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Kansas State University

The past year witnessed much change at Kansas State University.  Of course, like many institutions of higher learning across the United States, state budget cuts were necessary. However, our president of twenty-three years retired, and our provost accepted a president’s position at another university. During the year we searched and hired a new president, a new athletic director, a new dean of architecture and experienced an unsuccessful search for arts and science dean.  We also had a couple vice presidents retire.  A provost search is in progress and should be completed by January 2010.  Needless to say, we are experiencing a period of transition in the top leadership.  Some highlights at the institution level include:

Kansas Board of Regents initiated a transition institutional audit regarding the outgoing president’s administration.  Some questionable practices were identified and press coverage created a “dent” in the university’s reputation with alumni and donors.

New president and athletic director worked diligently throughout the summer to control the damage and set up new systems that will be transparent and inclusive.

After nearly 5 years of work and over a year of review by the Faculty Senate Academic Affairs Committee, a new General Education Plan was passed.  Sustainability is interwoven throughout the knowledge areas identified.

A Sustainability Task Force was given a charge to develop a vision and strategies for sustainability at Kansas State University.  The inaugural KSU Sustainability Conference was held in January.

The Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design department continues to focus on sustainability as a strategic priority in curricular development and scholarship.  The number of graduate students enrolling in the Apparel and Textile graduate program is increasing, with the majority of students focusing on sustainability issues.  Some initiatives in the department include:

Investigation of more sustainable natural dyestuffs and dyeing processes, with a focus on solar dyeing process.

Development of sustainable product development model for apparel industry.

Understanding barriers to sustainable apparel consumption behavior and identifying programs for reducing such barriers.

Identification and development of slow fashion consumer movement.

Publications

Kozar, J. M., & Hiller Connell, K. Y. (in press). Socially responsible knowledge and           behaviors: Comparing upper- vs. lower-classmen. College Student Journal.

Scholarly Presentations

LeHew, M. L. A. (2009, January). Sustainable consumption knowledge and practices of Kansans: An exploration of accuracy and depth of understanding. Presented

Juried Design

Haar, S., Falsken, J., & LeHew, M. L. A. (2009, June). Sustainable Solutions. Juried Exhibition and Best of Show Awarded at the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, 100th Annual Conference and Expo, Knoxville, TN

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