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 FHSU Profile – Duty to Dream

Under its strategic plan, Duty to Dream, Fort Hays State University has established seven "design elements" to carry it successfully into the year 2020:

  • Growth -- Fort Hays State will grow to 20,000 students by 2020 through more aggressive recruitment of undergraduate, graduate and international students and through better retention of current students.
  • Life-Long Learning -- Fort Hays State will restructure and expand the Virtual College to 12,500 students and expand the number of full-time graduate students on the Hays campus.
  • Entrepreneurship -- Fort Hays State will move toward a paradigm that casts it as an enterprise responsible for its own fate, an enterprise the state government charters and empowers and in which it invests.
  • Intellectual Fusion -- Fort Hays State will encourage teaching and research that is interdisciplinary, multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary by creating new University institutes under the guidance of the four colleges.
  • Social Relevance -- Fort Hays State will share its expertise globally to help alleviate the host of problems that beset an increasingly complex world.
  • Global Engagement -- Fort Hays State will establish an office to coordinate international research and scholarship.
  • Learner Outcomes -- Fort Hays State will improve existing academic programs and create new academic programs to meet state workforce needs in the future.


Action plans are a key component of the strategic planning process. Each fall, academic departments and support offices submit action plans requesting funding for new positions and programs. The process requires applicants to describe the request, document the funding need and show how the request would advance the strategic plan. A committee headed by the president reviews the requests, assigns priorities and approves them according to available funding.

The FHSU strategic plan is designed to support the higher education initiatives of the governor of Kansas and the Kansas Board of Regents’ strategic plan that was adopted in September 2010. Called Foresight 2020, that plan sets long-range achievement goals to ensure the state's higher education system meets Kansans' expectations.

A redesign of the strategic plan in 2012 reduced the overall number of strategic goals from six to three but retained many of the original measures. The three strategic goals of Foresight 2020 are to: 

  • Increase higher education attainment among Kansans;
  • Improve alignment of the state's higher education system with the needs of the economy; and
  • Ensure state university excellence.


In 2000, with the support of the Kansas Board of Regents, Fort Hays State embraced a new model of accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. Called the Academic Quality Improvement Program, or AQIP, the process allows member institutions to adopt the guiding principles of continuous quality improvement as their guiding force, and institutional mission serves as the foundation for judging success.

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