In a memo to the university, WSU President Dr. Jay Golden outlined an initiative that created nine task forces and commissioned three studies to generate recommendations for the future direction for the university in several key areas.
Engagement and Regional Prosperity Task Force
Co-chairs: Kaye Monk-Morgan, assistant vice president, Academic Affairs and Dr. Scott Wituk, executive director, Community Engagement Institute
Charge: Prepare an inventory and gap analysis of WSU programs that support local, regional and state-wide community collaborations, with a special focus on what WSU is doing in rural and economically constrained communities.
Diversity, Human Resources and Professional Development Task Force
Co-Chairs: Edil Torres-Rivera, professor, Latinx Studies and Voncella McCleary-Jones, associate dean and associate professor, School of Nursing
Charge: Explore the creation of a unified Office of Diversity, Human Resources and Professional Development that would better leverage our personnel and resources and elevate this priority to achieve our collective goals.
Military, Veteran and First Responders Task Force
Co-Chairs: Marché Fleming-Randle, vice president, Diversity and Community Engagement and Rodney Clark, chief, WSU Police Department
Charge: To prepare an inventory of all WSU programs that support active military, veterans and first responders, including their families. The campuswide task force will provide recommendations to more effectively coordinate efforts, address gaps, develop new academic and outreach programs and create a new vision.
Foundation and Alumni Affairs Task Force
Co-Chairs: Elizabeth King, CEO of the WSU Foundation and Courtney Marshall, CEO of the WSU Alumni Association
Charge: Evaluate opportunities to integrate Foundation and the Alumni Association programs to maximize both philanthropic giving to the University and alumni engagement. The task force will provide recommendations regarding the combining of operations while being cognizant of the challenges presented by doing so.
Campus Community and Inclusion Task Force
Co-Chairs: Dr. Aaron Austin, AVP Student Affairs and Dr. Rodney Miller, Dean of the College of Fine Arts
Charge: Develop options for additional Shocker-specific programs on our campus to further enhance the student and campus community experience, with a special focus of celebrating our diversity, inclusivity, creative activities and university accomplishments.
New Academic/Institutional Partnerships Task Force
Chair: Rick Muma, Provost
Charge: Evaluate requests for WSU to add new partnerships for academic and/or research programs, including programs located in Chihuahua, Mexico and a possible dental school to serve south-central and rural populations in Kansas.
Access to Higher Education Task Force
Chair: Sheree Utash, President, WSU Tech
Charge: Explore ways to enhance and expand our affiliation with WSU Tech in a manner that will significantly increase opportunities for all Kansans to have access to higher education. The task force will focus on developing new programs, creating new alliances and investing systems to support the student experience.
Finances Task Force
Co-Chairs: Werner Golling, VP Administration and Finance, and Dr. Larisa Genin, Dean of the Barton School of Business,
Charge: Provide recommendations on financial sustainability, transparency, public-private partnerships, parking and lead the development of a planning process in case of a future economic recession. The task force will also develop initial plans to address the rising costs of higher education and expanding programs on financial literacy programs for all our students.
Athletics Task Force
Co-Chairs: Athletics Director Darron Boatright and Dr. Jeremy Patterson, Dean of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Innovation
Charge: Evaluate options for the addition of new varsity and club sports including e-sports, soccer and lacrosse. Explore options for the reutilization of the Cessna Stadium. The task force will focus on advancing the student experience, future student recruitment and community engagement in a financially sustainable approach.