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Graduate Student Chat with President Schulz & Dean Shanklin

This is the official chat transcript from February 15, 2010. It reads top-to-bottom.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council Good evening, We’d like to thank President Schulz and Dean Shanklin for attending this evening’s online chat. This is the first chat specifically reserved for graduate students to ask questions about graduate student issues, concerns or needs. Your moderators are Kara Dillard, Graduate Student Council President; Megan Miller, GSC President-elect; Steve Bellinger, GSC Treasurer; and Rhett Mohler, GSC secretary. Please submit your questions using the form in the sidebar.

John Lantz asks:President Schulz what do you see being some major issues affecting graduate students in the next few years and where do you see the graduate school going in the future too? Thanks! I think you have brought a lot of energy and pride back to the K-State family and that is very exciting to me.

Kirk Schulz I see lots of major issues coming up over the next several years. First, health insurance continues to increase in cost, which will certainly be more of a burden to graduate students. Second, our stipends are woefully low, and we will need to find some creative ways to fix this. Third, with less state money, we won't be able to support our research enterprise as much as we have in the past - which also effects our graduate students.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:President Schulz, The current level of travel grants given to graduate students is $150-$300. Is there the possibility of increasing this amount in the future to make travel more affordable?

Kirk Schulz I am a big proponent of the graduate travel grants program. I will work with the Graduate Student leadership team to see what we can do to continue to invest additional funds in this program.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:After one semester here, I feel like K-State is my home. But when I look around I see so many areas where drastic changes and improvements are required. Specifically talking about its academic standing. There must be a drive towards induction of specialized faculties and retaining the good ones. This would mean newer courses, better research and more funds. What steps are being taken regarding this?

Carol Shanklin Quality teaching of both undergraduate and graduate students is something that K-State values. The recent change by the Faculty Senate to require all faculty to be evaluated should provide department head information they can use to enhance quality of teaching.

Matthew Schroeder asks:Hello President Schulz and Carol Shanklin, After receiving my bachelor’s degree and am now working on my master’s degree from this institution, I have recently become concerned with the quality of education I have received. I feel that, in general, with the recent shift of the university to increase the amount of research, this could lead to a reduction in the quality of classroom education. Faculty will be more focused on completing research and bringing in new grants with less time to focus on teaching. We should not be bringing in temporary educators to fill voids nor should we hire faculty who cannot or do not desire to teach at an undergraduate or graduate level simply because they can bring in research dollars to the university (a trend that seems to be developing in my eyes). While an increase in research will clearly be beneficial in some respects for the university (especially monetarily), how can we make sure that the classroom setting doesn’t suffer?

Kirk Schulz Great question! I will be announcing my recommendations as President to the campus community on the budget next Monday ( a week from tonight), and we are doing some things to re-invest in our educational experience. However, I don't think that faculty conducting research means that your classroom experience will be less meaningful. Indeed, our faculty who are active in research bring these new ideas into the classroom - improving your educational experience.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:President Schulz, I understand that athletics bring money into the university, but it seems wrong to be giving so much to athletes and not to very much assistance to students. I know someone who said to me recently that she has been on the dean's list every semester for 5 semesters now, but she doesn't receive any aid! I don't either and I do well in school! It just seems wrong; I do understand the issue, but it seems backwards. We are here to earn an education.. I'm sorry about my rant, but I'm frustrated about this issue. Thanks for listening!

Kirk Schulz College athletics is a major player (no pun intended) on many college campuses. In terms of student aid, any school with a D2 or D1 sports program will provide full scholarships to student athletes. One of the challenges we have at K-State is that we need more scholarship support for our non-athletes, which is certainly one of my priorities as we look towards a new capital campaign.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:President Schulz, I'd like to know more about the education budget figures for FY 2011

Kirk Schulz These will be posted on the website on Monday, February 22.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:President Schulz, Could the president survive on the stipend paid to the graduate student?

Kirk Schulz This isn't a no - but a hell no! In 1987, I received a stipend of $1000/month, which was barely enough to live on with a roommate. We have a group of faculty, staff, and students sitting on our Research Infrastructure Task Force, and I hope that they will come out with some recommendations in this area for the future.

Michelle Davenport asks:President Schulz, What are your intentions with the Purple Mask Theatre?

Kirk Schulz Ah - one of my favorite topics! I am going to work with the students, faculty, and staff in Theatre Arts to determine what our needs are in a black box theatre. Once we get this list done, we will look at possible solutions. I want to be sure we do this in a collaborative way - and am confident this will happen.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:Has K-State shown any interest in programs/new department on alternative energy?

Kirk Schulz We are expanding some of our research in alternative energy - particularly wind energy and biofuels research. However, we aren't in a position to add many new programs right now due to budgetary constraints.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:President Schulz, You have a PhD. You've survived graduate school. Compare and contrast your experience with those of the graduate students here at K-State that you have talked with.

Kirk Schulz In many ways, the experiences I had were not much different from what you had. Personal computing has come so far from the late 1980's - which has made things like information retrieval so much easier than it used to be. The web was not in general use at that time, so you used a library and bound books for a lot more things. The unique relationship between a graduate student and their mentor/advisor is not different - which is a great part of getting a graduate degree. My Ph.D. advisor came to my presidential inauguration - and we keep in touch several times per year.

Balaji Lolla asks:How will the graduate school help international students in getting full time and part time professional jobs?

Carol Shanklin The staff in Career and Employment Services provide information to K-State students who register with information about job opportunities both on and off campus. The International Student Center provides workshops on visa requirements related practical training. I would encourage you to visit with your faculty mentors about job opportunities available. I would also advise you to check out job opportunities when you present your research at professional meetings.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:President Schulz, What is your goal for the research future of this university? Where do you see us in 5 or 10 years?

Kirk Schulz I would like to see us move into the Top 50 research universities in the next 5 to 10 years, which will largely be driven by outstanding scholarly effort. We are currently in the process of developing a visionary plan for the future called K-State 2025. More information will be coming out to the campus community later this month.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:President Schulz, Will K-State ever have a campus transportation system similar to what the University of Kansas offers? Especially, transportation to and from Aggieville and the Rec Complex.

Kirk Schulz This is something else we are working on. At Virginia Tech, we had a world-class bus system, which meant that you could get around town and campus with no car. If the population of Manhattan exceeds 50,000 in the next census, we will be able to receive some federal funds to help with a public transportation system.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:Dean Shanklin, I have one issue that makes me uncomfortable with my doctoral study. My master's degree was done in my home country, not in the U.S. And when to get waived some classes, compared to other students either American or internationals who have U.S. master's degree, it's so obviously unfair to be treated. I feel my graduation might not come up forever and so sad about that. I want some flexible regulations (i.e., waive system) of graduation for people who did their study in their own country. Someone pursuing a further study or degree means he/she has been very considerate about studying, not just getting a degree. The work he/she did in one's country should be estimated and counted. Please consider of this issue. Thanks a lot for reading.

Carol Shanklin I will present a general response this evening. However, I would be pleased to schedule an appointment with you to discuss your specific situation. If your academic background is equivalent to a masters degree in the U.S. as determined by international standards, your supervisory committee can include hours from yoru previous graduate degree in your program of study. If equivalent to a M.S. in the U.S., then up to 30 hours can be transferred into your Ph.D. program. Each graduate program determines if a student has the required requisite knowledge in selecting the courses. The specific requirements for a doctoral program of study is available in the Graduate Handbook. Please contact me to schedule an appointment.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:After one semester here, I feel like K-State is my home. But when I look around I see so many areas where drastic changes and improvements are required. Specifically talking about its academic standing. There must be a drive towards induction of specialized faculties and retaining the good ones. This would mean newer courses, better research and more funds. What steps are being taken regarding this?

Kirk Schulz I agree that we have many opportunities for improvement. This is the goal of the K-State 2025 Visionary plan, which will seek to identify things that we need to work on over the next 15 years. Once a good plan is developed, we can start making significant strides forward - or at least that is what I keep telling myself!

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:President Schulz, Please can the President extend its outreach to Fort Riley?I want the University to be more military friendly in understanding the unique challenges of military service in a time of war and how that affects Soldier's academic program?

Kirk Schulz We do have many programs with Ft. Riley, including having some full time people on the military base. Are there specific things that you are looking for? If so - drop me a note at kirks@k-state.edu and I will get you in touch with the right person.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:Is there a possibility of having someone in the Graduate Student responsible for working with special needs of non-traditional graduate students? Is there discussion about developing a Multicultural Graduate Student Council to address issues concerning multicultural graduate students at KSU? Can KSU develop a KSU Graduate Mentorship Program for Doctoral Students in order to assist in the transition from graduate student to faculty and young professionals prior to entering the Academy? Can KSU develop a Faculty -Graduate Student Task Force to assist graduate students with expectations when entering the academy? Could KSU Administrators, President's Cabinet, Provost, Deans, and Department Chairs and Directors form a Mentorship Program for aspiring administrators that will assist graduate students who have a desire to learn from those at KSU prior to graduation? (A forum, a online session, workshop format might be helpful to graduate students who are interested).

Kirk Schulz Certainly we can do this. I am going to suggest that our Graduate Student Council officers put this topic on the agenda for our next meeting, and lets see what we can come up with.

Gayla Adams-Wright asks:President Schulz, and Dean Shanklin: as you reflect back on your own graduate education, what would be the one piece of advice you would give us?

Kirk Schulz Be involved! Many times we expect our undergraduate students to be involved on campus, but it is equally critical for our graduate students to be involved and make your concerns heard!

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:Is there a possibility of having someone in the Graduate Student responsible for working with special needs of non-traditional graduate students? Is there discussion about developing a Multicultural Graduate Student Council to address issues concerning multicultural graduate students at KSU? Can KSU develop a KSU Graduate Mentorship Program for Doctoral Students in order to assist in the transition from graduate student to faculty and young professionals prior to entering the Academy? Can KSU develop a Faculty -Graduate Student Task Force to assist graduate students with expectations when entering the academy? Could KSU Administrators, President's Cabinet, Provost, Deans, and Department Chairs and Directors form a Mentorship Program for aspiring administrators that will assist graduate students who have a desire to learn from those at KSU prior to graduation? (A forum, a online session, workshop format might be helpful to graduate students who are interested).

Carol Shanklin All of these are excellent suggestions. It would be feasible to have someone in the Graduate School work with non-traditional graduate students. This would require additional funding for the Graduate School to add a new position. The Graduate School is currently exploring grants that would allow us to develop and staff some of the programs describe in your email. I would be pleased to visit with you to learn more about your ideas for each of the programs you listed in your question. I suggest that you visit with Dr. Vicki Clegg, the Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching & learning about your idea of K-State developing a TasK Force to present workshops for graduate students desiring to enter careers in the academy. I would love to provide more services to graduate students so they can be successful when they graduate from K-State. I also encourage students to attend the current professional development workshops/seminars organized by the Graduate Student Council.

Matthew Schroeder asks:Hello President Schulz and Carol Shanklin, After receiving my bachelor’s degree and am now working on my master’s degree from this institution, I have recently become concerned with the quality of education I have received. I feel that, in general, with the recent shift of the university to increase the amount of research, this could lead to a reduction in the quality of classroom education. Faculty will be more focused on completing research and bringing in new grants with less time to focus on teaching. We should not be bringing in temporary educators to fill voids nor should we hire faculty who cannot or do not desire to teach at an undergraduate or graduate level simply because they can bring in research dollars to the university (a trend that seems to be developing in my eyes). While an increase in research will clearly be beneficial in some respects for the university (especially monetarily), how can we make sure that the classroom setting doesn’t suffer?

Carol Shanklin Research not only brings money to the university. Funding from grants and contracts also provide more students the opportunity to be employed as graduate research assistants and participate in cutting edge research. Many of the graduate programs are updating their curriculums on an ongoing basis to incorporate trends in their disciplines. Not only are programs updating their curriculum through new courses, but many offer special topics courses to introduce new concepts and trends.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:Dean Shanklin, Why do tuition waivers only cover 9 and not 12 hours?

Carol Shanklin Currently GTAs on 0.5 appointments are provided tuition waivers of 10 hours for fall and spring semesters and 6 hours in the summer if on a 0.5 GTA appointment. The faculty and administrators would like to have funds available to pay for additional tuition for GTAs but funds are currently not available. GTAs are the only graduate assistants currently receiving any tuition remission. Some Graduate Research Assistants’ tuition is paid if funds are included in the grant from which the stipend is being paid. I wish funds were available to pay up to 12 hours fall and spring semesters for all graduate assistants on 0.5 appointment. Graduate Assistants are invaluable to helping K-State acheive our mission of teaching, research, outreach and service.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:Do you think our stipends are fair? How are you going to change this? Given the importance of student health insurance and health insurance in general, how are you going to make it more affordable and worth the money for the students?

Carol Shanklin NO!!!! I do not think the stipends are fair. This is one of the key issues that the Graduate Student Work Group of the Research Infrastructure Task Force will be addressing along with the need for tuition remissions for GRAs and GAs. It is important for graduate students to provide feedback to the graduate student representative on the Student Healthy Advisory Committee so your voices can be heard by the Board of Regents Health Insurance Committee.

Sonia Esquivel asks:President Schulz, I will be having my dissertation defense next month and want to know how I can present my study to the administrators? My research is on the Latino's sense of belonging at KSU in regards to campus climate. By the way, I think it would have been WONDERFUL to have a graduate mentor. Or a Multicultural Graduate Student Council, it has been very challenging as a under-represented grad student at KSU. I just hope, those behind me have a better experience than what I started off with.

Kirk Schulz I would suggest sending me a copy of your dissertation abstract electronically. I believe one of our big opportunities in the next decade will be becoming the destination school in Kansas for Latino students - so your work is both timely and important. However, most administrators are busy enough it will be tough to find time to read your entire dissertation - so some sort of summary would be best. Good luck on your defense!

Matthew Schroeder asks:President Shulz, I have personally seen the dramatic drop in education standards and student experiences when professors primary goal is research. This is because time is short and they can't put enough time into the classroom. I would beg to disagree with the idea that educational standards will stay the same as KSU goal is to perform research. KSU being a land grant University means that students should come first and that doesn’t happen as research has becomes the goal. What are you going to put in place to prevent this from happening?

Kirk Schulz I am sorry to hear that you have seen this change during your time at K-State. We do have many examples where our faculty members doing exceptional funded work are outstanding classroom teachers as well - like Chris Sorensen in Physics or Michael Wesch in Sociology, Antropology, and Social Work.

Courtney George asks:What is the status of deferred maintenance needs at K-State and what is being done on the state level to address this problem? I was involved 3 years ago in a big push to get the Gov/Legislature to address this...what's being done now?

Kirk Schulz With the drastic cuts to the State of Kansas budget, much of the deferred maintenance issues have been put on the back burner for now. I have testified before the Kansas legislature on several occasions, and this is always a topic which I discuss.

Joseph Foust asks:I am a non-traditional student and have two small children. On Friday night my family and I were attending the Valentine's Day Extravaganza at the Student Union. All of a sudden, I look up and there are "Drag Queens" walking around. I find this to be inappropriate conduct at a family event. How am I supposed to explain that kind of behavior to my children? What can be done to insure this kind of situation does not happen again? Does K-State officially condone this type of behavior as a model for children or alumni to emulate?

Kirk Schulz There is no easy answer to this question. We, like many universities, are open to students and student groups with many varying backgrounds. My children have been around a university all of their lives, and have certainly been exposed to a great many things - most great, some not so great. I would use the situation you describe as a learning experience and this gives you a chance to visit with them about your views on what you saw.

Ginny Antony asks:Dr. Schultz. Thank you for being a Wonderful President so far. Can I bring up a concern that students have. I want to bring to your attention a serious “possible” issue that affects students at Kansas State University. Several student groups have been collecting signatures against a possible serious violation by administrators and are/have submitting/submitted this to you. Two faculty members in a department in the college of agriculture who were found guilty of mistreating multiple students by a university committee were promoted by the University in the same month as they were found guilty. This is disturbing (if true) because KSU considers students as the first priority. Can you make a public statement on this and take necessary action. Are you aware of this. Your approach including this chat seems to be very student friendly. I am not sure if you will answer this question. Any way I will try.

Kirk Schulz Thanks for your question. I am not aware of the situation you describe - and this is not "president speak" that I won't talk about it.

Bryan Weber asks:President Schulz, can you give details of how you might incorporate the Unviersity's vision and goals with the colleges and departments?

Kirk Schulz We are going to organize small focus groups over the next several months in each college, which will help us to formulate key goals and objectives for K-State 2025. When the K-State 2025 webpage goes live next week, it will have some additional information on this.

Sonia Esquivel asks:President Schulz, I will be having my dissertation defense next month and want to know how I can present my study to the administrators? My research is on the Latino's sense of belonging at KSU in regards to campus climate. By the way, I think it would have been WONDERFUL to have a graduate mentor. Or a Multicultural Graduate Student Council, it has been very challenging as a under-represented grad student at KSU. I just hope, those behind me have a better experience than what I started off with.

Carol Shanklin I would be pleased to visit with you as would the officers of the Graduate Student Council about your idea of a Multicultural Graduate Student group. Perhaps we need to explore how existing programs for undergraduate multiculture students can be broaden to include graduate students. I concur we need to explore ways to increase the success of all our graduate students.

Michelle Davenport asks:Dean Shanklin, I understand funding is low/budget is being cut, especially in the area of GA/GTA positions. (I am in the CSTD department). What plans does the graduate school have to ensure departments are able to provide GA/GTA positions for their graduate students?

Carol Shanklin I will work with Provost Mason and the other Deans to stress the importance of not cutting GTA/GA/GRA positions. I can only encourage deans and department heads not to reduce the number of graduate assistant positions since funding for GTA positions are allocated to the Deans Office by the Provost based on state allocations. Most graduate research assistantships are funded from grants or contracts the faculty compete to receive.

Yacob Zereyesus asks:Thanks for your time! Why is that some departments cover/waive tuition to GRA/GRAs and some do not?

Kirk Schulz I have no clue why some departments waive tuition and others do not. This is something we will look at over the course of the year.

Courtney George asks:Will KSU have any part or input in selecting the next President/CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents after Reggie's departure?

Kirk Schulz Our first Board of Regents meeting since Reggie's announcement is coming up this next week, so I suspect we will know more then.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:President Schulz, I would challenge President Schultz to visit with each department in the Graduate Student Council to discover the problems they encounter and to hear suggestions or recommendations.

Kirk Schulz During my first full year as President, I elected to visit each college for 2 hours each (with the exception of Arts and Sciences where it is taking 6 hours). During the next year, I hope to visit one department each week or so in order to see faculty, staff, and students in their work environment.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:President Schulz, Does he feel that the health insurance offered to graduate students is adequate? Is it the type of insurance he would want for his children?

Kirk Schulz Quite frankly, I don't know enough about what is covered in the health insurance package to answer this. By the next chat, I will know this!

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:President Schulz, What is the timeline for the Wichita market to be reviewed for classes to be conducted in Wichita?

Kirk Schulz At this time, we don't have any intentions of offering classes in Wichita. This area has WSU - and there is no reason for us to attempt to offer regular courses in their backyard.

Shuang Hao asks:President Shulz, how do you feel the university environment for minority? Thanks.

Kirk Schulz I think our environment is improving - but we still have a long ways to go. I would urge you to continue to make suggestions on what we can do better or more efficiently - only with continued hard work and improvement will we make K-State a great place for minority students.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:Has K-State shown any interest in programs/new department on alternative energy?

Carol Shanklin : A graduate certificate program entitled “ Biobased Products and Bioenergy” was approved last spring semester and is currently available. Dr. John Schulp in the Dept of Chemical Engineering is the individual to contact if interested in learning more about the graduate certificate program. In additional a team of faculty at K-State and some other universities are exploring a collaborative degree on alternative energy.

Courtney George asks:President Schulz, you mentioned that stipends are woefully low...what are your thoughts on increasing tuition waivers for GRAs/GAs from in-state tuition to full coverage?

Kirk Schulz I just don't know - the money always must come from somewhere. We will look at the research task force findings and start a plan from there.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:The economy is so bad and the education support from government is cutting down. How could the university maintain the scholarship for students?

Kirk Schulz This question really comes down to our university priorities, and what we can do to let the State of Kansas know about the need for strong research universities. Many people in the state are more focused on undergraduate education - and we have to make sure everyone understands our dual roles - for undergraduate and graduate education.

Jurdene Ingram asks:As of today, graduate students are being paid below the poverty line. Individuals in Manhattan who are unemployed are allotted almost twice as much as some of us are being paid. Is there any hope in the future for more funding for graduate assistantships across campus?

Kirk Schulz Quite honestly, I believe most of our new funding for graduate student assistantships will come from grants and contracts. This works well for students in disciplines which actually have external grants and contracts - but doesn't help much in some of the arts and humanities fields. With a decrease in funding from the State of Kansas, I don't see any strong increases in the # of assistantships for the next couple of years. I wish my answer was more optimistic ...

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:The economy is so bad and the education support from government is cutting down. How could the university maintain the scholarship for students?

Carol Shanklin We will need to continue to encourage K-State alumni and supporters to donate toward scholarships for students. Ideally it would be wonderful to have several graduate fellowships that students could complete to be awarded like the Sarachek Fellowship. This will require the support of alumni who obtained one or more of their graduate degrees from K-State and our industry partners. Working with the K-State Foundation and Alumni Association will be the key.

Benjamin Kohl asks:Dr. Schulz, what is the timeline, plan, and status of the Olathe campus?

Kirk Schulz We have started construction on a 100,000 ft^2 building which will be built in Olathe and open for business in December of this year. The campus will be graduate only - and focused on meeting workforce needs in the Kansas City metroplex. As the building comes along, we will put out some announcements to campus on how this is going.

Gayla Adams-Wright asks:President Schulz, and Dean Shanklin: as you reflect back on your own graduate education, what would be the one piece of advice you would give us?

Carol Shanklin Networking and presenting at profesional meetings. I'd also suggest you get involved in the Graduate Student Council and volunteer for campus committees.

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council asks:Do you think our stipends are fair? How are you going to change this? Given the importance of student health insurance and health insurance in general, how are you going to make it more affordable and worth the money for the students?

Kirk Schulz No, your stipends are too low (way too low!). I don't have any pat, immediate answers. I am anticipating that the research task force will have some recommendations on stipend levels, and once I see what the recommendations are, we will work on ways to solve this problem.

John Lantz asks:President Schulz what do you see being some major issues affecting graduate students in the next few years and where do you see the graduate school going in the future too? Thanks! I think you have brought a lot of energy and pride back to the K-State family and that is very exciting to me.

Carol Shanklin I am optomistic that K-State will develop some Professional Science Masters degree in the near future. This is a growth opportunity and provides a strong link between the university and industry partners. Some discussion has begun regarding the need for a Professional Science Masters. I am also hopeful that K-State will continue to enhance our current interdisciplinary programs and create new ones.

Liyan Chen asks:President Schulz, I am an international graduate student and work as GRA. In my department, all the tuition of Amerian students is paid by department but not for international GRA. Considering the poor stiphend, I could only choose 6 credits for spring or fall and 3 for summer. In this way, I have to extend the years for graduation. If I choose 3 more credits per semester as what I have done in this semester, I would suffer a big economy pressure. The stiphend minus the tuition, the left money even has problem to support my normal life, let alone to buy ticket to go home every year. I want to know, whether you have planned to help us to overcome this difficulty. Thanks.

Kirk Schulz Thanks for your question. This all comes back to your low stipend - and the decisions of your department to pay for American students. I am going to suggest you talk with Dean Shanklin about this to see what we might be able to do.

Balaji Lolla asks:How will the graduate school help international students in getting full time and part time professional jobs?

Kirk Schulz I would suggest that you talk with folks in the Career Center - who should be able to assist you with job searches. Have you tried this and not been successful?

Weier Bao asks:I am proud of being a K-Stater, but we have to admit that the rank of KSU went down rapidly recently. So president Schilz,do you have a detail plan to boot up the rank of KSU.

Kirk Schulz This topic will be address in K-State 2025. The university rank is really important - as this has a lot to say in the future about what people think of your graduate degree. So, stay tuned ...

Yacob Zereyesus asks:Have you had a chance to eat at the student union food court? What is your opinion in terms of variety and price ?

Kirk Schulz I love these questions! I have eaten there several times - when I need a quick bite to eat. My favorite place is the Caribou Coffee shop - and this I hit several times per week.

Cecilia Hernandez asks:Dr. Shanklin, has K-State conducted research with regard to the time it takes for graduate students to complete their programs? Also, is there a difference between colleges and if so, what are your thoughts on what might be the reasons?

Carol Shanklin Graduate School monitors time to degree as part of the Board of Regetns program review. Yes, there is difference in time-to-degree. On the average it takes a Master's student approximately 2 years to obtain a M.S. unless it is a professional masters which requires more than 30 hours. The majority of our doctoral students complete in 5.5 years if they have a masters degree; 7.2 years without a M.S. degree. The difference in time to degree is the type of research project or culuminating experience for the masters degree. The difference is also discipline based for the doctoral program. In general not only at KSU but nationally those completing degrees in the humanities have longer time to degree.

Koichi Yamaura asks:President Schulz, thank you very much your precious time. DO you have any good idea to inprove equal opportunity between Kansas students and students from out of Kansas or International students in PhD study?

Kirk Schulz I enjoy the ability to chat in this way - and to answer these questions. I want to be sure that all of our doctoral students - regardless of where they are from - have great opportunities at K-State and when they leave. I think this is an excellent topic to give to the Graduate Student Council to discuss.

Charles Mamolo asks:Research groups are prominent in the sciences, why is this not (prominently) practiced in the college of education?

Kirk Schulz I am not sure - but there are significant differences in research culture across many disciplines. If you think this would be a good idea - talk with your advisor and some other students and start one! You might be surprised at how fast it catches on!

Bhanu Neupane asks:Hi President Kirk, I am a graduate student in Chemistry.I have little question for you.Is there anyway that dependents (like in neighboring state) can have in-state tuition benefit?

Kirk Schulz This is an excellent question. We have some rules and regulations on what we can do with in-state and out-of-state that are set by the Regents and the Legislature. So, generally we are pretty tied by law on what we can do with in-state tuition benefits.

Liyan Chen asks:I think that what the student wanted to focus is the high price of the food in Student Union. For our international GRA, we can't afford it. What's your opinion about the situation that the GRA could not afford to eat in our school cafeteria?

Kirk Schulz Sorry if I misunderstood the question. We contract out our food services to a vendor - and they set the prices. Again, I would suggest bringing this up to the Graduate Student Council to see if we could come up with some inexpensive dining options in the union - and remember - there is always Subway in the basement!

Graduate Student Council Graduate Student Council That’s all of our time this evening. Thanks again to President Schulz and Dean Shanklin for answering questions. If you have any other comments or questions please e-mail the Graduate Student Council at egsc@k-state.edu. Our next GSC meeting is Monday March 1, 2010 at noon in Waters 137. We hope to have additional online chats with President Schulz and Dean Shanklin in the future.