state of the university

Kennesaw State president praises progress, looks ahead to more

KSU State of the University 2016

Papp touts work toward becoming ‘world-class institution’ in annual State of the University address

Click here for a transcript of Dr. Papp's speech.

KENNESAW, Ga. (April 26, 2016) — A great deal has been accomplished in the 15 months since the consolidation of Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University — but much more work and progress is ahead, President Daniel S. Papp told faculty and staff in his annual State of the University address.

In his speech, given on April 25 and April 26 at the Kennesaw and Marietta campuses, Papp outlined the strategic steps Kennesaw State will take in the coming year. He also shared several successes from the past year, including a record enrollment of 33,400 students, more than 5,600 students earning degrees since the consolidation, and Kennesaw State’s classification as a Carnegie doctoral research institution.

“This University is on its way to becoming exactly what the Board of Regents, the people of Georgia and we ourselves expect KSU to be — a world-class academic institution,” Papp said. “Our University, our students, our faculty and our staff are increasingly being recognized and appreciated for the high quality of everything being done at KSU.”

That includes meeting two key objectives the Regents set for the consolidation of Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State. The first is that in the current and upcoming budgets, the University is redirecting funds from administrative functions and putting them toward research, scholarship, infrastructure improvements and instruction and education — including adding more faculty members and advisors. The budget also includes no tuition increase in 2017, Papp said.

The second objective being met is Kennesaw State’s increase in the percentage of students it retains and graduates. Combining extra-curricular and co-curricular activities in the consolidation has afforded students more opportunities, according to Papp.

“New U students have a broader selection of activities from which to choose and with which to engage,” he said. “As a result, KSU’s retention, progression and graduation rates over the next few years should climb.”

As research takes on a larger role at Kennesaw State, the University could top $11 million in external research funding this year, Papp said. Fundraising also is on the rise, as two of the three largest personal gifts in KSU history have been given in the past year.

However, Papp noted, “much remains to be done so we can realize our full potential.” He outlined six major tasks the “new Kennesaw State” must complete:

• Strategic plan — A 42-person committee is in the midst of developing goals, objectives, mission statements and action steps for a five-year strategic plan to begin in 2017. The committee will gather feedback from the campus community in the fall and submit the finalized plan to the Board of Regents in December 2016.

• New master plan — “This project will envision and lay the foundation for the physical future of both KSU campuses going out as far as 2045,” Papp said. Town hall-style meetings have been held on campus, and additional ones will be scheduled prior to the plan’s completion at the end of this year.

• Branding and marketing project — Kennesaw State is teaming with a consulting firm to develop branding and marketing initiatives that will be rolled out next year. “This project will determine what the University must do to heighten local, regional and national public awareness of, and appreciation for, the new KSU,” Papp said.

• Capital campaign — A combination of those first three initiatives will help Kennesaw State plan and launch its next fundraising campaign, according to Papp. A “first-rate fundraising team” will identify the University’s greatest needs and begin the comprehensive capital campaign within the year, he said.

• Reaccreditation — Kennesaw State must submit a report in 2018 for reaccreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools — as required every 10 years — in preparation for the 2019 visit by the SACS reaccreditation team. “This might seem like it’s a long time away, but given how much work must be done, it’s not,” Papp said. Kennesaw State’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness already is compiling the report, which Papp assured “will be massive.” He added, “The report must provide detailed documentation of the extent to which KSU complies with each of the 88 items in SACS’ principles of accreditation. Many of those 88 items have multiple parts.”

• Quality Enhancement Plan — As part of the reaccreditation process, Kennesaw State must develop and submit a Quality Enhancement Plan “to create a campus-wide program that will enhance student learning,” Papp explained. The selection committee received several proposals and selected “engaging in transformative learning” as KSU’s new core QEP, he said.

“From my perspective, the good news is this — more and more students want to come to KSU,” Papp said. “In research, scholarship and creative activity, our reputation and productivity are growing.”


Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering nearly 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 33,000 students from over 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.


— Paul Floeckher

Photo by David Caselli

KSU-SPSU merger will create a powerhouse

Name of Publication: 
Marietta Daily Journal
Excerpt of Article: 

KSU President Dr. Dan Papp almost got it right during his State of the University address Wednesday when he described what will result from the merger of Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University.

“The consolidation of these two fine universities will create an educational and economic powerhouse for the state of Georgia, and for that matter, the nation,” he said.

That’s true as far as it goes. But Papp would have been more accurate had he said, “The consolidation of these two powerhouse universities will create an educational and economic juggernaut for the state of Georgia, and, for that matter, the nation.”

That is, KSU and SPSU are already powerhouse insitutions of higher learning, and have been for quite some time.

Papp’s challenge, and that of those at SPSU, is to find a logical way to bring the two together in ways that enhance what they offer, and with the least possible further stress. Students and faculty at the two — especially those at SPSU — were caught off guard by the state Board of Regents’ merger decision last fall. But the focus in recent months has shifted toward how best to weave the two together.

“Without minimizing the budgetary challenges we face, and without minimizing the angst that consolidation has created, I believe that the state of Kennesaw State is excellent,” Papp said. 

Papp says the SPSU campus will not be a subordinate satellite of KSU’s. Rather, there will be two core campuses, he said. The SPSU campus will be called “the Marietta campus” and will be home to at least three of the combined schools’ colleges: the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, the College of Architecture and Construction Management and the College of Computing and Software Engineering.

Meanwhile, several major construction projects are under way at KSU, including a $39 million recreation center, a $22 million expansion of the college of education and an $18 million bridge over Interstate 75 between Frey Road and Busbee Drive. It should go far toward alleviating the traffic around the KSU campus. In addition, KSU recently bought the BrandsMart building for use by its new marching band, which will play at halftime of the games played by its new football team. The BrandsMart building, by the way, will have space for 722 badly needed parking places.

Papp’s speech was a reminder KSU and SPSU are centers of educational and economic dynamism, and that both of those trademarks are likely only to accelerate.

Consolidation ‘bombshell’: Papp: Merger will create economic, educational powerhouse

Name of Publication: 
Marietta Daily Journal
Excerpt of Article: 

KENNESAW — Consolidation was the word of the day during Kennesaw State University President Dan Papp’s State of the University address.

KSU is consolidating with Marietta’s Southern Polytechnic State University after a controversial decision by the Georgia Board of Regents. Papp said the process of combining the two schools, culminating in January 2015, is the university’s top priority.

He called last November’s announcement the schools would combine a “bombshell.”

The 40-minute address Wednesday was inside the Bobbie Bailey Performance Center in front of about 400 people. Papp said the No. 1 challenge in the consolidation process will be combining personnel, including top cabinet positions. 

The two schools have 25 personnel between them who report directly to the schools’ presidents. When the schools combine, the number will go down to 12. Thus, several top administrators, including SPSU President Lisa Rossbacher, have accepted jobs at other schools. 

One KSU administrator leaving is Vice President for Student Success Jerome Ratchford. He has been with the school since 1988 and will retire in December. 

“I didn’t know how much we’d advance when I first came here, but I’m also not surprised,” Ratchford said. “I’m just thrilled to be a part of it. I sometimes pinch myself that I’ve had such tremendous opportunity here.”

50 years of KSU

Papp touched on the school’s rapid growth over the last half-century. 

“Only 50 years ago, this institution had zero students, zero faculty, zero staff and zero facilities,” he said. “When it opened its doors 48 years ago, it had 1,014 students and 37 faculty. I think it’s safe to say that is has been one heck of a first 50 years.”

KSU’s fall 2013 enrollment was 24,629, up from 24,604 the previous year. SPSU’s fall 2013 enrollment of 6,550 was also up from 6,202 in fall 2012, and Papp said both schools are expected to grow next year.

Papp also touched on a new designation the school received this year.

“The pace of year 50 picked up when the Board of Regents at its August meeting created what for the University System of Georgia was a new classification of universities, the ‘Comprehensive Universities,’” said Papp, who has been KSU president since 2006. “KSU, along with its sister institutions Georgia Southern, Valdosta State and West Georgia, was one of four institutions designated a Comprehensive University.”

The designation indicates KSU in is a class of schools that perform some research along with teaching students. He said the school’s research ambitions will be boosted by combining with SPSU.

“The consolidation of these two fine universities will create an educational and economic powerhouse for the state of Georgia, and for that matter, the nation,” he said. 

According to Papp, the combined KSU will have a yearly economic impact of $1.2 billion and nearly $30 million a year in externally funded research. 

Also in the last year, Kennesaw State signed the first recruiting class for its new football program. The team landed players including Griffin High School quarterback Jaquez Parks, who was named the Georgia All-Classification Player of the Year. Papp said acquiring Parks was a coup for the program. 

Other recent events Papp mentioned included two winter snowstorms and April’s lockdown of the campus that ended up being a false alarm. 

“Our prevailing philosophy is, and will remain, it is better to be safe than sorry,” Papp said.

Papp gave a short history of SPSU in his speech. The schools will formally combined in January 2015, but won’t be completely combined until the beginning of the fall 2015 semester. 

Some other challenges of consolidation include combining degree programs that exist at both schools and equalizing salaries between staff members at each school. 

Role of SPSU campus 

In an interview with the MDJ following the speech, Papp acknowledged that many SPSU students and alumni are still upset about the merger. But he said student organizations are leading a grassroots effort to culturally merge the two student bodies. He said the SPSU campus will not become a satellite campus of KSU, instead saying there will be two core campuses. SPSU likely will be called the Marietta campus, while the current KSU campus will be called the Kennesaw campus. 

At least three of the combined university’s colleges will be on the Marietta campus. They will be the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, the College of Architecture and Construction Management and the College of Computing and Software Engineering.

KSU’s tuition will increase 2.5 percent this year. But Papp pointed ou tuition will jump 9 percent at Georgia Tech, 7 percent at UGA and 4 percent at Georgia State and Georgia Regents. 

“These larger tuition increases provide these research universities much greater flexibility in their budgets,” he said.

The Board of Regents funded raises for university employees for the first time in six years. Papp said those raises will be given by merit rather than across the board. The overall raise pool is for about 0.7 percent.

KSU is in the middle of several major construction projects, including a $39 million recreation center, a $22 million expansion to its college of education and an $18 million bridge over Interstate 75 between Frey Road and Busbee Drive. The school also purchased a nearby BrandsMart, which will be used by the school’s new marching band, and also to create 722 new parking spaces. 

“Without minimizing the budgetary challenges we face, and without minimizing the angst that consolidation has created, I believe that the state of Kennesaw State is excellent,” Papp said. 

After hearing the speech, KSU Director of Residence Life Jeff Cooper said he’s excited about the direction the school is headed.

“It provided a good summary of the things that are going on at the school,” he said. “Dr. Papp has always been intentional about keeping us in the loop. He’s very transparent about what’s happening with the university.”

Kennesaw State president’s speech highlights university’s 50th anniversary celebration, future growth and consolidation

Daniel S. Papp, president of Kennesaw State University  (photo by Anthony Stalcup)

Declares the ‘State of the University’ as ‘excellent’

Click here for the full transcript of the address

KENNESAW, Ga.  (May 7, 2014) — During its 50-year history, Kennesaw State University has experienced many achievements and transformations, but according to President Daniel S. Papp, the past year has been one of the “most memorable” to date.

During his annual State of the University address today at the Dr. Bobbie Bailey and Family Performance Center, Papp recounted several institutional milestones, including the past year’s 50th anniversary celebration, the institution’s change in status to a comprehensive university, and the announced consolidation with Southern Polytechnic State University.

“What this university has done in its first 50 years is incredible, but where it could go and what it could do in the next 50 years — along with our soon-to-be new colleagues from Southern Polytechnic — almost defies imagination,” said Papp.  The president delivered his speech to a full audience of faculty, staff and students who packed the Bailey Center to hear this year’s address regarding the status of the university.

Kennesaw State celebrated its 50th anniversary in October, with a weeklong series of activities, lectures, discussions and celebrations. The University was chartered as Kennesaw Junior College in 1963, and when it opened its doors 48 years ago, there were 1,014 students and 37 faculty, Papp said.   

Papp cited the Board of Regents naming of Kennesaw State as a “comprehensive university” last August as an important step in the university’s future. KSU is one of only four University System of Georgia (USG) institutions to receive this new designation.

“We are committed to becoming a world-class academic institution by promoting excellence and innovation in education through teaching, supervising, and mentoring students; through research, creative activity, and scholarship; and through professional service,” Papp said.

Papp noted that Kennesaw State’s academic successes are evident in its many global ties, citing the first-ever visit by a sitting head-of-state, President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana. In September, Mahama visited KSU to help commemorate the culmination of the university’s “Year of Ghana” programming.

Papp used a significant portion of his address to highlight the progress Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State have made since USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby announced the plan to consolidate the two universities.

“The Board of Regents, together with our accrediting agency — the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) — has identified over 800 tasks that must be undertaken to make consolidation work,” said Papp. A 28-person Consolidation Implementation Committee, a 47-person Expanded Consolidation Implementation Committee, and 81 Operational Work Groups were created to help address the myriad of issues related to the consolidation, all of which are crucial in moving the consolidation forward.

“When consolidated, the new KSU will have about 31,000 students and will graduate over 5,000 students per year. It will have a yearly economic impact of approximately $1.2 billion, and generate nearly $30 million a year of externally funded research. Its alumni base will be about 91,000, most of whom live in Northwest Georgia,” said Papp.

The new university will retain the Kennesaw State University name, and Papp will serve as the institution’s president.  Last month, the Board of Regents approved mission and vision statements for the new university, and the majority of the senior administrative team has been named, said Papp.

“Both SPSU and KSU continue to attract and graduate excellent students,” Papp stated.  “All indications are that student enrollment at both institutions will increase again next fall.”

Papp also outlined several examples of work that remains to be done, including issues related to the number of degree programs, salary equity, faculty and staff position descriptions, promotion, tenure and evaluation.  The 81 operational working groups will submit their recommendations over the next two weeks, and he cited four national searches that will launch in the coming months to fill remaining senior-level positions.

“We are progressing well, and we are on schedule,” said Papp. The consolidation is slated for final approval in January 2015.

During his address, Papp also noted that six significant facilities projects are currently under way on the Kennesaw State campus. The Bernard A. Zuckerman Art Museum opened its doors in early March, and several other projects will be completed within the next year. The Sturgis Library renovation will provide additional space and add a new front entrance to the building when it is completed next year; and the $22 million expansion of the Bagwell College of Education will open later this year, providing much-needed classroom and office space. The Dr. Betty L. Siegel Student Activity & Recreation Center — a new $39 million student recreational facility — will open in February 2015. The $18 million Skip Spann Connector project will create a bridge over I-75 that will connect Frey Road with Busbee Parkway, and will link KSU with the Towne Park Business Center when it opens in May 2015.

Papp also noted that the KSU Foundation completed the purchase of BrandsMart last week, with $9.9 million in bond funding provided by the Georgia legislature, with the support of the Board of Regents and the Governor. The former retail facility will house the KSU Clinic, academic space and a new marching band, and will add 722 much-needed additional parking spaces to the campus.

Papp’s address presented a bright future for Kennesaw State.  “New programs and new activities have been and will be initiated that will help the university improve its quality, strengthen its reputation, and heighten its visibility,” he stated. “These are all grounds on which to conclude that the state of Kennesaw State is excellent.”

# # #


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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