Kansas State University President Addresses GCCC Faculty & Staff
Campus employees gather for series of inservice sessions to launch 93rd consecutive semester
The president of Kansas State University shared insights with faculty and staff members of Garden City Community College Friday during an all-day inservice session to launch the 2012 fall semester.
Dr. Kirk H. Schulz, who took charge of K-State in 2009, is a noted academic leader who followed veteran KSU President Dr. Jon Wefald as chief executive officer of the state’s land grant university. During his presentation, he focused on ways that technology is reshaping higher education.
In addition to serving as guest speaker, Schulz recently hosted Dr. Herbert J. Swender, GCCC president, and others from Garden City, for the signing of an innovative reverse transfer agreement. The agreement allows qualified K-State students who have previously attended GCCC to complete their associate degrees by transferring credits back to the community college.
GCCC faculty personnel returned to campus this week to rejoin staff members in kicking off the college’s 93rd fall term.
Daytime and evening classes are scheduled to begin Aug. 22, and enrollment is still available 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Aug. 20 and 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Student and Community Services Center.
In addition to the presentation by Schulz, GCCC personnel heard from Dr. Robert Paxton, president of South Dakota-based National American University. Paxton is a 14-year community college veteran who served previously as president of Iowa Central Community College, Sac City, Iowa.
National American, founded in 1941, is a proprietary higher learning institution that offers nearly 50 associate and bachelor’s degree programs at multiple campuses and through the Internet, as well as nursing and graduate degree opportunities.
The day’s activities also included a message from Swender, introduction of new employees, and a session on strengths and challenges for the college, which began with a short look at images from the institution’s history.
The agenda included a segment on sexual and racial harassment too, led by Donna L. Whiteman, attorney and assistant executive director of legal services with the Kansas Association of School Boards.
“You do a tremendous job here in Garden City,” Schulz said. “We get a lot of your transfer students at Kansas State University, and they’re highly successful.”
He explained his belief that the university and the community college must adapt to changing needs and expectations among today’s students.
Young men and women entering college, he said, count on constant Internet access with 100 percent reliability, as well as relying on Facebook, Twitter and other social media for continuous communication.
“We must find creative ways to incorporate new technology into our learning environment,” Schulz said. “Facebook and Twitter are part of our campus culture.”
He cited a popular video by Michael Wesch of the K-State faculty, entitled “A Vision of Students Today,” which emphasizes heavy Internet reliance by young people, the influence of YouTube videos, and the prevalence of social media. He added that multitasking and simultaneous use of numerous electronic devices is common among high school graduates.
“I’m only using my iPad and my iPhone today,” he laughed.
The speaker said Apple Computer founder Steven Jobs literally changed modern society by advancing e-books, text messaging, iTunes and YouTube, and said the accelerating popularity of those and other technology-based forces has created financial, territorial and commodity challenges for higher education.
In addition to finding ways to pay for new technology, he concluded, colleges and universities must provide easy access, develop greater flexibility, build acoustically engineered facilities and make technology user friendly for students and employees alike.
Schultz, who has led K-State since 2009, is a Facebook user and active blogger on Twitter. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and serves as a council-level leader in the Boy Scouts of America.
Before his selection at K-State, he was vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University, and served previously at the University of North Dakota and Michigan Tech.
The Portsmouth, Va., native grew up in Norfolk, where graduated from Norfolk Christian High School, later attending Old Dominion University and graduating from Virginia Tech with a bachelor of science in 1986 and a doctorate in chemical engineering in 1991.
Date: Aug. 17, 2012
For use: Immediate
Contact: Steve Quakenbush, 620-276-9627