Wichita State president invites public to university planning session

Wichita State University’s new president is inviting the public to take part in a university planning meeting next week.

University officials, hoping hundreds will attend, have scheduled a meeting place with plenty of room: the floor of Charles Koch Arena.

The meeting will be from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 5.

All attendees will participate in discussion and planning groups, and are asked to bring ideas for the university.

The initial meeting will include a presentation from President John Bardo. Joe Kleinsasser, a university spokesman, said that Bardo in that first hour will lay out “where universities stand today,” and what some of the planning models look like.

After that, attendees will meet in groups to discuss ideas and issues for WSU’s future, Kleinsasser said.

Anyone planning to attend is asked to send an e-mail to strategicplanning@wichita.edu.

Bardo has said that since he became president July 1 he has spent time talking with people on and off campus, soliciting ideas, questions and concerns.

He has said it is important to him, before he settles on a more specific planning agenda, to consult with students, faculty, staff, community leaders, business people and anyone else with a stake in the future of WSU, Wichita and the region. He hopes people from all those walks of life come to help map out the course of the university.

He has already identified five general areas he wants to study more closely. Those include improving the quality of education; growing enrollment; basic research and how to think about and use the intellectual property, such as innovations created at WSU. He also wants to improve the quality of student life by building new residence halls.