Thursday, June 17, 2010

Our New Address

The UMKC Provost Blog - Weekly Updates has moved!
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40 Years of Communiversity, 40 Years of Service to the Kansas City Community

UMKC’s Communiversity provides non-academic, non-credit educational opportunities to our Kansas City community. With over 300 different classes in everything from art and dance to financial management and home buying, the Communiversity attracts over 7500 students per year. Communiversity boasts being the largest adult education program in the country with all volunteer teachers with classes offered for as little as $8 each.

Opportunities for free education strengthen society. When teachers and students exchange skills and ideas, these experiences feed and benefit our community. Since 1970, Communiverstiy has provided this service and it continues to grow and change in order to serve the diverse needs of today’s learners.

If you haven’t taken a Communiversity class yet, it’s a great time to take up a new hobby or brush up on something that interests you. There are still summer classes available—sign up now.

Also, don’t miss the 40th Anniversary and Communiverity Sign-up Party, on Tuesday, September 7, from 6-8 pm at the Writers Place, 6307 Pennsylvania. Free admission and snacks plus live jazz: Read more . . .

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Tour of Turkish Culture and Education

A delegation from UMKC recently returned from a trip to Turkey. We were hosted by an organization in the KC area called the Turkish Raindrop House. This organization promotes understanding and cultural exchange between the U.S. and Turkey.

We spent a week visiting Turkish universities as well as sites of historical and cultural importance including the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace, Cappodocia, Ephesus and more. Several Turkish families hosted us in their homes giving us the opportunity to talk at length about the life, culture and the educational system of Turkey. Our host families include longtime supporters of Turkish educational programming and institutions.

Opportunity for New Partnerships
Our delegation –which also included Provost Hackett, Dean Truman and Dean Blanchett—was deeply impressed by the evident commitment to higher education and desire to develop international citizens capable of engaging in meaningful dialogue with people throughout the world. As a result of the trip, we will engage our campus community and consider ways that we might develop academic and student exchanges and programming with Turkey.

Linna Place is the Director of International Academic Programs at UMKC

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Shared Services Initiative at the University of Missouri

The University of Missouri has begun its Shared Services Initiative. The purpose of Shared Services is two-fold:

1. It reduces duplication of effort in administrative tasks
2. It increases the effectiveness and efficiency of administrative tasks

As an example, the University of Missouri System hosts our learning management system Blackboard on system servers, but we manage the application at UMKC. This avoids duplication of services—in this case, server management—across our system of campuses. A shared services approach also looks for opportunities to re-allocate resources; money that we would have used on campus-hosted Blackboard servers can pay for additional ILE classrooms instead.

One of our biggest opportunities at UMKC to utilize Shared Services is the partnership between academic units and IT staff for academic unit servers. The IT staff takes care of security patches and operating system upgrades on academic unit servers and the academic units’ staff manages the software. This improves the efficiency of server maintenance as well as overall security.

The concept or goal behind Shared Services is to operate more efficiently and to streamline services so that they are improved and/or more cost effective. Shared Services provides the opportunity for us to partner with other campuses to carry out University business, particularly in the area of procurement.

Shared Services also impacts finance, procurement and human resources. More on this come . . .

Read more about the Shared Services Initiative:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The New Bb9: Blackboard gets a facelift, new features

UMKC has upgraded to Blackboard 9. The new interface has many improved features. In fact, most of the improvements were suggested by the faculty who use Blackboard.

The latest release allows instructors to:
• customize their site through drag and drop editing, inline editing and dropdown contextual menus
• provide one grade for all members of a group or assign individual grades to each group member
• give all or specific students an additional attempt at assignments
• set up sites so that students can now belong to multiple groups, create their own groups, create a group task list and manage all group work from within one group page
• receive notification when assignments, tests and surveys have been submitted (or not) and when discussion board entries are posted
• disable system announcements within a course site
• decide which modules are displayed on course homepage and control the organization of the modules

To find out more about the new features, download the Blackboard 9 Overview Guide. To find out when you can take a Blackboard 9 Guided tour or to schedule your own workshop visit the ITS Training Opportunities website.

[A special thanks to Instructional Technologies for sharing this information.]

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kansas Students in Eleven Counties Pay the Same Rates as Missouri Students

UMKC is Expanding its Metro Rate for Neighboring Counties

Beginning with the summer semester 2010, Kansas residents of Atchison, Douglas, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami, Osage, Shawnee and Wyandotte counties in eligible programs will now pay the same rates as Missouri residents.

Graduate students in eligible programs will also benefit from the new metro rate. Students pursuing majors or professional programs in the School of Dentistry, School of Law, School of Medicine or the School of Pharmacy are not eligible for the Metro Rate.

The Metro Rate applies to current students and will continue to be an attractive incentive for future students.

For more information see the Metro Rate website or contact UMKC Admissions

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Video and Slides from the Strategic Plan Implementation Town Halls

If you missed the Town Halls last week or would like to review the presentation on the Strategic Plan Implementation, the video is now posted on the Provost’s and Strategic Plan websites. We have also added the presentation slides from the Town Halls on the Strategic Plan website.

Join the discussion!
We encourage you to share your comments and questions about the Strategic Plan Implementation by clicking on the comments link below or by using the “Suggestions” box in the column on the right.