From the moment he arrived at Kansas State in February 2009, university president Kirk Schulz has taken a heavy interest in athletics — most universities’ biggest window for the public.
Football provides the biggest part of the window, and more and more people are starting to look through it thanks to K-State’s recent success. A year ago, coach Bill Snyder guided the Wildcats to a 10-win season that ended with a trip to the Cotton Bowl. This year, behind Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein, they won 11 games and the program’s first Big 12 championship since 2003.
K-State regularly played on national TV during that stretch, and Snyder Family Stadium is currently undergoing a $75 million expansion.
Schulz is proud of that exposure and success. But how has it helped the university as a whole? With K-State preparing to play Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl, he talked about football’s success, and several other topics, during an interview with The Eagle last week.
In terms of enrollment, I think we certainly have more students taking a look. The University of Kansas received a bounce in their enrollment when it won its men’s basketball championship (2008). I think we have more kids, particularly out of state, that are taking a look at us than normal because football is a window into the university. They like what they see. Now, I don’t think we will see anything sustained. It will be a one-year bump with enrollment.