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					            2007 State of the University Address
                   President Daniel S. Papp
                 Kennesaw State University
                      March 28-29, 2007


Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the 2007 State of
the University Address. Thank you for making time in your
day to attend this address, which will become a new
tradition for Kennesaw State University during my
presidency-- even as it is at many other colleges and
universities around the country. The State of the University
address provides a president an opportunity to share his or
her views of how the university is doing across a wide-range
of activities and undertakings, and to discuss plans for the
near and mid-term future for the university.


This address is part of our on-going efforts to enhance
communications within the KSU community. Related to
this, earlier this week, I began another round of visits to
academic departments and operational units to receive
feedback from the campus community about the

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performance and direction of the university. I’ll continue
these visits for the rest of this semester and on into
Maymester. As you may recall, after I was named president
in the Spring of 2006, I visited many academic departments
and operational units to discuss with faculty and staff their
views of what was going well and what needed improvement
at KSU. Like the annual State of the University address, I
will continue these important visits throughout my
presidency and as appropriate incorporate the feedback I
receive in our planning efforts.


I’ve been at KSU as president for nine months now, and
each day I am more impressed by the willingness and
dedication of our students to learn … by the quality and
commitment of our faculty and staff … by the beauty of our
campus … and by the interest of the community in this
university. We are fortunate to be in Cobb County, in
Northwest Georgia, and near Atlanta. Our location gives us
a host of advantages that many other universities do not
have.



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Before I begin the actual State of the University address, I
also would like to introduce three people who are taking on
new responsibilities here at KSU.


First, for the last few months, Dr. Randy Hinds has operated
in a dual capacity as Vice President for Information
Technology and Interim Vice President for Business and
Administration. This combination has worked superbly,
and I am now combining these positions permanently into a
single new position, Vice President for Operations.
Congratulations, Randy.


Second, about two weeks ago, Dr. Frank Butler joined us as
Interim Dean of the Bagwell College of Education. Before
joining KSU, Frank had an exemplary career in Georgia and
beyond. For example, his Georgia posts included serving as
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Interim President
at Armstrong Atlantic State University, and in the
University System Office as Vice Chancellor for Academic,
Faculty, and Student Affairs. Welcome aboard, Frank!



                               3
And finally, in a new position that reports to the Provost, I’d
like to introduce Dr. Barry Morris, KSU’s new Director of
Cabinet Strategic Projects. With a doctorate from Emory
University, Barry has been a professor on the faculties of
Georgia State and Georgia Tech, and served as Dean for a
new university in Nigeria. Barry will sit on the Council of
Deans and will be responsible for coordinating activities that
cut across numerous units on campus, for example our
Quality Enhancement Plan, the development of off-campus
educational locations, and participating in multi-disciplinary
fund-raising activities.


Please join me in welcoming them to their new positions.


Probably the best way to begin this State of the University
address is to spend a few minutes talking about last week’s
visit to campus by the Southern Association of Colleges and
Schools’ nine-person Re-accreditation Team. As you know,
once every ten years, every accredited college and university
in the country must have its accreditation reaffirmed by its
regional accrediting association.

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Our year was this year. The process is a long and detailed
one that includes a three-day visit to campus by a team of
accreditation experts. Last week, the accreditation team was
on campus and gave us the details of their analysis, and we
performed with flying colors. For Kennesaw, the review was
divided into three primary parts.


The first part of the review examined KSU’s compliance
with a host of Southern Association rules, regulations, and
guidelines that cover an incredibly wide range of activities
that take place at a university. This is the heart and sole of
re-accreditation. We came through this part of the review
without a single recommendation for improvement from the
visiting SACS team.


This is a tremendous accomplishment. Many contributed to
this achievement, but here let me say thanks to the man who
coordinated and directed KSU’s overall SACS effort, Dr. Ed
Rugg. Ed, thank you for a job not just well done, but done
superbly!

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The second part of re-affirmation of accreditation is the
Quality Enhancement Plan. This is a new aspect of the re-
accreditation process – put into place only four or five years
ago – that requires each college or university undergoing re-
accreditation to identify and implement an area of operation
whose quality will be enhanced. We selected ―Global
Learning for Engaged Citizenship‖ as the focus of our QEP.
Over the next five years, we will expand opportunities for
students, faculty, and staff to understand and participate in
global affairs.


Since QEPs were initiated four or five years ago, universities
have averaged approximately five recommendations for
improvement from the visiting teams for their QEPs. We
received only two recommendations. Again, we have many
people to thank for KSU’s superlative performance, but the
folks who led it are Drs. Akanmu Adebayo and Val
Whittlesley. Bayo and Val, thank you for all of your hard
and successful work.



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The third part of re-accreditation was a substantive change
review. All universities that introduce new types of degree
programs must go through a substantive change review.
With KSU bringing on board its first doctoral program – an
Ed. D. in Educational Leadership in the Bagwell College of
Education – we had to go through a substantive change
review.


Now, you only have to undergo this substantive change
review the first time you introduce a new type of degree
program, so the folks in the Bagwell College were in essence
―carrying the water‖ for all KSU departments and colleges
that aspire to offer doctoral programs. I am pleased to
report, once again, that our performance was stellar.
Usually, universities that go through substantive review have
multiple recommendations. Again, we had only two.


As with both the compliance review and the QEP, many
people contributed to this outstanding achievement. But let
me here salute the professor who led us past the finish line,
Dr. Nita Paris. Because of the success of Nita and her team,

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the path to doctoral programs in other colleges will be much
easier. Thank you, Nita, and everyone else who had a hand
in bringing KSU’s first doctoral program to fruition.


A second major reference point vis-à-vis the state of the
university is our newly adopted 2007-2012 Strategic Plan –
copies of which were distributed as you entered. Our new
Strategic Plan has been in development for many years, long
before I arrived on campus. As you will see when you have a
chance to peruse it, our newly completed plan has a new
vision statement for the university . . . a new mission
statement . . . a detailed discussion of our strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities, and threats . . . and, most
importantly, five main goals and 50 actions steps. These
action steps are where the rubber meets the road.


Approximately 2,000 people played a role in the Strategic
Plan’s finalization, but I’d like to single out just a few who
drove this home to completion. Throughout the last six
months, the Planning and Budget Advisory Committee met
under the leadership of Professor Dick Gayler to craft this

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document. Dr. Theresa Joyce and her team played a
masterful role in making sure that Survey Monkeys went out
on a regular basis to help guide the process. And Provost
Lynn Black loomed large in the background to make sure
we stayed on task and on time. Thanks to everyone for a job
well done!


This Strategic Plan is ambitious. It will require hard work,
tight focus, tough decisions, and additional resources.


The first goal is straightforward. It addresses a key
responsibility for KSU and every other university and
college in the University System of Georgia: to enhance and
expand academic programs and delivery. Let me address
just a few of the 11 action steps under Goal 1.


First, we intend to decrease the student/faculty ratio. Put
simply, this means we must add faculty at a faster rate than
we have in the past.




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Second, we intend to fully implement the QEP. This is
required not only for re-accreditation now, but also for our
SACS mid-term evaluation in five years. And of course, the
QEP will be a central focus of KSU’s future re-accreditation
in 2017.


Sixth – yes, I know that I skipped 3, 4, and 5; but I figured
I’d try to convince you to read the plan, and I knew that you
didn’t want to be here the rest of the day – we intend to
ensure that faculty and staff salaries are competitive with
appropriate peers. That means we will compare our salaries
to those at other universities and in the marketplace, identify
issues of equity and compression, and work to address these
issues where they are found. This will be a multi-year
process.


Action Step 8 – adding degree programs that are
strategically important to the local community, to Georgia,
and to the nation at both the undergraduate and graduate
levels – also is a key part of KSU’s future. Possibilities
include offering new programs at the undergraduate level in

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environmental sciences and policy. Indeed, a faculty group
has been working diligently to develop concentrations in
these areas to start up this fall under the auspices of
Interdisciplinary Studies in the University College.
Possibilities at the Master’s level include a Master’s in Fine
Arts, and at the doctoral level, doctorates in Business
Administration, Nursing Sciences, Computer Sciences, and
Leadership and Policy.


Tenth – and, again, I skipped 7 and 9 – we will work to
increase the proportion of courses offered off-site and on-
line. For example, the Coles College of Business is already
offering its MBA program at the Galleria and in Dalton.
Now they are working to develop a site in the southern
suburbs of Chattanooga – but on the Georgia side of the
border. Faculty in the Coles College also are working hard
to bring a completely on-line Bachelor of Business
Administration degree to fruition within the next year.


At the same time, we are exploring with Paulding County
officials the possibility of offering coursework in downtown

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Dallas. We also are discussing with Appalachian Tech about
the possibility of offering nursing programs in Jasper. And,
we are talking with Georgia Highlands College about
possibly using its facility in Bartow County to offer junior-
and senior-level courses leading to degrees there. In
addition, KSU’s Continuing Education division is
considering the possibility of offering some of its courses at
the Galleria.


Finally under Goal 1, Action Step 11, we will work hard to
realign KSU’s strategic marketing efforts to emphasize our
academic quality, the successes of our faculty and students,
and the overall strengths of the university.


If you had a chance to see The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
yesterday, you saw on Page One a discussion of our second
goal: improving retention, progression, and graduation
rates while maintaining high quality. Without discussing in
detail the 10 action steps under this goal, suffice it to say that
this must be a high priority for this university over the next
five years and into the future. There are many reasons why

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our graduation rates are not better than they are, but by
implementing a host of programs such as mandatory and
improved advising, multi-semester course planning,
expanded residence-life programs, an early identification
and intervention program for at-risk students, and
expanded merit-based and need-based financial aid, I am
confident we will raise KSU’s graduation rates.


As Goal 3 states, we also intend to expand campus resources
and enhance the campus infrastructure. We need to do this
both to better serve the 20,000 students and 2,200 faculty
and staff we currently have, but also to accommodate the
additional growth we expect … and the Board of Regents
expects us to grow to meet the burgeoning demands of
Northwest Georgia and Atlanta. Let me discuss a few of the
multiple ways we plan to expand resources and enhance
infrastructure.


First, later this year, we will kick off Kennesaw State’s
inaugural comprehensive capital campaign. It will be an
ambitious plan, with numerous facets and multiple targets.

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We will seek student scholarships and endowed chairs, and
funds for faculty and staff support and development . . .
bricks, clicks, and mortar projects . . . and student programs
and athletic support.


Similarly, we already are working with the University
System Office to make the case to increase KSU’s allocation
of state funding per full-time-equivalent student. We are
optimistic in this regard; although, we recognize that if we
are successful, it still will be a multi-year process.


I also need to comment on the wave of construction that will
shortly take place on campus. As you know, we brought the
new Social Sciences Building on-line earlier this year, and in
just a few months we will open the new Performing Arts
Center. But these are just the start. If things continue to go
well, later this year we will begin construction of the new
Health Sciences Building – funding for which is currently
before the Georgia General Assembly. If we are able to
break ground on the Health Sciences Building later this
year, we may be able to move in as soon as January 2009.

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Again, if things continue to go well, at the April meeting of
the Board of Regents we will win approval from the board to
begin construction of new residence halls that will add
another 900 beds to our current inventory of 2,200 beds.
This will continue the transformation of KSU into a true
―destination campus,‖ a campus of first choice for students.
We also hope in June to gain approval to begin construction
of a dining hall and an additional 2,500-car parking deck –
all of which, if things again go well, will be completed in time
for Fall Semester 2008.


This growth and construction will carry with it cost and
inconvenience. We will have construction cranes and noise
on campus. We will have to increase parking prices, develop
satellite parking sites, re-think transportation strategies,
develop a campus shuttle, and improve traffic patterns.


This will be a challenge for all of us, but the reality is we
have no choice. We are growing, and we are both expected –



                                15
and mandated – to grow more. We live and work in a
growing urban area. We have limited space, and increased
demands are being placed on us. Such is the reality of life at
Kennesaw State University. But, given the quality and
dedication of the people we have, KSU is more than up to the
challenge.


Goal 4 in the Strategic Plan addresses student life and
preparing students to be leaders. All of the 10 action steps
identified here are of paramount importance to KSU, for
they will enhance the quality of student life and add to the
vitality of the university. Activities as diverse as expanding
study-abroad programs, increasing the percentage of
students participating in internship and cooperative
programs, and developing collaborative faculty/student
community action activities are addressed here. So, too, are
intramurals, club sports, and intercollegiate athletics. With
all of the attention recently paid to sports, let me dwell for a
few moments on athletics in their various iterations.




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I’ll begin with intramurals and club sports, which aid in
retention and graduation by keeping students engaged in
campus life. Indeed, our ice hockey club – which by the way
just won the Division III Ice Hockey Club National
Championship — attracts up to 1,500 students to its home
games. As other intramural and club sports become more
firmly established, they too will attract both participants and
fans.


But, with 20,000 students, we have only one small outdoor
intramural and club sports field and a small indoor activities
facility. To meet the needs of active and energetic students,
we must find ways to expand intramural and club sports.


As for intercollegiate sports, KSU moved to Division I last
year. For many, the magnitude of the jump regarding the
quality of competition, the resources required, and the
facilities needed came as a surprise. Indeed, just looking at
the dollars KSU spends on athletics – which by the way,
come almost exclusively from student fees and non-state
sources – KSU spends only about half as much as the

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average that is spent by other Division I non-football
universities.


Even so, we have done well, with a championship women’s
soccer program and highly competitive teams in the other
sports we field. In fact, we are the State of Georgia’s
reigning baseball champions, having defeated UGA, Georgia
Tech, and Georgia Southern over the past few weeks.


Recognizing our modest funding, the Athletic Department
initiated a feasibility study several months ago to explore the
possibility of increasing external funding for intercollegiate
athletics, both to better fund current sports and to add more
sports – including possibly football. That study should be
completed in April, and its results will be shared with the
campus community. Any fund-raising effort initiated for
athletics will be part of the over-all KSU Comprehensive
Capital Campaign.


I’ll now turn to the fifth and final goal in our Strategic Plan,
to improve service, strengthen accountability, and establish

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a stronger sense of community. Though the last of our five
goals, its action steps are critically important to the success
of this university. Let me again discuss a few of the action
steps.


Important initiatives are underway to establish and foster a
stronger sense of community. One such step is the creation
of the President’s Policy and Budget Advisory Committee,
which already has played a key role in creating the Strategic
Plan and in making current end-of-year budget
recommendations. Another is the increased emphasis on
shared governance, including but not limited to the
establishment of faculty advisory committees to the chairs
and the deans. A number of departments and colleges have
moved in this direction, and this will become a standard
feature of the KSU environment. Similarly, our new over-all
campus governance structure – not yet one year old – is
working quite well.


Another important action step points to the need to assess,
refine, and implement review systems for personnel,

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programs, and processes to assure accountability. With this
in mind, at the Cabinet level, we have initiated both a
―management by objectives‖ system and the beginning of a
360-degree personnel review system. These accountability
tools also will be introduced over time throughout KSU.


In another step to strengthen accountability, I have
instructed the Vice President for Operations and our
auditors to review and strengthen our internal financial and
process control structures. We need to do this to protect the
integrity of our operations, processes, and financial
reporting. We also must make sure that we comply with
Board, state, and federal policies, laws, and regulations.
These steps are underway.


What, then, is the state of Kennesaw State University? The
university is doing a phenomenal job with the process of re-
affirmation of accreditation. We have hard-working and
impressive students, and a strong faculty and staff. Our new
Strategic Plan is in place. And later this year, we will kick-
off our first comprehensive capital campaign. Needed

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degree programs are on board, and more are just over the
horizon.


To be sure, there are some areas in which we must improve,
from graduation rates and internal controls to traffic and
parking. But I am confident that we will succeed. KSU’s
future is exceedingly bright. Every parameter of
measurement is on an upward trajectory.


As I said earlier, each day I am at KSU, I am more and more
impressed by the willingness and dedication of our students
to learn … by the quality and commitment of our faculty
and staff … by the beauty of our campus … and by the
interest of the community in this university.


We are fortunate to be here at this time, and at this place, at
Kennesaw State University … one of the best learning-
centered comprehensive universities in the country.
                             ###




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