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STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a number of questions that are frequently raised by campus faculty. The purpose of this online format is twofold: give faculty access to in-depth responses and allow administration to fully address the faculty questions and concerns.


Faculty Questions

What steps are the administration planning to take to repair relations with the student body?
Repairing the strained relationship between the President’s Executive Team (PET) and the Student Government Association (SGA) cabinet is a priority for both sides. United We Stand talked about having a Potluck with the PET, which is a great idea and we will work with students to make that dinner happen yet this semester. We will also schedule intentional time for the SGA and the PET to discuss working collaboratively to achieve goals. We will schedule regular meetings between the two presidents as well as with the entire leadership teams. Another thing we are doing is increasing the advising support for the SGA; SGA is an institutionally significant and complex organization, expecting that one person can effectively manage all aspects of the group is simply not possible. By providing more advising support, SGA will be able to accomplish even more of their objectives.

Teri Hall
 
How many administrative positions have been added in the past three years?
When comparing the creation of new positions over the last three years, total administrative positions have increased by 6.0 FTEs since FY 2015. Of this total, 4.25 FTEs were funded through Restricted Use Funds and 1.75 FTEs were funded through General Use Funds (State General Fund & Tuition). In addition, of the total FTE increase, the equivalent of 1.00 FTE is caused, not by the creation of a new position, but instead increases in the overall FTE assignment of those positions resulting from changing duties (for example, a position going from .50 FTE to 1.00 FTE).

Of the total FTE increase related to administrative positions, four positions have a salary exceeding $100,000 annually. One of those positions is funded with General Use resources and the remaining three are funded with Restricted Use resources.

David Miller
 
Has President Bardo received a pay raise recently?
President Bardo received a 2 percent raise from the Regents in 2015, which he donated to a fund at the WSU Foundation to provide scholarship support to children and grandchildren of employees. He said he didn’t want to accept a raise during a period when, because of budget reasons, he couldn’t give across-the-board raises to deserving employees. He didn’t receive a raise in 2016. The Regents usually decide CEO raises near the start of a new fiscal yea that begins in July.

Lou Heldman
 
Why have some administrators received significant pay raises in recent years?
Pay increases that were not part of a general campus-wide increase were related to an expansion of duties, reporting lines or securing external funding.

Werner Golling
Do administrators who resume their faculty responsibilities continue to receive their administrative salary? Is this an industry norm? Does room exist for savings on this issue?
Only one individual has returned to faculty from academic affairs since FY14. Academic-year salaries for administrators who return to faculty are calculated at 9/11 of their base salary.

Tony Vizzini
 
How many consultants have been hired to work for WSU in the past five years? How much has been paid to consultants? What benefits has the university gained from consultant work?
We don’t have a budget code that differentiates some service suppliers as consultants, but we’ve provided four examples below of hiring suppliers to provide proficiency at a level and scale that we don’t have available in-house. They fit the definition of consultants being outside professionals who are hired for their special expertise such as architectural design services, software implementation or a mix a mix of advice (consulting) and direct services. Major examples from the past several years are below.

Admissions Recruiting
Undergraduate domestic admissions contracted with Royall & Company starting in fiscal year 2014 to recruit high school, returning adults, transfer students and to expand recruitment of non-resident students especially along the I-35 corridor.
For the targeted period of FY2014 to through FY2016, Royall contacted more than 300,000 students per year starting in their sophomore year in high school.

This resulted in an increase of 36% in admitted applications from FY2014 to FY2016 and a 22% increase in enrolled new undergraduate domestic students, including most recently the largest high school senior matriculating freshmen class in WSU history. 

The Royall contract is an annual investment of $677,190 which when combined with the overall undergraduate domestic recruitment efforts (including WSU salaries, postage, commercial test scores and other recruitment cost) comes out to an annual recruitment cost of $738 per student recruited and enrolled. That’s within one standard deviation of the national standard of public higher education annual recruitment cost.

OneStop Student Services
In an effort to foster student success and provide 24/7/365 student support, the university developed a virtual and physical one-stop that gives students a single destination for all their support questions in admissions, financial aid, student records and registration, advising, and student accounts.

In fiscal year 2013, the university contracted with Blackboard Student Services (BbSS) for a one-stop 24/7/365 solution (the only solution of this type) to begin the integration of the various functional areas in order to provide support through a self-help portal, call center services, and chat.  (This is a different division of Blackboard than the one providing the class management system.)

An initial one-time implementation fee of $461,474 was paid to manage the planning, change management, knowledgebase and service-desk development, and building Banner database views for integration.

An annual fee of $1,168,779 provides for the ongoing support for the technology and call-center support.  Five dollars per student credit hour from the campus infrastructure fee supports the entire OneStop operation, which includes the BbSS one-stop solution, physical one-stop, the campus operator, and starting in 2017, first-year advising.

Last academic year, the OneStop was successful in aiding students with prompt and reliable answers to their questions.  46,252 interactions occurred (38,543 phone calls, 3,443 interactive voice response self-help sessions, 3,275 live chats, 883 web tickets, and 108 emails). 7,364 calls were answered after campus business hours and 966 calls were answered on weekends.

Ninety-four percent of students who completed a survey after interacting with a OneStop agent on the telephone were satisfied with their interaction and 86% felt their questions were resolved.  

Separate from the 24/7/365 OneStop support for students, the campus operator (located in the OneStop) answered nearly 30,000 additional calls, Monday-Friday (8-5 pm) from the main campus number 978-3456.

Compensation
When the University Support Staff employees (former state civil service) became employees of WSU, we had no job descriptions or way to ensure competitive pay.
Through a consulting engagement with CBIZ, more than 1,250 position descriptions were created and consolidated, we established a market-based compensation structure and a classification framework for USS and Unclassified Professional employees.

We also completed a review of the Fair Labor Standards Act status of our staff positions.  By partnering with the other KBOR institutions, we received a 25% discount. 

WSU paid $115,000 for the engagement.  This work is foundational for the new HR operating model and has positioned us to gain future efficiencies as we design and construct a job architecture and career framework for the advancement of recruitment efforts, workforce development and succession planning.

Human Resources Operations
AON Hewitt was contracted in 2015 to assess Human Resources processes, infrastructure and HR technology. The consultants completed that assessment and made recommendations that are being adopted in all three areas. The contract was for $219,000.

The university is working on an implementation plan that should be completed in 2020. The expected results include financial savings that exceed the contract cost and improved service to WSU employees and other HR customers.

Werner Golling and Lois Tatro

Why have we not asked some of our own faculty to conduct some of the research that we hired external firms to undertake?
Faculty members have been used as consultants and supported university operations with their expertise. For example, the university has employed business faculty for market research.

Faculty contribute valuable expertise through committee work as the service component of their obligations. Suppliers or consultants are generally selected for expertise combined with scalable resources and the ability to meet specified timelines.

In the case of vendor-specific or technology consultants, they have technical knowledge of system integration and proprietary knowledge that faculty would not normally possess (e.g., Ellucian Banner and Oracle systems).

In the case of advisory consultants (e.g., student recruitment) they have access to large economies of scale related to back office support and market-based customer solutions and outcomes.

Werner Golling

Why were faculty asked to revise their syllabi in Spring 2016? How was the syllabus template developed?
The main purpose of WSU’s accreditation, through the Higher Learning Commission (other than to assure quality), is to allow the university to continue receiving federal financial aid.  If WSU is not accredited, no federal aid will be available to students. One requirement for accreditation is that every course syllabus document measurable learning outcomes, among other items. Through audits of syllabi across the university, it was found that the university was not compliant in this regard. Leading up to the most recent HLC site visit, it was communicated to all faculty (through several emails, meetings, and in the Faculty Senate) the need to update each course syllabus. This was accomplished in summer 2016. The site visit team in October 2016 reviewed a cross-section of syllabi and determined WSU was compliant. The template was developed with input from various faculty, the faculty development coordinator, the Graduate School, and the Office of Academic Affairs.

Rick Muma
 
What funding streams are utilized for the various parts of the Innovation Campus? Is the university taking on financial risks with regard to deals with private companies? For example, what if a company leaves?
Mill levy funds were supplied by Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita for the Experiential Engineering Building (EEB) and the Innovation campus infrastructure. The funds are overseen and managed by the WSU Board of Trustees. Additional funds for the EEB and infrastructure were provided from the State of Kansas engineering education initiative grant and grants from the Economic Development Administration (EDA). All other projects are being funded using external developers.  Developers (national and local) are invited to propose projects on the Innovation Campus via an open solicitation on the WSU purchasing website. Wichita State’s goal from the beginning has been to build the Innovation Campus without the university taking financial risks. Since the University continues to own the ground and this is not tied with the developer financing of the building, all buildings at the end of the ground lease become WSU property. If a company leaves before the expiration date of the ground lease, the building still remains property of WSU.

John Tomblin
 
What are the benefits of affiliating with WATC in a more limited fashion?
This will give us better access to a broader demographic. WATC will be able to recruit nationally and internationally, and some of these students will persist to a 4-yr degree. Closer collaboration for new 2+2 programs. Easier access for our students to remedial programs. Easier access for our students for technical training.

Linnea GlenMaye
 
If WATC remains in control of its own curriculum, is there any room for discussion centering on WATC courses that are also offered at WSU (i.e. general education courses)?
Of course. I would hope that faculty from both parts of the alliance learn and benefit from each other.

Linnea GlenMaye
 
Why is a new parking garage being built and how is it funded? Do we have a larger parking plan in mind?
The parking garage is being built to alleviate parking issues for campus visitors, provide adequate parking for our new One Stop location in Jardine Hall and to provide parking near the Rhatigan Student Center in an effort to increase utilization of the facility. The parking garage is being built with proceeds of a revenue bond issue. The bonds will be repaid over 20 years with revenue from the parking fund. The parking fund receives revenue from parking permits and parking citations. In the fall of 2012, WSU launched a master planning process that engaged the WSU community in the task of imagining the future of the main campus. The master plan was presented to the Kansas Board of Regents in 2014. The master plan called for three parking garages on campus, with the first garage to be built on the southern edge of campus. The initial phase our new parking system, NuPark, is operating as designed. We will continue adding features to enhance parking services for all of our customers. If you have a suggestion for improvement, please email it to WSUParking@wichita.edu. Complaints received by parking services are the lowest in years, with the only recurring complaint is that students are parking in faculty lots. Based on data, that is correct. In a six week period in the fall semester, over $80,000 in citations were issued. Citations are issued electronically; you will no longer see paper citations on windshields.

Troy Bruun
 
What requirements are going to be necessary with regard to making campus and our courses more accessible in the future? Why are we being asked to make these changes?
We are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to provide equal access to employment, educational programs, and activities for persons with disabilities. To be in full compliance with the law, we are in the beginning stages of a four-year plan to provide accessibility to all websites, web-based applications, Learning Management Systems (LMS), and instructional materials. Accessibility means that individuals with disabilities are able to independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services within the same timeframe as a person without a disability, with substantially equivalent ease of use. As we move forward with implementing our compliance plan, faculty and staff will be provided training and information on ADA requirements and development of accessible instructional materials.

Linnea GlenMaye
 
What is the ratio of advisors to students at WSU and how does that compare to other universities?

Ratios over the past three years (2013-2015, measured each fall) are 499:1, 507:1, and 495:1 respectively, with the College of Business as high as 749 and the College of Fine Arts as low as 218 students/adviser. A comparison to WSU peers is not available. Based on NACADA 2011 National Survey of Academic Advising (Carlstrom, 2013), the median caseload of advisees per full-time professional academic adviser is 296. By institutional size, the median individual adviser caseloads are 233, 333, and 600 advisees for small, medium and large institutions, respectively. WSU falls somewhere between a medium and large institution, which would make its overall adviser ratios in line with this data. However, we agree some academic units need additional resources to help address high student/adviser ratios.

David Wright

If the answer to your question doesn't appear here, please email president@wichita.edu.