Newly consolidated Kennesaw State University opens for business
Click here for a transcript of Dr. Papp's script
President Daniel S. Papp addresses…
(Aug 19, 2015) —
President Daniel S. Papp addresses first joint meeting of full faculty and staff
KENNESAW, Ga. (Aug. 19, 2015) — Last Thursday, August 13, Kennesaw State University (KSU) President Daniel S. Papp
in his “Opening of the University” address praised the faculty and staff of the newly
consolidated university for their successful work in creating a single “New U” out
of what had been two institutions, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University.
Papp’s “Opening of School” address, the official opening of 2015-16 academic year
for KSU, came just four days before over 33,000 students began fall semester at the
consolidated “New U,” one of the 50 largest public institutions of higher education
in the country.
According to Papp, the newly-consolidated university was already fulfilling the vision
that the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia had when it announced
21 months ago that the two universities would consolidate. Papp clearly documented
that the University is on the right course to a bright future, but at the same time
he assured the 1,100 faculty and staff members who attended the address that much
work remains to be done.
During his remarks, Papp outlined the responsibilities, opportunities and challenges
of being one of four USG institutions designated by the Board of Regents of the University
System of Georgia as a comprehensive university.
“It’s important to understand what it means to be a comprehensive university and what
it does not mean, and especially what it means to the consolidated KSU,” Papp said.
“It is vitally important that we are all on the same page — that we understand what
the Regents expect of us.”
Papp outlined four key components of the BOR’s definition of a comprehensive university
— concentrating on undergraduate and master’slevel programs, maintaining a core focus on teaching, emphasizing basic and applied
research, and committing to becoming a world-class institution.
“KSU will focus on undergraduate and master’s degrees, while at the same time, in
measured ways, adding doctoral and Ph.D. programs at both the Kennesaw and Marietta
campuses,” he said. “This is exactly what we have been doing and what we will continue
Papp noted that today, Kennesaw State offers 99 bachelor’s degrees, 44 master’s degrees
and 12 doctoral programs. The doctoral degrees include:
- Eight doctorates in education;
- Two professional doctorates – one in nursing and one in business; and
- Two Ph.D.s – one in international conflict management and one in data analytics.
Papp also emphasized that Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic each had “well-deserved
reputations as excellent teaching and educational institutions” and cited that the
newly consolidated Kennesaw State will maintain that same standard while adding a
new emphasis on basic and applied research.
He specifically underscored the impressive growth Kennesaw State has demonstrated
in external research and service funding. In FY 2002, the University received $2 million
in external research and service funding. By FY 2014, that figure had grown fives
times over to $11 million, an increase of 550 percent.
According to Papp, the final component of serving as a comprehensive university –
as outlined by the BOR – is a commitment to becoming a world-class institution in
undergraduate, graduate, and continuing and professional education; in service to
the communities and professions of which it belongs; and in research, scholarship
and creative activity.
“This is an ambitious objective for the New U,” said Papp. “But this is what the Regents
expects of us, and what we must expect of ourselves as well: to be a world-class institution.”
During his remarks, Papp also outlined the final steps that remain in the consolidation
Most notably, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
(SACSCOC) will send a seven-person Substantive Change Visiting Team to campus from
Sept. 1 to Sept. 3. The team will visit both the Marietta and Kennesaw campuses to
determine the extent to which the consolidated University complies with the SACSCOC
Principles of Accreditation.
“Most members of the Substantive Change Visiting Team are from major research universities:
Texas A&M, Florida State, Texas Tech, the University of Tennessee and North Carolina
State,” said Papp. “SACSCOC obviously will hold us to high standards.”
Papp said the work of the newest edition of the President’s Planning and Budget Advisory
Committee (PPBAC), Strategic Thinking and Planning Committee (STPC) and Facilities
Master Planning Task Force (FMPTF) — all of which will get underway in the new academic
year — also will be crucial for the future of the University.
The PPBAC will be instrumental in advising the Cabinet and President Papp on where
and how to spend the nearly $5 million in savings from duplicative administrative
and back office functions that resulted from the consolidation.
According to Papp, most fiscal year 2016 funds available for redirection will be spent
on one-time needs and capital improvements like new signage, IT upgrades, new roofs,
and building and laboratory renovations. Much of that work is already underway or
completed, especially on the Marietta campus. In fiscal year 2017 and beyond, however,
those funds will be redirected to areas that directly impact students.
“The largest percentage of funds available to be redirected as a result of consolidation
will be devoted to instruction, education support and research,” said Papp.
In closing, Papp reflected on the opportunities the consolidation provides in charting
the future course of the University.
“As a consolidated university, we can look at what we do and ask, ‘Is this needed,
and if so, is there a better way to do it?’ If the answer is ‘yes,’ most of the time,
we can then do it.”
Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more
than 100 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University
System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 32,000
students from 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic
State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities
in the country.
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.