students as well as a faculty leader represented K-State Salina at the event for a week showing interested parties around our booth and conversing about our diverse aviation program. What an impact attending an event like that will have on our program!
Finally, with change also come fresh faces. I would like to personally welcome all the new faculty and staff to the K-State Salina campus. It’s a wonderful time to be a Wildcat - we are embracing new ideas, enthusiastically collaborating with each other, pushing the educational envelope and trusting in the university’s vision. This year we encourage everyone to: “Believe in yourself, K-State Salina does!” I cannot wait for the new school year to begin.
Verna M. Fitzsimmons, Ph.D.
CEO, Kansas State University Salina
Dean, College of Technology and Aviation