Coming Together: KSU President Dan Papp looks ahead as consolidated university opens Monday
Kennesaw State University President Dr. Dan Papp welcomed about 1,100 of the college’s 6,500…
Georgia (Aug 18, 2015) — Kennesaw State University President Dr. Dan Papp welcomed about 1,100 of the college’s 6,500 employees back to campus Thursday for the start of the first full academic year since KSU and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated on Jan. 6.
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Combining the two universities brought KSU’s enrollment to about 33,000 students, with SPSU adding about 7,000 to that number.
Papp said the work to combine the two universities may be complete, but there is still much to do going forward. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges ― a regional higher education accrediting body ― will be visiting KSU this year to see how the consolidation has gone, he said.
“The Board of Regents expects us to be committed to being a world-class academic institution, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” Papp said.
The consolidation of the two universities was approved by the Board of Regents in January, and was contingent on a consolidation plan being approved by the accreditation agency.
From Sept. 1 to 3, seven members of an accrediting team will visit the Marietta and Kennesaw campuses to see how well the school complies with its principles for accreditation and assess how effective the school merger has been, Papp said.
“Members of the visiting team will talk to people, ask questions and review our operations,” he said. “We do not know what they will ask, who they will talk with or what they will want to see.”
Papp has asked faculty and staff to provide the team with any information requested during its visit to the campuses. Papp said the results of the review will most likely be available in December.
Returning to campuses in Kennesaw and Marietta this semester will be about 2,000 administrators and staff, 1,800 teaching faculty members, 500 temporary staff members, and 2,200 student assistants and graduate students, said KSU spokeswoman Tiffany Capuano.
More than 5,500 students are set to move in to campus housing Friday and Saturday, and classes begin on both campuses Monday, Capuano said.
Papp said he expects this fall to be the best semester yet at KSU and said this week will be full of meetings and events to help start the year off well.
“It’s a week of hard work,” Papp said. “What we have throughout this week is orientation for new faculty and staff, (and) we have meetings of the senior administrators to make sure everyone is fully aware of what directions we’re going. We also have some social events, particularly for new faculty and staff, so it a whole bunch of things that take place.”
In addition to adding a new campus, Papp said the university is also starting the year off with four new members of the president’s cabinet.
“We have had considerable success attracting new leaders,” Papp said.
New members of the cabinet include Dr. Kathleen “K.C.” White, vice president for student affairs, Charles Ross, vice president for economic development and community engagement, Dr. Jon Preston, faculty executive assistant to the president, and Dr. Charles Amlaner, vice president for research and dean of the graduate college.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.