A Critical Tool

Excellence funds provide vital flexibility.

"The computer furniture on the second floor commons area of Hale Library was coming apart at the seams after two decades of heavy use. This is where most of Hale’s 30,000-plus weekly visitors spend much of their time. Fortunately, we had excellence funds available to replace the furniture with more modern computer workstation furniture, and we were able to expand the number of computers available in the process." — Lori Goetsch, Dean of Libraries


College deans, department heads and program leaders are often faced with situations that require funding in order to provide a solution. However, most funds available to them are designated for a specific purpose. Excellence funds, on the other hand, are to be used at the leader’s discretion, providing the flexibility to address emerging needs and opportunities. They allow university leaders to take calculated risks for big returns, support innovative ideas and new exploratory projects, attract and retain excellent faculty, staff and students, and provide unique experiences for K-Staters.

Donors who contribute to excellence funds make a giant impact and help build a better university. A few K-State leaders share with us how excellence funds have made a difference for their programs.

“The computer furniture on the second floor commons area of Hale Library was coming apart at the seams after two decades of heavy use. This is where most of Hale’s 30,000-plus weekly visitors spend much of their time. Fortunately, we had excellence funds available to replace the furniture with more modern computer workstation furniture, and we were able to expand the number of computers available in the process. We also used excellence funds to upgrade our heavily used Wi-Fi in Hale Library, which was the number one request from students. Together, the two projects allowed us to create a more comfortable, functional and tech-friendly environment.”

- Lori Goetsch, Dean of Libraries

To support the K-State Libraries Excellence Fund, visit www.found.ksu.edu/give/library or contact Nicole Askew at 785-532-7530 or nicolea@found.ksu.edu.

“Since 2014, we have used excellence funds to partially fund 24 new faculty positions — this includes money for equipment, funding of graduate students, travel and supplies. Being able to offer competitive startup packages is imperative to attract the highest-caliber faculty.

When we recruit high-caliber students, we absolutely must recruit the same high-caliber of faculty to instruct these undergraduates. In the last two years, we’ve hired faculty who are well known and highly regarded in their fields. This is a direct result of our alumni and friends stepping forward to support our excellence funds, where we in turn can offer startup packages to bring these outstanding faculty to K-State.”

- Darren Dawson, Dean, College of Engineering

To support the College of Engineering Dean's Excellence Fund, visit www.found.ksu.edu/give/engg or contact Brett Larson at 785-532-7519 or brettl@found.ksu.edu.

“Excellence funds recently helped us win a $50 million Feed the Future Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development. I used excellence funds to send three faculty and staff members to Bangladesh and Tanzania to conduct need-assessment research, collect data, meet with possible local collaborators and prepare for a better proposal. As a result, a few dollars spent on international travel contributed significantly to us getting a $50 million grant.”

- John Floros, Dean, College of Agriculture

To support the College of Agriculture Dean's Excellence Fund, visit www.found.ksu.edu/give/agdean or contact Kim Schirer at 785-532-7517 or kims@found.ksu.edu.

“Excellence funds have allowed us to offer scholarships to top-quality students in the state in order to be competitive with other hospitality programs across the country. In the spring of 2015, we became aware of three award-winning Kansas high school students who were interested in attending K-State to major in hospitality management. However, we knew that other programs would offer them scholarships, and our program does not have a scholarship fund designated for winners of this national competition. We were able to use excellence funds to extend a scholarship offer to each of these high-achieving students. All of them accepted and are in our program today.”

- Kevin Roberts, Director, Hospitality Management Program

To support the Department of Hospitality Management Excellence Fund, visit www.found.ksu.edu/give/hospitality or contact Suzanne Dell-St. Clair at 785-532-7542 or suzanned@found.ksu.edu.

Library Computer Desks

More Stories

Advocates, Ambassadors, and Investors

The KSU Foundation Board of Trustees gives time, treasure, and energy to advance K-State.

Make a Difference Today

Programs and projects worth supporting.

Fulfilling a Dream

Shirley Jacobson honors her family's music legacy by supporting K-State students.

The Cost Cutters

Attacking affordability through free textbooks.