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SGA Chat with Kirk

This is the official chat transcript from November 23, 2009. It reads top-to-bottom.

John Lantz asks:Just wanted to say that you are doing a great job so far and that you have brought a lot of energy back to the campus. My question is about the budget reductions. Are we attempting to seek out private businesses or donors/investors to offset the budget decrease?

Kirk Schulz Thanks for the kudos - this is my dream job and I am having a great time serving as your Prez. I and our fundraising team is working hard to solicit additional funds to keep K-State moving ahead. However, most of these funds will be for long term needs and won't help immediately with state budget reductions. I am taking the long view on this - and want to ensure that when we have budget challenges 10 years from now that we have put more endowment funds into place to help us weather the storm more effectively.

Dena Bunnel asks:Will K-State Men's Basketball make it to the Big Dance this season?

Kirk Schulz Final 4 baby! Let me say that I have my calendar blocked for the first couple rounds of the tournament. We are going to be very good, and I enjoy watching Coach Martin work with our team. Last night against the Dayton Flyers, I saw periods of time where we looked unstoppable.

Miles Theurer asks:If you had $1,000,000 where would you invest it on campus and why?

Kirk Schulz Wow, this is a great question. I would probably use it to endow additional student scholarships - which is one of our greatest needs.

Megan Pinegar asks:What is your favorite part of K-State so far?

Kirk Schulz I love the enthusiasm of all of our student, faculty, staff, and alumni for all things K-State. Every day of the week, you can walk across campus and see people wearing purple - and there are many campuses where there is not this much school spirit. A close #2 - Aggieville - which is a great part of K-State traditions - and lots of good food and cold beverages!

Dena Bunnel asks:Is it true that the Regents System only got cut $2 million today in the governor's latest round of cuts? And what is K-State's share of that?

Kirk Schulz This is a mid-year adjustment - so this is outstanding news. The cuts will be distributed across the regents institutions based on percentage of total system enrollment - so we will know our cut in the next couple of days.

David White asks:If current budget levels continue, will K-State still be able to support its Research and Extension missions?

Kirk Schulz K-State's mission is a three legged stool - teaching, research, and extension - and as the state's land grant school - we will continue to strongly support these programs.

Megan Pinegar asks:Other than the budget, what do you think is the biggest challenge K-State will face in the coming year?

Kirk Schulz We need to think bigger - we have some much opportunity for success here - and we need to be sure that we are thinking in broad terms just like the other Big 12 Schools! We won't be happy without success from our athletic teams - we need to have the same competitive attitude with all of our academic and research programs.

Derick Mcghee asks:Kirk it is great the support that you have been showing for the football program by attending games and mingling through the student section! I hope that you are able to make it to some of the basketball games also?

Kirk Schulz I love college basketball - and I will certainly come over and say hello. I can probably get away with yelling at the officials in the student section easier than in my normal seats ...

Adam Hatesohl asks:President Schultz, Do you forsee anything like what is happening in the University of California system regarding tuition hikes happening here at K-State?

Kirk Schulz I certainly hope not. We are working hard to keep K-State affordable, and I really feel for the California families trying to cope with a 30% tuition increase.

Gerald Stoskopf asks:What, if anything, has surprised you about K-State students?

Kirk Schulz K-State students are the best of the midwest and the south - with a great friendly "can-do" attitude. In my short time at K-State, I will put our students here up against anybody - anytime - and anyplace - and will win at the end of the day.

John Vesel asks:How high is Seaton Court on the list of buildings to be restored?

Kirk Schulz If you are majoring in a program in the CAPD - very high. If you are majoring in anything else - not high. Seriously, I am not sure - we will be working on a prioritized list over the next several months - and everyone will have a chance to weigh in. The problem is that we cannot count on state funds to do these projects - so it will have to be done with private monies. Thus, we will have to choose projects with a donor base who can give enough money to support a renovation.

Zachary Buckmiller asks:Recently I heard you talk about the buildings on campus and how your goal was to make the inside of the buildings look as good as the outside. I do realize you were specifically talking about the academic buildings on campus, but one building on campus that is regularly used is in desperate need of an up-date. The building I am talking about is the rec. Students, including myself, voted 1 ½ years ago to expand and up-date the rec. I am wondering why the only progress I have seen on this project has been three posters in the lobby of the rec? I would like to see some action taken before I graduate, since I am already paying for the expansion. What can be done to make sure this project doesn’t turn into another parking garage disaster?

Kirk Schulz This project is moving ahead - and you should see construction start on this soon. As I am learning, these things sometimes take a LOOOONNNNGGG time to get going.

Grant Hill asks:Who was your childhood hero and why?

Kirk Schulz Wow - a deep question (I will take a sip or two of coffee and ponder deeply) - I would have to say John Wayne because he always won in the end. I liked his tough attitude - and watched most of his movies growing up when I was young.

ronnie10 asks:The K-State community has learned of the new selected Provost. Will you task her with anything specific to make K-State better?

Kirk Schulz April Mason will be here early next year. Initially, she will be meeting with people on and off campus and getting to know the K-State community. We have terrific opportunities ahead of us, and we will need her leadership to help define where K-State will be over the next 20 years.

Samatha Gangapuram asks:I am both a student and an employee here. How will you change the reward system here so us fulltime employees feel motivated enough to stay on at Kansas State in this tough economy?

Kirk Schulz Excellent question - and the simple answer is that I don't know. I am going to need some suggestions from the campus community on how we can change/modify/or implement an appropriate award systems. Drop me an email note with your ideas.

John Vesel asks:Given the highly acclaimed national status of the College of Architecture, Planning & Design, why has there been so little utilization of this on-campus resource in the past and will there be greater opportunity for involvement by the CAPD students and faculty in the future development of campus?

Kirk Schulz I am not sure why this wasn't utilized fully before, but I certainly intend to change this. As an example, we are moving forward with fundraising for renovations to Memorial Stadium to create a welcome center - and Dean Tim DeNoble has been involved in these discussions.

Cole Pearson asks:Does K-State have any plans on raising admission standards anytime soon?

Kirk Schulz This is a discussion which is ongoing in the state as we speak. I believe it is important that K-State remain "easy to get into and hard to get out of".

Matthew Ebert asks:What do you see as some of the challenges of the soon to be selected CIO/VP-ITS?

Kirk Schulz I want us to have a modern, state-of-the art campus IT infrastructure - as such, we will need our new CIO to be able to help us determine how to get there. While upgrades take time, expertise, and money - I am confident that over several years we can get there. As an example, can you imagine a "K-State Powercat" iPhone app? You click on this for info about the university, events happening on campus, athletic scores, etc.. This is the type of state-of-the art infrastructure I would like to see.

Kelsey Schroeder asks:Our club softball team is 5th in the nation, do you forsee KSU adding softball as an offical NCAA collegiate sport?

Kirk Schulz It will be tough to add any additional sports at K-State in the near future due to financial concerns. However, any additional sports would be at the discretion of the Athletic Director.

Matt Marchesini asks:In the next ten years, where do you see K-State improving on the most?

Kirk Schulz We will boost our private fundraising the most - which will help us retain faculty, provide enhanced student scholarships, and renovate existing campus buildings. We will also win lots and lots of Big 12 championships ...

Yacob Zereyesus asks:Do you think leadership quality is more of innate than learned? Which of these two do you attribute more to?

Kirk Schulz Now this is a tough question. I think that anyone can improve their leadership skills - however - there are some people who are born with some natural leadership skills - and all of us have met them. I also believe experience shapes many of us - and I have the leadership scars and bruises to show this.

Jeremy Pelton asks:Are there any plans to improve K-State's media presence outside of athletics as far as commercials and advertisements are concerned?

Kirk Schulz You betcha! We are hiring a VP for Communications and Marketing - and will do candidate interviews in December. This is a newly created job on campus who should be able to ensure that all of our publicity materials are modern, up-to-date, and among the best in the Big 12.

ronnie10 asks:As President, what accomplishments do you believe you have made so far for K-State?

Kirk Schulz I have eaten at almost all the restaurants in Aggieville, and have sampled all of the Tallgrass products. On a serious note - I believe that the K-State campus and community is re-energized and once again excited about being a Wildcat. This is probably what I am most proud of to date.

Alex Moran asks:What is your favorite experience since you've moved to Manhattan?

Kirk Schulz Two things stand out - the first was at the Texas Tech basketball game when Noel and I were introduced as the new Prez and we received a standing ovation - that was an experience of a lifetime. The second was standing on the sidelines in the football stadium and seeing a full house - especially given all of the headlines with athletics. Both were memorable moments.

Matt Marchesini asks:How is K-State expanding its image and reaching out to prospective students outside of the state of Kansas?

Kirk Schulz We are working hard to reach out to student in this region - particularly in metropolitan areas like Kansas City, Dallas-Ft Worth, and Denver. We have high alumni concentrations in these areas - and represent nice alternatives to the universities available in these areas. Our new Marketing VP will also help us craft messages to these communities.

Abdulrahman Althukair asks:Do you have any future plans to continue developing a more international presence that identifies our campus as a global campus?

Kirk Schulz Yup - and our new Vice Provost - Mike Philson - is helping to lead these efforts. However, we need to be sure that we are providing needed support services to these students so that once they are in Manhattan - they feel part of the campus community.

Mckenzie Snow asks:Not to be a creeper, but I saw you in Walgreens buying something for you wife. Where did you get that fly gray and purple sweatsuit?

Kirk Schulz Connections baby connections. Try Varneys and they will get you suited up.

Jianjun Hua asks:Dear President Schulz, I’d like to ask two questions about tuition. 1. Will K-State increase the financial aids for international students, especially for undergraduate international students in the upcoming year? How and how much? 2. Will the spouses of graduate teaching assistants or graduate research assistants with FTE0.5 be offered in-state tuition?

Kirk Schulz These are two great questions. It is too early in the year to know the answer to these - but this is certainly something that we will keep in mind as the budget picture clears up.

Mckenzie Snow asks:What role do you think diversity plays on campus?

Kirk Schulz Diversity is critical to our campus. Our job is to prepare each and everyone of you to be successful in a very diverse workplace - and you need to have experience with diversity as a student. We have made wonderful strides here so far - and I think you will be amazed at where we will be in 10 years.

Eric Racki asks:Favorite place to eat in Aggieville?

Kirk Schulz I really enjoy the So Long Saloon. The black bean dip, a cold beer, and a burger - life is GOOD.

Jonathan Faustman asks:Your initiative to enhance and update K-State's marketing is one that I thoroughly look forward to, and believe is vitally important. Do you have any sense of the role that K-State's web presence will play into this?

Kirk Schulz We will expect our new VP for Communications and Marketing to be responsible for web content - and I will task this person with designing a new website during the next 18 months or so.

Brandon Harder asks:If we implement alcohol.edu as KU did, how effective do you think it will be?

Kirk Schulz As you know from my posts - I love a drink as much as the next person. However, we need to be sure our students are drinking in a responsible fashion - so that they can enjoy a cold one or two - but not feel the need to get drunk everytime they drink. Dr. Bosco is working on a plan for K-State - and we need to be sure that what we have is workable, realistic, and appropriate.

Yacob Zereyesus asks:What can you do to make football tickets affordable for students who are on assistantships?

Kirk Schulz Not sure - but lets talk with our AD with some suggestions. I want us to sell out each and every home game next year - including the student sections. Drop me a note with some ideas.

Dena Bunnel asks:What are your thoughts about the potential ban on hand-held devices while driving?

Kirk Schulz I talk on my phone while driving - I do NOT text while driving - this sounds good but it might be tough to enforce.

Taylor Schmidt asks:If we, the residents of Moore Hall 8th Floor were to invite you to eat with us for a dinner at the Derb, our RA Breana Hennes would coordinate with you... Do you think this to be possible?

Kirk Schulz Sure - we can work this out for next semester. Drop me an email note.

Abdulrahman Althukair asks:Do you have any plans on establishing official International alumni chapters anytime soon?

Kirk Schulz Yes, we are actively working on this - probably in South Korea, India, and China. There will be more on this early in 2010.

Yacob Zereyesus asks:This is a wonderful opportunity. Thanks for your time. How often do you plan to chat with us?

Kirk Schulz I plan to do this once per month - and hope that this is a good way to visit with students in an easy and relaxed setting.

Brandon Harder asks:What do you think we can do to improve Aggieville safety?

Kirk Schulz You can probably answer this better than I. Generally, we need to be sure people drink in a reasonable fashion, don't wander around in dark places by themselves, and in general work with the Aggieville merchants to make the experiences there as safe and fun as possible.

Brandon Harder asks:What do you think of the new IFC hard alcohol ban?

Kirk Schulz I applaud the leadership the IFC took - but the bottom line will really revolve around the members of our excellent Greek system taking this seriously. I am very optimistic that this was not just symbolic - but was the step in the right direction.

Zachary Nelson asks:I hear a lot about the discrepancies between how prospective students are treated as opposed to those students already attending KSU. In terms of the allocation of monetary resources, scholarships, and faculty, how would this issue be resolved to make KSU consistently attractive to its current students and not just graduating seniors?

Kirk Schulz I am not sure about the discrepancies - I am sure they exist - but I haven't been here long enough to know what they are. We are always trying to improve - so let me know some suggestions.

Kyle Reynolds asks:What does family think of Manhattan and K-State?

Kirk Schulz We love it. I like the small town feel - but we have a mall and places to shop. I am a Best Buy addict - so with that and a place to buy suits (Borck Brothers) in town I am pretty well set.

Mark Nichols asks:Who is your favorite fiction author?

Kirk Schulz I love to read. My favorite "old time author" is probably Issac Asimov. Today - probably Dan Brown, Clive Cussler, and Janet Evanovich.

Kyle Reynolds asks:I've heard some rumors about a new scholarship plan for incoming students. Some of it sounded pretty exciting. What can you tell us?

Kirk Schulz We are working on a couple of things. The first is a Presidential Scholarship which will be a full ride deal for 8 semesters with an international experience as part of the package. We are also working on legacy scholarships for the children of alumni who are out of state to mitigate the cost of out of state tuition. Two programs that are pretty cool!

Gerald Stoskopf asks:What is your favorite K-State tradition?

Kirk Schulz I love the Wabash Cannonball and wearing purple. I have a fly (term borrowed from previous post) purple blazer I wear to football games - and love seeing all of the students rocking back and forth before football and basketball games.

Brandon Harder asks:What can we do as students to better connect with campus administrators?

Kirk Schulz I think you can send us suggestions and ideas - and invite us to events. It is my goal that we will have all of the administrators actively engaged with students as much as possible!