The margin of excellence 

How your gifts help make K-State extraordinary 

"Ultimately, each of these individual impacts of excellence funds has an overarching influence on the morale of the campus and inspiring Wildcat pride.” — Verna Fitzsimmons, CEO and Dean, Kansas State Polytechnic


K-State college and program heads often benefit from flexible funding to address emerging needs and opportunities, ranging from facilities projects, faculty support, community outreach and chances to learn outside the classroom. Excellence funds provide flexible, discretionary dollars that can be used to fulfill these needs and opportunities and push programs into the margin of excellence. Most philanthropic funds are designated for specific purposes, so these private funds are often not an option for our campus leaders.

Contributing to excellence funds is a great way to make a considerable impact on the lives of students and faculty alike. A few K-State leaders share how excellence funds have made a difference for their programs.

 

"Global campus is all about bringing the highest-quality educational experience to those who can’t study at one of our physical campuses. To that end, we have been aggressive in using available funding to increase the quality of our courses and degree programs in a variety of ways. We have several events designed to educate and train K-State faculty in online best practices, including our annual six-week Online Essentials course, a two-day training called The Basics of Online Teaching and a new event called Have a Byte, designed to bring more awareness to the strengths of online education with short presentations by faculty and staff. We’ve also expanded our course review program to any faculty who request assistance in optimizing an online course with the best online strategies. As we look toward the future, we anticipate even more opportunities to assist the faculty in taking our great K-State courses to a global audience through online education."

- Duane Dunn, Interim Dean, Global Campus

 

"The Office of International Programs (OIP) often utilizes excellence funds to welcome international dignitaries, academics and outside visitors to help them gain a greater understanding of our university. OIP is able to showcase the essence of successful strategies, partnerships and programs created by our university faculty and administration, which partners can take back to their universities to show how K-State delivers our mission of academic exploration and educating our students to be globally prepared citizens. Recently we hosted the U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay, Leslie Ann Bassett, when she came to our campus for a two-day visit. She met with faculty, staff and students to learn more about how K-State welcomes and recruits Paraguayan students. We held a reception for her on campus and a welcome dinner in a home. Without excellence funds, we would not be able to invite and create collaborative partnerships that spur discussion resulting in mutual learning opportunities benefitting students and faculty."

- Grant Chapman, Interim Associate Provost, Office of International Programs

 

"Our ability to attract and retain the best possible faculty is part of our success in the College of Business Administration. We offer competitive salary and benefits, and sometimes excellence funds help us secure the best candidate. This summer, the college was able to use excellence funds to pay moving expenses for a newly hired faculty member as a part of their hiring agreement. Most of the funding we have as a college is dedicated to faculty and staff salaries, so having access to funding we can utilize to pay for unusual expenses that pop up is critical."

- Kevin Gwinner, Dean, College of Business Administration

 

"Excellence funds have been beneficial to both faculty and students at K-State Polytechnic. They’ve provided incentives to our students to go the extra mile, acting as a reward to those who place in our annual Undergraduate Research Showcase. Excellence funds have also been a part of students’ quest for greatness by funding competition trips in which healthy rivalry brings out their best. Faculty benefit from these funds by allowing them to attend national conferences they otherwise may not have been able to. Ultimately, each of these individual impacts of excellence funds has an overarching influence on the morale of the campus and inspiring Wildcat pride."

- Verna Fitzsimmons, CEO and Dean, Kansas State Polytechnic

 

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