Farewell from Lynda Spire
Assistant Dean of K-State Global Campus and Founder of WorldWide Wildcats Newsletter
On April 10, I am retiring after 28 years with Kansas State University Global Campus. When I started, technology was in its infancy, and at the time we didn't know we were making history or that the results of our efforts mirrored a sea change in higher education. What a magnificent journey it has been to today!
Kansas State University and the Division of Continuing Education (now K-State Global Campus) launched the first online distance courses and announced our first hybrid degree in 1996. We had little experience, not many resources for guidance and were launching these programs during a time of great skepticism directed at online learning. With supportive leadership, enthusiastic trailblazing faculty members, excited IT staff members and an eager K-State Global Campus team, we forged ahead and created the robust distance program the university offers today. There are now 70 programs available to the 9,700 students served by K-State Global Campus each semester.
While campus-based students are using distance courses to complement on-campus offerings and more efficiently complete degrees, many of you are true distance students who rarely, if ever, come to campus. Many of you are working full time and raising families while completing degrees.
As an adult learner myself, I embarked on a master's degree while working and raising my one-year-old daughter. My journey was hard and at least once every semester, I decided to give up! However, I persevered the old-fashioned way — hiring a babysitter and showing up for daytime, night and summer classes to complete my goal. Unlike you, I had no distance options! I'm glad you now have the opportunity to complete your work at a distance, and I salute all of you and admire your efforts. Keep striving along because it is worth it to walk across the stage or participate in our virtual commencement at the end of the journey!
I have loved being a part of the campus team that has been so interested in the success of our students. We have all poured our energy and best efforts into providing services, courses and programs to help each of you succeed. I leave K-State Global Campus with the knowledge that all of you will go into the world and make it a much better place. Good luck and farewell to all of you!