Office of the Dean
Dear K-State Salina family,
We have again reached one of the busiest, yet most exciting times of the school year. Along with Open House, our Alumni Fellow celebration and commencement, we are highly anticipating the opening of the Welcome Center. This newly renovated building, formerly known as the TAC building, will now house the student services staff. They will be moving into their new offices throughout the month of April. Also, Kathy Sanders has taken over retiree Jackie Linn’s registrar duties and resides in Room 208 in the College Center. Her new office number is 826-2607.
Because of the variety of events on and changes to the K-State Salina campus right now, keeping the community informed is one of my top priorities. I have continued to meet monthly at Starbucks with local residents and answer their questions during a time I like to call 'Coffee with the Dean.' I also met with the Dean’s Advisory Council to talk about the future of the university, and hosted the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce’s board meeting. This allows Salina leaders to visit our campus and experience firsthand the positive environment in which we work and students learn.
I highly respect and value the opinions and suggestions of our city and state representatives. On March 20, I spent the day in Topeka with Sue Peterson, the director of governmental relations for Kansas State University, and we were able to connect with Kansas representatives Diana Dierks and J.R. Claeys, as well as Senator Tom Arpke. Representative Claeys was also on the K-State Salina campus earlier in the month to attend an unmanned aircraft systems class and discuss with the faculty and me the prospective UAS industry.
Conversations between the university’s faculty and staff are also an important precedence I want to encourage. On March 7, I sat in on our campus’ monthly meeting called Filter-Down Fridays, to not only keep everyone aware of K-State Salina happenings but to also emphasize that communication is key during celebrations as well as when challenges or questions arise. I have seen promising results of more communication during the College Advising and Planning Council (CAPC) open forums where members of our faculty and staff get together and various academic structural changes are recommended.
And speaking of academic changes, I was honored to be a part of a team that traveled to Ohio University during Spring Break week to observe their engineering technology and management program for accreditation with the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering. It is imperative to not only serve our university’s needs but to also offer assistance to other educational institutions to build partnerships for the future.
K-State Salina played host to the Women of K-State group from Manhattan on March 7 where they enjoyed a tour of our campus and spent some quality time with Salina’s women faculty and staff. Off campus, some of our women faculty and staff also gathered together at local Mexican restaurant Gutierrez for Red Shoe Night - an opportunity to put work aside and socialize on a personal level. I admire all of the women at K-State Salina and Manhattan for the hours and effort they put into their jobs, and I was happy to be able to get to know each of them.
Finally, on a personal note, I stopped by famed local wildlife park, Rolling Hills Zoo, to take part in the Egypt-themed “Taste of Adventure.” Salina is such a charming city filled with great businesses, fun events and welcoming people. I always feel so grateful to live here.Cheers!
Verna M. Fitzsimmons, Ph.D.
CEO, Kansas State University Salina
Dean, College of Technology and Aviation