Newly consolidated Kennesaw State University opens for business

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Click here for a transcript of Dr. Papp's script   President Daniel S. Papp addresses…

Georgia (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’s-level 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 to do.”
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 process.
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 nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. 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