state of the university

Papp: KSU poised to become ‘next nationally prominent university'

Name of Publication: 
Marietta Daily Journal
Excerpt of Article: 

As Kennesaw State University prepares to celebrate its golden anniversary this October, its president described the state of the university as solid and growing.

Dan Papp, 65, a grandfather of three who lives in east Cobb with his wife, Sue, became president in 2006.

The difference between what he thought of KSU then and now, he said, is, “I am even more impressed by the quality of Kennesaw State and its faculty, and I am even more convinced of our potential to become the next nationally prominent university.”

KSU has a projected fall enrollment of 25,020 students, an increase of 1.69 percent over last fall’s enrollment of 24,604.

A campus under construction

Seven KSU construction projects have been completed, begun or approved this year.

The university’s Sturgis Library was awarded $4.4 million in bonds for renovations by the Georgia General Assembly. This follows a $1 million renovation project that created a graduate library on the Sturgis Library’s third floor and a $300,000 renovation to create a book repository. Papp said while KSU still needs more library space, in three years it will have spent almost $6 million on improving its library.

Last fall, KSU opened the $21 million, 73,000-square-foot science laboratory building, with six teaching labs, 17 research labs and an open-air atrium. The new lab building allowed KSU to move forward with two new master’s degree programs in chemical sciences and integrative biology.

Also last fall, KSU began constructing the $3 million Zuckerman Art Museum, a 9,200-square-foot museum that will house KSU’s art collection and serve as a cultural and teaching resource on contemporary art.

KSU also recently began construction on the $20 million addition to the Bagwell College of Education building. This building will provide much-needed classroom and office space for the university’s education college, which graduates more teachers than any other teacher program in the state: 616 students for fiscal year 2012.

A residential campus

KSU also opened a 451-bed residence hall called University Place II this year that brings the number of beds on campus to almost 3,500.

“While it is perhaps hard to believe that only 10 years ago KSU was not a residential campus, it is undeniable that having students living on campus has totally transformed the nature of this university,” Papp said.

This fall will see the groundbreaking on the Dr. Betty Siegel Student Activity & Recreation Center, a $39 million, 176,000-square-foot project expected to be a world-class recreational facility, named after Papp’s predecessor. Plans call for indoor and outdoor pools, an outdoor and four indoor basketball courts, a multi-activity court large enough for soccer, eight tennis courts, a weight and fitness area, a rock-climbing wall, an indoor track, a wellness center and sand volleyball and racquetball courts.

President Papp gets an A

Among those in the audience at the Bailey Performance Center where Papp gave his State of the University speech Thursday was Shaddi Abusaid of Marietta, a senior communications major who serves as the news editor for the campus newspaper, The Sentinel.

Abusaid gives Papp two thumbs up.

“I think he’s done well,” Abusaid said. “I’d give him an A, especially because he’s working hard to get football for us and all that. I know a lot of students are excited about football.”

Connie Engel of Vinings, a partner with Childress Klein Properties who chairs KSU’s foundation, is another fan of Papp’s.

“I couldn’t be more pleased,” Engel said. “I just think he’s the right guy at the right time, so it’s been great.”

One challenge Papp is working on is the graduation rate. In 2008-09, the six-year graduation rate for first-time full-time freshmen who entered KSU in fall 2002 was 35 percent. Three years later, in 2011-12, KSU graduated 41 percent of the freshmen who started at KSU in fall 2005. While that was a 6 percent increase in three years, Papp said the university must do better.

A $900 million annual economic impact

Another problem Papp wants to overcome is alerting the community to how much KSU contributes to its success.

According to the Selig Center for Economic Growth, KSU’s overall economic impact is almost $900 million, Papp said.

“This is not an ivory-towered university that has walls around it that does not get involved and involved deeply with virtually all aspects of the community,” Papp said.

To better promote the university, Papp is hiring an executive director of community engagement this summer.

“A number of things prompted it,” he said.

A few years ago he was dining at Shillings on the Square when the people at the table next to him began to talk about the wonderful free clinic at MUST Ministries, he said.

“This was just sort of a searing memory,” Papp said. “Well, yeah, the clinic is at MUST Ministries, but it’s the KSU Clinic at MUST Ministries and they don’t know it. The message needs to get out there better.”

The university’s budget remains tight, he said. For five years, the state has provided no funds for salary increases. And KSU must find more funds for scholarships for students in need, he said.

A coach who knows football

“Despite these challenges, I am convinced that as we begin our second half-century, the state of Kennesaw State is excellent,” he said.

The university’s new student-centered production company, Night Owl Productions, has already had a major concert by American Idol winner Philip Phillips in KSU’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium. Nearly 5,000 people attended the concert. A music festival under the direction of Night Owl Productions is expected to attract as many as 25,000 people to the Sports and Recreation Park on April 20.

And with the hiring of Brian Bohannan as KSU’s first football coach, Papp is preparing for KSU’s first football game in 2015.

“I assure you, with Coach Bohannan’s background as a coach at the Naval Academy and Georgia Tech, he knows how to do football right,” Papp said.

Kennesaw State president's speech highlights strategic plan, university achievements

2013 State of the University dc 14.jpg

Daniel S. Papp delivers annual address to university community

Click here to read the full transcript

KENNESAW, Ga. (April 11, 2013) —  Kennesaw State University is tackling more than just football these days, as it launches a new strategic plan, faces reaccreditation, and receives national and international accolades for its students, faculty and program achievements.

“We are at a key juncture for this university,” said Daniel S. Papp, who delivered his annual State of the University address to faculty, staff and students at the Bobbie Bailey and Family Performance Center April 10 and 11.

Kennesaw State recently submitted its five-year interim report for reaccreditation to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). In an era of more accountability, this five-year report is just as important as the SACS’ 10-year reaccreditation, Papp said. “I am highly confident that SACS will favorably approve the report.”

Kennesaw State’s academic successes are evident in its many global ties, Papp noted, citing many national honors Kennesaw State programs and centers have earned. 

Papp also pointed out that Kennesaw State’s colleges have earned numerous accolades, with the Graduate College breaking the $10-million mark in external research grants this year.

Student accomplishments are also giving the university reasons to be proud, said Papp. Jiexi Liao, a junior majoring in biochemistry, was awarded the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater scholarship, a highly competitive award given annually to highly qualified students pursuing careers as scientists, mathematicians or engineers; Megan Emory, editor-in-chief of the Sentinel, Kennesaw State’s student newspaper, was named Student Media Leader of the Year by the National College Media Association; and the KSU Mock Trial team – despite the university not having a law school – is the only Georgia team to travel to the national Mock Trial Association championships in Washington, DC.

“If we combined our 25,000 for-credit students with the 20,000 continuing education students, this university helped educate approximately 45,000 students last year,” said Papp.

Papp announced that the administration has a new strategic plan for 2012-17, which took two years of planning and was strengthened by thousands of survey responses. The comprehensive plan, with its five goals and 60 action steps, has guided efforts to improve the university since last fall. “Actions are already under way to achieve each goal,” he added.

Graduation rates have increased by 6 percent to 41 percent at Kennesaw State over the past three years, Papp said, as KSU engages in the Complete College Georgia initiative, which aims to raise the percentage of Georgians with college degrees. Kennesaw State is working to improve graduation rates by expanding interventions and creating an Honors College.

“Our faculty, students, staff and alumni are already extensively engaged in activities that connect the work of the university to its wider external communities,” Papp said. The university’s ENGAGE Kennesaw State team has been working to gain greater understanding by the community about what the university contributes to society.  

New degree programs and student activities, as well as new facilities and infrastructure continue to expand at Kennesaw State. The university offers two new master’s degree programs in chemical sciences and integrative biology, and is planning a bachelor’s degree in culinary sustainability and hospitality that awaits Board of Regents approval.  

Besides degree programs, Papp pointed to the growth in the university facilities, including $6 million in improvements to the Sturgis Library. The Science and Math laboratory opened last fall, with six teaching labs and 17 research labs within the 73,000-square foot facility. The Bernard A. Zuckerman Art Museum will open its doors in fall 2013, thanks to Zuckerman’s $2 million donation for the project. The 9,200-square foot facility will house the university’s art collection and serve as a cultural resource, Papp said.

Two new facilities will break ground later this year at Kennesaw State. The Bagwell College of Education will expand its classroom and office space, and the Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Activity &  Recreation Center will provide a new student recreational facility. Kennesaw State’s athletics department is also preparing for the arrival of football in 2015, having secured Regents approval, and hired a new head football coach.

With the growth of the university have come challenges, Papp said. The egress from campus during peak times is still difficult but will be eased with the Skip Spann Connector. This two-year, $20 million project of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners and the Georgia Department of Transportation, will create another campus entrance near the East parking deck, connecting Frey Road with Busbee Parkway, to ease traffic tie-ups on Chastain Road. 

“We have come a long way in 50 years,” Papp said. “Today, Kennesaw State University has some 30,000 students, faculty and staff and as many as 50,000 of our alumni live within a 40-mile drive of campus.” 

“It’s hard to believe that 10 years ago, we were not a residential campus,” Papp said. “Having students living on campus has transformed this university.”

The university will embark on its 50th anniversary celebration during Founders Week, Oct. 7-12, and continue with a multi-year celebration. Kennesaw State University was chartered as Kennesaw Junior College in 1963. 


Kennesaw State President to give State of University address

Campus Green Generic Image of Kennesaw Hall

President Daniel S. Papp will highlight university’s growth and future, sharing news about its programs, projects and facilities

KENNESAW, Ga. (April 4, 2013) — Kennesaw State University President Daniel S. Papp will give his annual State of the University address on Wednesday, April 10 and Thursday, April 11.  Papp will share insight on the university’s growth and future as the university prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in October 2013.

The State of the University address is free and open to the public. 

Daniel S. Papp
Kennesaw State University

Wednesday, April 10 and Thursday, April 11 from 9-10 a.m.

Kennesaw State University, Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center, Morgan Concert Hall
1000 Chastain Road, Kennesaw, Ga. 30144

For a map of the campus, please visit






Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,600 students from more than 130 countries.



Kennesaw State president lauds faculty, staff, students

Name of Publication: 
Marietta Daily Journal
Excerpt of Article: 
Kennesaw State president lauds faculty, staff, students
by Lindsay Field
March 29, 2012 12:00 AM | 1114 views | 7 7 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kennesaw State University President Dr. Dan Papp delivers his annual State of the University Address speaking of the school s achievements and future plans on Wednesday morning.<br>Staff/Laura Moon
Kennesaw State University President Dr. Dan Papp delivers his annual State of the University Address speaking of the school's achievements and future plans on Wednesday morning.
Staff/Laura Moon



KENNESAW — During Kennesaw State’s 2012 State of the University address, president Dr. Dan Papp said the 49-year-old college is finishing its first five decades on a high note.

“I’m extremely proud of this university and its faculty, staff and students,” he said Wednesday morning. “The state of this university is excellent and getting even better.”

Papp announced the formation of KSU’s 50th Anniversary Committee, which will celebrate the university’s first half century. The celebration will begin Sept. 9, 2013, 50 years to the day when the school was chartered, and run through June 9, 2017, 50 years to the day after it awarded its first degrees.

The committee will be led by one of the university’s first students, Stevan Crew.

Papp also highlighted the recognitions faculty members have earned in 2011, including winning the Chancellor’s Customer Service Recognition Gold Award as the Institution of the Year for the third time in five years.

“With this kind of faculty and this kind of staff, no wonder more and more students want to come to Kennesaw State,” he said. “No wonder that KSU is one of the fastest-growing universities in Georgia. You are among the best that I have seen in this university system, and I have been in this university system for 39 years.”

Papp said budgetary restraints have not stood in the way of the school’s accomplishments, including the groundbreaking for the Bagwell College of Education’s new facility, which serves the largest education program in the state; the Coles College of Business’s recognition as being among the top 70 in the U.S.; and the College of the Arts’ black box theater, which was dedicated last Sunday as The Onyx Theater.

Beyond academics, Papp touched on the university’s first five-year comprehensive capital campaign, which finished a year ahead of time and raised $75 million.

“The campaign generated the largest private contribution and the largest grant the university has ever received,” he said. “We also received 14 other gifts of at least $1 million each, as well as 28 endowed scholarships and 22 Clendenin fellowships for KSU faculty.”

In closing his speech, Papp previewed projects the school is working on, including new classroom buildings and road construction.

The address was given at the Bailey Performance Center and was attended mostly by KSU staff.

In the audience was 2011 KSU graduate Meredith Head, who works in the University Events department. Head said the new buildings will help cement KSU’s reputation as a quality school.

“Education is what KSU is known for, so the fact that we’re expanding on that is a great thing,” she said. “Anything with more classrooms and more space, obviously for students, is what we need to go for.”

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Kennesaw State president lauds faculty staff students

KSU president’s speech emphasizes new facilities, new strategic plan, new directions


Dan Papp delivers annual State of the University address to Kennesaw State community

Click here to watch the President's State of the University address.

Click here to read the transcript.

KENNESAW, Ga. (March 29, 2012) — Kennesaw State University President Daniel S. Papp indicated today that the university will continue its transformative trajectory — building new facilities on campus, launching a new strategic plan and preparing for reaccreditation next spring — as it gets ready to kick off of its second half-century in 2013.

“The state of this university is excellent and getting even better,” Papp told faculty, staff and students gathered at the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center during his annual State of the University address, delivered March 28 and 29. “While space shortages, traffic congestion and parking are challenges that we must resolve, the good news here is that we have eight projects recently completed, under way or about to be approved.”

The new projects that have already contributed or will further contribute to the campus’ remarkable physical transformation in a very short period of time include: phase III of the KSU Sports & Recreation Park; the new 451-bed residence hall, University Place Apartments; a $21 million science lab building; a $35 million student recreation and activities center; the $3 million phase II addition of the KSU Art Museum; a new black-box theater; a second dining hall; and a $20.3 million education building.

The new education building addition will help solidify Kennesaw State’s new position as the leading producer of teachers in the state.

Kennesaw State’s academic stature also continues to rise with the recognition of existing programs and the addition of new degree programs. The Executive MBA and the part-time MBA in the Michael J. Coles College of Business were recently recognized by Bloomberg Businessweek among the top in the country, with the EMBA ranking in the top 70 and the part-time MBA ranking No. 29.

The WellStar College of Health and Human Services will award its first doctor of nursing science degrees in May, and the college also hosted this year the university’s first post-doctoral fellows. “Six more post-doctoral fellows are slated to arrive on campus this fall, all funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and Egypt,” the president said.

KSU’s College of Continuing and Professional Education continued its excellent record of education and service, teaching more than 22,000 students this year and receiving the Innovative Marketing Award from the Georgia Adult Education Association.

The university’s research profile is also on the rise. Faculty and staff were awarded $16 million in grants and contracts last year, up from $4 million six years ago. This research also is creating intellectual property opportunities for the university, according to Papp. “The KSU Research and Service Foundation has processed one full patent and four provisional patents for our faculty, with two more in the pipeline,” he said.

The president reiterated that KSU remains committed to moving forward with intercollegiate football.  He also commended KSU’s intercollegiate athletics program — which now encompasses nine women’s and seven men’s sports programs, including women’s lacrosse, which was just approved as a new addition and will begin next spring. The men’s golf team won the Atlantic Sun tournament this year and the men’s track team won the indoor track championship. “Our student athletes also were winners in the classroom,” Papp said, “compiling a combined GPA of 3.11 in fall 2011.”

Papp said his administration is working on a new strategic plan for 2012 to 2017. The committee has worked for the past 18 months soliciting views about KSU’s future from students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community. The new plan will be presented in August 2012.  “This strategic plan will set the stage for KSU to become a nationally recognized university, fully engaged with our community, state, nation and world, as we celebrate the end of our first half-century and the beginning of our second,” Papp stated.

Papp also announced that Kennesaw State President Emeritus Betty Siegel will be honored this weekend at the Board of Regents’ annual Salute to Education Gala with the 2012 Elridge McMillan Lifetime Achievement Award for her extraordinary service to higher education. KSU psychology professor Tom Pusateri, who serves as associate director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, also will be honored as one of two Regents’ scholarship of teaching and learning award winners. A point of particular pride for the university, Papp reflected that KSU professors have won Regents’ awards for six consecutive years.  

As Kennesaw begins celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013, it also will be at the midpoint of its 10-year reaccreditation process. In spring 2013, KSU must submit a fifth-year interim report, and between 2013 and 2015 the university must decide upon its next quality enhancement plan (the current one revolves around global learning).

Papp announced the creation of the 50th anniversary committee to plan the celebration of Kennesaw State’s first half-century from 2013 to 2017. KSU Foundation trustee emeritus Stevan Crew, who graduated in the second graduating class in 1968, will serve as the committee’s honorary chair.

Papp also strongly emphasized the role that Kennesaw State would play in Gov. Nathan Deal’s recently launched Complete College Georgia initiative, which aims to raise the percentage of Georgians with college degrees from 42 percent to 60 percent by 2020.

Contact: Tammy DeMel, Assistant Director of University Relations


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