Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Faces for the New Year

For the New Year, we wanted to introduce the new people in our office: Interim Vice Provost for Research William Morgan, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Cindy Pemberton, and Faculty Affairs Specialist Rebecca Edmundson. We asked them to talk about their previous work experience and their new positions, and here are their responses:

William Morgan (Bill)
I came to Kansas City in 1989 from the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans to join the newly founded School of Biological Sciences at UMKC. I was attracted by the fact that I could continue my research but also expand my interactions with undergraduate and graduate students. Currently I am Professor Emeritus in the School and continue to do some teaching and research as well as serving on review groups for the National Institutes of Health and the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

I was very excited when Provost Hackett offered me the opportunity to serve as Interim Vice Provost for Research. The research activities at UMKC have been increasing, and the future prospects are promising. It is often not fully appreciated how important a role the personnel of the Research Office have in providing efficient and positive support for the researchers at UMKC, and I am committed to continuing the past excellent service of the office. I am also committed to exploring ways to improve operations and enhance the resources available for research at UMKC. The financial circumstances are far from ideal, but that is no excuse for not seeking improvements now and planning for the future. Finally, this position enables me to refresh and expand my acquaintances with colleagues here at UMKC as well as to interact with researchers in the entire Kansas City area. I have already met with many old friends and had the chance to make some new ones.

We all face challenges for 2009 and beyond. I believe that given the strong leadership of Chancellor Morton and Provost Hackett, and given the hard work and determination of everyone at UMKC to excel, we will emerge from these hard times a better university and a stronger research community. I am eager to get on with it.

Cindy Pemberton
I have recently returned to the University of Missouri – Kansas City faculty after spending the last 8 years at Missouri State University. While at Missouri State University, I served as the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services, an American Council on Education Fellow and in the Provost’s office leading the development of the university student success initiatives and overseeing several aspects of student academic support services. I am currently serving as the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and serving as the co-chair of the strategic planning subcommittee on Undergraduate Programs/Student Success. The university has made a commitment to expanding our undergraduate programs and to improving the success of our students, which I enthusiastically support! My immediate primary responsibilities will be associated with working to enhance and to expand our undergraduate programs, while continuing to facilitate the ongoing work in academic affairs. I am looking forward to working with Chancellor Morton, Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost Hackett, the faculty, the students and the staff in pursuing excellence as a premier urban university. Everyone has been very welcoming and helpful during my transition. I look forward to working with everyone in our campus community to provide an excellent educational opportunity for our students.

Rebecca Edmundson (Beci)
I am the new Faculty Affairs Specialist for the Provost Office/Academic Affairs. My primary duties are to assist Vice Provost, Dr. Ron MacQuarrie, in streamlining processes and procedures regarding the recruitment, hiring, training and development, promotion, and tenure of UMKC’s faculty and scholars. If you have questions or concerns regarding any of these items, please direct them to me via phone (2721), email ( or campus mail (350 AC). I also processes all academic hiring documentation (including Additional Pay and Extra Compensation requests) submitted for Provost signature. I transferred to the Provost/Academic Affairs Office in October 2008 with over 11 years experience in personnel, payroll, and scholarship support from the UMKC School of Computing & Engineering.

We welcome Bill, Cindy, and Beci and look forward to continuing to work with them in the new year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

UMKC Gives Back

“As the cold winds blow, literally and metaphorically, I thought the following news might be warming,” said Peter Witte, Dean of the Conservatory of Music and Dance. Charles Robinson and Ryan Board delivered funds totaling $1,314 and four barrels of canned goods to Harvesters. The funds and food were collected as part of their Sixth Annual Choral Concert called “A Season for Giving”. A cooperative effort with Visitation Catholic Church, the December 6th benefit concert attracted more than 800 people to learn about Harvesters Community Food Network and celebrate the season.

We at the Provost Office were touched by this news and asked other academic units what they have been doing to keep joy of giving alive. Here are some of the replies. We hope that they will also keep you cozy in this winter weather.

UMKC Friends of the Library sponsored a food drive in support of Harvesters Community Food Network. Friends board members kicked off the drive by bringing contributions to their December 2 board meeting. Collection bins then were placed at the entrances of the Miller Nichols and Health Sciences libraries during finals week. Library faculty and staff closed the event by bringing donations to their annual holiday potluck luncheon, Dec. 11. Three barrels of nonperishable food and household items were collected.

At the Bloch School of Business holiday party this year, a collection for Harvesters gathered $150, which is equal to 750 meals.

The Computer Science Electrical Engineering department in the School of Computing & Engineering partnered with US FIRST and hosted a middle school robotics tournament at Liberty High School on December 14.

In the School of Education, the faculty and staff recently collected donations for Plaza de Niños at the Guadalupe Center. The total from faculty and staff donations came to just under $600.

At the School of Dentistry, the single biggest effort has been the kick off of the Miles for Smiles program in the Olathe School District this past semester. This Reach funded project represents collaboration between dental hygiene faculty and students and four Title 1 Olathe Schools to provide preventive services to un-served or underserved students ages 5-14. The program goals are to provide preventive dental care every six months, improve students' overall knowledge about oral health, and reduce the proportion of children and adolescents who have untreated dental decay in primary and/or permanent teeth.

Students in the DH 4220 Community Oral Health Field Experiences class visited and provided dental hygiene care for a diverse group of children. Over 450 children in four Central City Catholic Schools received oral health education and fluoride varnish applications during the fall semester. Dental hygiene students also educated and applied fluoride varnish to over 300 children with diverse health issues including those who are hearing impaired, disabled and autistic. These programs were offered at the Sherwood Center, Kansas School for the Deaf and Special Olympics. All of these programs were conducted as part of service learning experiences for the students and were supervised by dental hygiene faculty.

The UMKC School of Pharmacy chapter of the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) had a number of events this holiday season to help give back to the community. The group organized a challenge between each class year as well as the faculty and staff to see who could collect the most non-perishable items to be donated to Harvesters Community Food Network. The drive collected more than 850 non-perishable food items! ASP also organized another class competition to collect items to be donated to Soldiers Angels, an organization that puts together care packages to be mailed to soldiers in the U.S. military. The classes were able to collect enough items for five full care packages.

Throughout the year, faculty, staff and students at the UMKC School of Nursing contribute their time, energy and expertise to numerous community service projects and initiatives. Recently, faculty and students worked with the Visiting Nurse Association to administer free flu shots to members of the community; the UMKC chapter of the Student Nurses Association sponsored a very successful food drive for Harvesters; and Dean Lora Lacey-Haun spearheaded an effort to collect toys and other gifts for the Sheffield Place Christmas Store (Sheffield Place is a transitional-living program for homeless mothers and their children).

In years past the School of Graduate Studies did a Secret Santa gift exchange amongst themselves. In view of the current economic situation they decided this holiday season to provide a gift to a family in need through the Salvation Army. They were given a family of six and in order to provide properly for this family they wanted to open it up to others. Employees from the Provost office and the Finance office joined in their efforts and raised a total of $362 plus individual items. They were able to get everything on their list plus a little more. Excited and proud of this result, they plan to do it again next year.

-Thanks to everyone who replied with information about gifts to the community.

In picture: Quincy Bennett Johnson, Constance Mahone, Sherenna Clinton, Teresa Crew and Alphia Curry pose with the holiday gifts donated by UMKC employees to the 2008 Salvation Army Adopt-A-Family program.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hooding Help for You

Do we need to remind you that Commencement is this Friday? Are you feeling nervous about your part in the ceremony? We in the Provost Office are delighted to share with you a little video that may ease your anxiety. Thanks to the Technology Learning Lab and the School of Education you too can learn how to properly hood your PhD candidate.

Now we know that you are an established professional in your field of expertise. But does mean that you were ever trained or have done the research on how to hood a PhD candidate? Just because you were recently or in the last half century hooded by your advisor does not mean that you know how to hood the next generation of hoodees.

How embarrassed will you be when you’ve mentored your advisee for years upon torturous years and at the very pinnacle of sending your masterpiece off into the great blue yonder you fail to follow the proper protocol?

See the website. Watch the video. The best defense for awkwardness is the pursuit of knowledge.

-Written by Julie Kohlhart, Graduate Assistant in the Provost Office and hopeful that her advisor will know the proper hooding procedure when that fateful graduation day someday finally arrives

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Report from FaCET

The Provost is proud to support the Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching (FaCET) and is pleased to call attention to its achievements and progress. FaCET is a service program in its fourth year. Faculty pioneered and driven, the program continues to operate with faculty at the helm: Director Dr. Stephen Dilks, a full-time member of the English Department, works closely with two "Faculty Fellows," Professors Cindy Amyot, Director of Distance Education and Faculty Development at the School of Dentistry, and William Everett, Associate Professor in Music History and Musicology. Bob Schubert, who teaches classes on software applications, coordinates the calendar of events and runs the Teaching with Technology committee. And Muffy Guilfoil, an I Ph D student in History and English, organizes the FaCET library and leads the Student Advisory committee.

The FaCET office is located in room 122 of the Miller-Nichols Library. The foyer has comfortable seating and an inviting mini-library with education-inspired art on the walls. Faculty are welcome to stop by to borrow books, to chat about teaching and learning, and to experiment with new and unfamiliar classroom technologies on FaCET's fully equipped ILE station. Faculty are also invited to suggest topics for formal and informal seminars and presentations. Contact Steve, Bill, Cindy, or Bob with enquiries.

On a modest budget the center has expanded from seven events with a total of 112 attendees in Spring 2005 to thirty-nine events with a total of 551 attendees in Spring 2008. Each year FaCET hosts a celebration of Teaching and Learning. In 2009, the 3rd Annual Spring Symposium is focused on “Teaching Environments”; faculty are invited to submit proposals for presentations, posters, and roundtable discussions.

Since Spring 2005 FaCET has hosted over two hundred seminars on issues including Academic Assessment, Blackboard and other classroom technologies, Identity Politics, Academic Freedom and Diversity, Promotion and Tenure, Experiential Learning, International Teaching, Interdisciplinary, Library Resources, Writing to Learn, Urban Literacies, Online Courses and Teaching Large Classes. See FaCET’s web-site for the current "Calendar of Events" and “Faculty Resources.” Write to Stephen Dilks( with suggestions for programming.

In addition to the web-site, information about FaCET is available in “Facets of Teaching and Learning,” the newsletter distributed at the beginning of fall and spring semesters. If you have any comments about the newsletter or if you'd like to contribute an article on any aspect of teaching and learning, please contact Steve Dilks.

Premiering this fall, "Teaching Circles" is a program designed to connect teachers interested in sharing ideas about classroom practice. Unstructured, independent meetings with no report requirement allow free brain-storming, solicited constructive critique, and sustained professional support.

The Teaching Enhancement Grants program (TEG), initiated in Fall 2006 with matching funds from Academic Deans, has provided grant support for thirty-one projects. The grants support a range of projects including classroom research, curricular development, and all aspects of the scholarship of teaching and learning.

FaCET support for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) also includes collaboration with faculty at other institutions locally and nationally. The Center supports faculty attendance at national and international conferences and, on April 25, 2009 FaCET will host the Greater Kansas City Annual SoTL Symposium.

In the future FaCET is planning to expand its connections with students and the community through more extensive work with the Student Advisory Committee and "Serve to Learn," an on-campus initiative designed to connect students and community leaders with faculty who provide service-learning opportunities as part of their curriculum. The new Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Cynthia Pemberton, is already committed to working with the "Serve to Learn" committee.

-Written by Bibie M. Chronwall, Ph.D, Vice Provost, Faculty Development, and Stephen Dilks, Associate Professor, Director of FaCET

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More Highlights of Fall 2008

As the semester begins to wind down, we can look back on some of the highlights:

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s production of Clay, “a one man hip-hop musical loosely based on Shakespeare’s Henry IV” moved to New York’s Lincoln Center Theatre for the LCT3 program. LCT3 is a new program which is devoted to producing work by up-and-coming playwrights, directors and designers. In collaboration with Eric Rosen, the artistic director of the KC Repertory Theatre, Matt Sax, who is the writer and sole actor, is the first artist to have been chosen for the program. Participants in the UMKC New York Alumni Reception, including Dean Karen Vorst, Troy Lillebo, and Curt Crespino, attended Clay at Lincoln Center. Clay was seen by a reviewer of the New York Times on the same night (see the article in the New York Times here ).

Another journey we have embarked on this semester is work towards a UMKC Decision Theatre. A Decision Theatre is state-of-the-art tool which can be used for collaboration between disciplines and promote interaction with the community. A Decision Theatre at UMKC would join computer technology with research expertise in order to project 3-D images on a 360 degree image screen. You can take a tour of Arizona State University’s Decision Theatre and you can read more about the work towards the vision of creating a Decision Theatre at UMKC in the University News.

School of Law professor, Pat Randolph, has been honored with the National Friendship Prize for his long term work in real estate law as a visiting professor at the Peking University. The National Friendship Prize is considered the most prestigious award in China that is given to foreigners. Present Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao presided over the ceremony honoring Randolph.

We have also been honored with grants that further our vision to become a model urban research university and contribute to our goal to strengthen resource base and financial capacity.

  • In the Department of Oral Biology, David Eick, Ph.D. received a grant approaching $1.7 million from the U.S. Department of Defense for his work on the Consortium for Bone and Tissue Repair and Regeneration.
  • Anil Kumar, from the School of Pharmacy, received a grant of almost $2.3 million for his work on Methamphetamine and AIDS in a Non-Human Primate Model.
  • Glen Jacobs, of the Center for Academic Development, received funding for the Jumpstart program, which matches UMKC student mentors with children in preschool from low-income families.
  • Kathy Whited, in the School of Education, received multiple grants from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for the UMKC Professional Development Center, which works toward high quality professional development for educators.

We are excited to see what the rest of this semester and the beginning of the new semester will bring.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Strategic Planning Committee

We have created a Strategic Planning Committee website in order to communicate the history, ongoing activities, and future of the planning process for UMKC. On the website you can view reports that provide background to the planning process, and you can examine strategic plans of the various units. Minutes from the meetings of the steering committee and the subcommittees will be posted as they become available. We encourage you to view the website for regular updates and we are open to receiving your comments by using the “Contact Us” link on the website.

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee is made of students, faculty, staff and community members in an effort to include voices from the various entities that comprise UMKC. Below is a list of the individuals who are serving on the steering committee (which are also listed on the Strategic Planning Committee website):


Meetings of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee have been scheduled through February, 2009. Sub-committees are being formed now and will include:

Economic Development
Diversity/Campus Climate
Life and Health Sciences
Visual and Performing Arts
Undergraduate Education/Student Success
Urban Mission/Community Engagement
Science and Technology

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Technology Bytes

During one of September’s Faculty Senate meeting, a request was made to purchase a few Vista/Office for Dummies books and make them available through the IT Liaisons – particularly in the College of Arts and Sciences. So we requested a short tutorial and purchased at least one copy of the Vista/Office for Dummies books for each IT Liaison to loan out. We also looked at what our most common Vista and Office questions are.

Below are links to the proposed MS Office and Vista FAQs and to more training materials. Marilyn B. Reisenbichler, Director of Support Services, is also working with Kevin Bailey, Director of Desktop Technologies at the University of Missouri to see if they are willing to let us link to more of their training materials.

Microsoft Office 2007 and Vista FAQs and More Training Materials

As the fall term is starting to draw to a close please keep in mind important dates in regard to Blackboard.

Important Dates, Information, and Directions for Users of Blackboard

Finally, we would like to point out a new tool that is linked to the UMKC homepage. Thanks to Vishal Kurup’s work, we now have the Calendar of Events. The Calendar consists of several sub-calendars that feed into a central calendar using a program powered by Trumba.

Using this tool you can:
· Submit events (and provide a brief description if the title/tag line is not clear)
· Choose what type of events you are interest in (i.e. academic related, arts & culture, lectures, meetings, etc.)
· Click the events you are interested in and add them to your own electronic calendar
· Print out the calendar, subscribe (it can place the calendar in your Microsoft Outlook), or add it as a RSS feed

Individual departments, units/schools, and offices are able to request a sub-calendar for their website.

-Mary Lou Hines Fritts, CIO and Vice Provost for Academic Programs

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Update on Accreditation

UMKC is in the midst of a vigorous self-study, an activity that all accredited institutions of higher education must undertake every ten years. It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the self-study. It is required for us to maintain our regional accreditation from the North Central Association's Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Why is regional accreditation so important? Are there not specialized accrediting bodies for various disciplines, especially the professional schools? There are, but for any of our units—Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Education, Business, Pharmacy, the Conservatory, or any other—to retain accreditation in their disciplines, UMKC has to be regionally accredited. Moreover, institutional accreditation facilitates transfer of credit, ensures our eligibility for numerous government grants, and is important for our graduates.

Regional accreditation requires the active participation of the entire UMKC community, including all constituents. HLC has specified five criteria that will be key to its current evaluations of universities. We have formed a Criterion Committee for each of these criteria:

1. Mission and Integrity
Co-chairs: Tom Poe, Professor of Communication Studies, and Paul Shang, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

2. Preparing for the Future
Co-chairs: Barbara Glesner-Fines, Professor of Law and Larry Bunce, Director of Institutional Research

3. Student Learning and Effective Teaching
Co-Chairs: Marcus Iszard, Associate Professor and Director of Assessment, School of Pharmacy, and Ron MacQuarrie, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research

4. Acquisition, Discovery, and Application of Knowledge
Co-Chairs: Peter Eaton, Associate Professor of Economics, and William Truog, Professor of Pediatrics

5. Engagement and Service
Co-chairs: Leo Morton, Interim Chancellor, and Margaret Brommelsiek, Interim Chief of Staff to the Chancellor

A Steering Committee, broadly representative of the campus, coordinates the activities of the criterion committees, each of which is also broadly representative. The criterion committees will draft segments of the self-study which the Steering Committee will edit and place into the completed self-study.

The HLC site visit will take place on the 12th to the 14th of October, 2009. The team will be put together specifically for UMKC. We anticipate that it will include members familiar with public, urban, universities as well as with professional schools and the various disciplines that are core to UMKC's campus mission.

It is important for all members of the campus community to be familiar with UMKC's mission, and to be able to discuss the manner in which their activities advance it. Our specific mission, adopted by the Board of Curators, is to lead in the life and health sciences; to deepen and expand strength in the visual and performing arts; to develop a professional workforce and collaborate in urban issues and education; and to create a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

Additionally, our campus has specific goals consistent with its mission: to strengthen resource base and financial capacity; to strengthen the core academic mission; to increase student success; and to improve the racial climate while increasing campus diversity.

We cannot be certain of the details by which the HLC team will conduct its evaluation. There have been instances at other institutions, however, when a team member would ask a student, a faculty member, or a member of the staff about the manner in which the institution pursues its mission. We all should be familiar with the institutional mission in any case, but now it is even more important than ever.

It is vital for us not only to achieve re-accreditation, but to continue to be accredited at the highest level. Please check our website periodically to keep familiar with our progress. You will find it at

-Written by Max J. Skidmore, Chair HLC Steering Committee
Curators' Professor of Political Science
Thomas Jefferson Fellow

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Promotion and Tenure at UMKC

This year we had an outstanding group of faculty members who were tenured and/or promoted. All of these individuals have had to meet very high standards of performance in teaching and scholarship and have demonstrated excellence and sustained achievements in their fields. I am very pleased with the outcome of this year’s review and proud to be a part of a university with such outstanding scholars and educators.

The promotion of faculty members and the granting of tenure are among the most important decisions made by universities. These serious decisions involve careful scrutiny of faculty performance by faculty committees, administrators, and scholars outside of the university. For new assistant professors on tenure-track appointments, the process of achieving tenure is a long one and usually involves a five-year period of teaching, scholarship, publishing, and service to the university before the tenure review process formally begins. In addition to annual reviews of performance, a departmental and/or school committee of senior faculty members will review the performance of assistant professors in their fifth year and make a recommendation on promotion and tenure. The recommendation of the committee or committees will be considered by the dean of the school/college who will conduct his or her own assessment and make a recommendation on the candidate. Additional reviews are conducted by a campus-wide committee and the Provost who will advise the Chancellor, who makes the final decision. This decision is usually conveyed to the candidate in the sixth year of the assistant professor’s appointment at the university. Faculty members who join the university as tenure-track associate or full professors are subject to the same scrutiny, although the probationary periods are shorter.

-Written by Ron MacQuarrie, Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies

Listed below are the names and titles of the tenured and promoted faculty for 2008:

College of Arts & Sciences

Barry Anderson, Tenure –Associate Professor
Peter Elijah Gowin, Tenure –Associate Professor
Jon David VanHorn, Tenure –Associate Professor
Jeffrey Rydberg-Cox, Promotion to Professor
Caroline (“Molly”) Davies, Tenure-Associate Professor
Tina Niemi, Promotion to Professor
Jie Chen, Promotion to Professor
James Sheppard, Tenure-Associate Professor
Clancy Martin, Tenure –Associate Professor

Biological Sciences

Michael Bryan Ferrari, Tenure-Associate Professor
John Laity, Tenure-Associate Professor
Michael O’Connor, Tenure-Associate Professor
Xiao-Qiang Yu, Tenure-Associate Professor
Sullivan Read, Promotion to Professor

Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration

David E. Kuipers, Tenure-Associate Professor

Conservatory of Music & Dance

Keith Benjamin, Promotion to Professor
Chieh-Chi (Scott) Lee, Tenure- Associate Professor
Joseph Parisi, Tenure-Associate Professor
James Snell, Tenure-Associate Professor

School of Dentistry

Reem N. Haj-Ali, Tenure-Associate Professor
Tanya Villalpando Mitchell, Tenure-Associate Professor
Pamela Overman, Promotion - Professor
Mary Walker, Promotion - Professor
Yong Wang, Tenure -(at Assoc. Professor (– no promotion)
Craig Whitt, Tenure (at Assoc. Professor ( -no promotion)

School of Education

Chrisanthia (Chris) Brown, Promotion - Professor

School of Nursing

Jennifer Lynn Hunter, Tenure – Associate Professor

University Libraries

Amitra Burdick, Promotion to Librarian IV
Diane Hunter, Promotion to Librarian III
Phil Johnson, Promotion to Librarian II
Buddy Pennington, Promotion to Librarian II
Wendy Sistrunk, Promotion to Librarian III

School of Computing and Engineering

Deendayal Dinakarpandian,Tenure-Associate Professor
Ganesh Thiagarajan, Tenure-Associate Professor

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hospital Hill Concerns

As Chair of the Faculty Senate, I often field suggestions and complaints from faculty (and occasionally staff members) across campus. Several weeks ago, after hearing several concerns from colleagues on Hospital Hill, I asked the two Senators from the School of Nursing if they would canvas their faculty colleagues from the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Dentistry. When they brought the list back, this was shared with the Faculty Senate and the Provost, Gail Hackett. She moved immediately to respond to the concerns for which we are all grateful. Over the years, I have learned that problems can be solved on campus by simply bringing them to the attention of the right people, who have the responsibility and the ability to fix them.

Below are items, ideas, and suggestions that would make life easier on Hospital Hill. I have tried to separate them into loose categories ….conceptual, safety, and practical.

-Written by Gary L. Ebersole, Chair, UMKC Faculty Senate


Question 1: Can we change the name of this campus to Health Sciences Campus? The term ‘hospital hill’ is really a location within the Kansas City area and not reflective of who we are. Then, we would have UMKC, with a Volker Campus and a Health Science Campus.

Response by Gail Hackett: We will initiate the formal process to change the name of the campus, but we want to ensure that there has been wide discussion. The Deans have suggested that we incorporate the Hospital Hill name into the new name, for example “The UMKC Health Sciences Campus at Hospital Hill”. Would that be acceptable? Ultimately whatever we decide upon needs to go to the Curators for formal approval.

Question 2. Can we get a map of the Hospital Hill campus (until we change the name) on the UMKC locator? Looking at the website (, there is only a grid of the Volker Campus.

Response by Mary Lou Hines Fritts: done

Question 3: The Health Science Building is not featured on the virtual tour of the campus. We have been here for over a year.

Response by Mary Lou Hines Fritts: done

Question 4: A Welcome Center or Student Union type of center (staffed) would provide a mechanism for prospective students (and parents) to tour this campus. This is a vital recruiting facility for the Volker Campus, and should be one for the Health Science campus (once we change the name).

Response by Mel Tyler: Tours of Hospital Hill for prospective students are currently coordinated through the UMKC Welcome Center. We are unable at this time to stretch current resources to have separate Welcome Center at Hospital Hill. However, we have developed a Campus Visit Day specifically for prospective students and their families to focus on the Health Sciences at UMKC.

Question 5: Additional financial aid personnel. We have one person and everyone believes she is overwhelmed. Additional help would be nice, especially during critical times.

Response by Mel Tyler: Due to budget restrictions, we have had to reallocate resources to cover both campuses and we are looking at ways to increase services during peak times. In addition, we have hired an assistant for the Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Suite, who is primarily supporting the financial aid coordinator at Hospital Hill. In order to meet this recommendation, we are open to partnering with the Academic Units to provide additional funding.

Question 6: In regard to the Records/Registrar office and a Cashier’s office.

Response by Mel Tyler: Currently, all Records & Registration functions can be completed on-line. All forms requiring student signatures may be faxed or e-mailed from a student’s UMKC e-mail account.

Response by Rick Anderson: Students can always make payment electronically through Pathways. We will look into the feasibility of offering peak time cashier services based on availability of a secured space and student demand.

Question 7: Presently, we have a counseling psychologist one morning per week. Additional help, especially during the afternoon/evening hours, would be appreciated.

Response by Mel Tyler: In order to meet this recommendation, we are open to partnering with the Academic Units to provide additional funding. This partnership would be able to provide additional designated, confidential and accessible counseling space. Hours would be determined by a needs assessment.

Questions 8: Split meeting locations between Volker and Hospital Hill. It seems we are always coming to Volker, when, in fact, parking is easier on this campus.

Response by Gail Hackett: We will encourage having meetings on both campuses as much as possible.

Questions 9, 10, 11:

9.Signage, including the address (2464) placed on the Charlotte side of the building. Our address is Charlotte, but there is nothing on Charlotte to state this. (When you try to mapquest the Health Science Building, we do not exist, so we are left giving the SOD address, and saying that we are across the street).

10. Signs like the medical school has, so parents and students know this is the schools of pharmacy and nursing.

11. Permanent signs within the Health Science Building which indicates where different department are. We currently have paper signs hanging.

Response to Questions 9, 10, and 11 by Rick Anderson: As a part of the Health Sciences Shell Space Completion, new exterior and interior signs are to be installed to address these areas. It will take awhile to procure and fabricate the signage, the issue will be addressed.


Question 1: An additional Emergency lantern on the south side of the parking lot. Presently, there is one on the far north side, which would be quite a walk if you were on the south side and needed help.

Response by Rick Anderson: It has been customary for both campuses to have no more than one emergency phone in a lot this size.

We can discuss the need for another if there are safety issues involved.

Question 2: Security checks on a routine schedule. The doors (in the HSB) do not close securely (an air-lock consequence), thus if people who leave in the evening do not make sure that the door closes securely behind them, the door is ajar.

Response by Rick Anderson: The door pressurization issue was predominate at building opening and for several months while we pursued a number of solutions. We have not heard of any complaints for several months. We are checking to see if this is still a current issue?
Currently police and security completes building checks (including exterior doors) twice per shift (6 times per day). Officers will also check a door if they see it is not closed.

Question 3: Better response from security. When one is locked out of the building, it takes awhile for someone to come, and frequently there is no one available at the police station. The medical school has security at the front door … can we get the same service?

Response by Rick Anderson: One officer is assigned to Hospital Hill during each shift which results in Hospital Hill receiving more police coverage per building than the Volker Campus. There is normally a security guard in the Police Substation during the first and second shifts and there are exterior cameras at the Health Sciences Building that are monitored 24/7. The Medical School pays for certain security guard services so they are available in their building.
We will follow-up and try to find out what the issues are concerning response time.


Question 1: There is no place for our students to study after 7PM, unless they are already in the building, or have access to the School of Medicine. We have one computer lab and it closes at 5PM (because the last bus leaves for Volker at 5PM). It would be nice to have something available later.

Response by Rick Anderson: The new Perk-Up restaurant in the parking structure will have extended hours and plans to provide lounge space and a conference room for students to study.

Question 2: MORE FOOD SERVICE! (Emphasis placed by those that mentioned it) Specifically, we would like quality food services, with options like the University Center offers. The café sits empty while Quizznos has a line during lunch.

Response by Mel Tyler: The projected Grand Opening for the Hospital Hill Café is October 20, 2008. The Café will continue to feature freshly-prepared, grab-and-go sandwiches, wraps, salads, sushi, and desserts PLUS a salad bar, pizza, and fountain beverages. Tentative operating hours will be 9am - 2pm Monday through Friday and will be re-evaluated after opening.

Response by Rick Anderson: The new Perk-Up restaurant in the parking structure is supposed to be open before the end of the calendar year. Their menu will include coffee, croissants, burritos, wraps, salad bar, potato bar, gyros, candy, ice cream, hot dogs, non-alcoholic beverages and other foods. They plan to have a large screen TV and internet access.

Question 3: ATM machine.

Response by Rick Anderson: Our ATM contract calls for a cash machine in the School of Medicine lobby, and that ATM was supposed to have been installed already. The machine will be put in now that the renovations of the lobby and classrooms have been completed.

Question 4: A Coffee-house with Wi-Fi. This might encourage intra-professional communication.

Response by Mel Tyler: The Hospital Hill Café will be wireless.

Response by Rick Anderson: See Item # 2 Above

Question 5: Student health services availability. Presently, there are no services available on Hospital Hill, requiring a trip to the Volker Campus if services are needed. (It was suggested that this service can be housed in the fitness center)

Response by Mel Tyler: In order to meet this recommendation, we are open to partnering with the Academic Units to provide additional funding. This partnership would be able to provide designated, confidential and accessible examination rooms and support staff. Hours would be determined by a needs assessment. Alternatively, the partnership could develop a triage health exam service with more severe cases referred on to the Student Health and Wellness Center.

Question 6: Presence of the parking and ID badge people would allow us to take care of those items without another trip to the Volker Campus.

Response by Mel Tyler: The ID equipment is costly and we currently only have the one office in the University Center. However, staff were available to update ID pictures earlier this summer (on Thursday, July 24th, Friday, July 25th, and Tuesday, July 29th) and we can certainly make them available at Hospital Hill periodically.

Question 7: The fitness center is only open two days a week (T-Th from noon to 6P). It needs to be open daily and beyond 6PM with shower facilities (so we look like professionals after exercising).

Response by Mel Tyler: The Swinney Recreation Center Annex has Phase II plans that are pending on floor reinforcement, but our goal is to add additional weight equipment and showers during the Spring Semester. Once these improvements are made, hours will be extended depending on demand.

Question 8: Maintenance on a routine schedule. There are doors in the women’s restroom with latches that have been missing for awhile and the doors in the men’s bathroom need a WD-40 treatment. The toilet flushing system is too slow. You can have your hands washed before it automatically flushes, with flushing before use not an uncommon situation.

Response by Rick Anderson: Do we know what building this is in? We have maintenance staff full time on the Hospital Hill campus, so these issues are picked up and addressed when they are reported.

Question 9: An ice machine for the Health Science Building.

Response by Gail Hackett: Units usually foot the bill for these types of things.

Question 10: Student learning /tutoring specialists.

Response by Mel Tyler: Supplemental Instruction is currently provided to students on Hospital Hill (Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing and Dentistry) in courses such as Organic Chemistry, Human Biochemistry, Cell Biology, and Anatomy. The courses offered differ from semester to semester. The Center for Academic Development is equally interested in further developing student support services on Hospital Hill.

Jeff Traiger is the Liaison for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management services for our students at the Hospital Hill campus. He meets with the Academic Unit liaisons twice a month and works directly with students to ensure that their needs are met. Jeff is located in the new Health Sciences Building Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Office, Suite 1417. He may be reached at or at 816-235-5660.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Publication in Science

CONGRATULATIONS to one of our law faculty, Christopher Holman, who published an article in Science, one of the most prestigious journals in the world: Holman, C.M. (10 October 2008). Trends in human gene patent litigation. Science, 322, 198-199.

UMKC is Participating in the COACHE Survey of Junior Faculty

Junior faculty on the UMKC campus will be receiving a survey soon on tenure-track faculty job satisfaction. This survey research is part of a national program called COACHE – the Collaborative On Academic Careers in Higher Education, under the direction of Cathy Trower and Richard Chait of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. For more information about this study go to

The purpose of the survey is to learn how early-career faculty view specific institutional policies here at UMKC, including our tenure and promotion process, and to gauge current job satisfaction, compared to tenure-track faculty at peer institutions. All survey responses will be confidential; COACHE will publish only aggregate results.

COACHE will provide our campus with their summary analyses, as well as the confidential unit-record database, stripped of names and e-mail addresses. COACHE will explore and analyze broad patterns in the data, to assist our campus review of existing academic policies, and to assist with planning and developing improved tenure processes across campus. We will report back later on overall trends and what we will be doing as a campus to improve our support for junior faculty.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Faculty Teaching Scholars

The New Faculty Teaching Scholars (NFTS) is a UM System-wide, year-long program designed to support new faculty. Faculty members in their first four years in the UM System are eligible to participate. During three retreats professors learn how to build an academic portfolio, how to balance teaching, research and scholarship, and how to develop courses and become effective teachers. The retreats also afford abundant opportunities to network among colleagues from all four campuses.

The UMKC 2008-2009 cohort of scholars comes from seven academic units and represents a dozen disciplines.

This year's scholars are:

  • Jon Anderson, School of Medicine
  • Carolyn Barber, School of Education
  • Teresa Blanc, School of Nursing
  • Lauri Blanch, School of Medicine
  • Kun Cheng, School of Pharmacy
  • Derrick Hodge, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Jae Jung, Bloch School of Business and Public Administration
  • (Walter) Daniel Leon-Salas, School of Computing and Engineering
  • (Shirley) Marie McCarther, School of Education
  • Sookhee Oh, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Larson Powell, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Dana Tulodziecki, College of Arts and Sciences

See their pictures and profiles here

They make a commitment to attend each retreat and to participate in seminars and discussions that focus on strategies to support student learning, engagement, and success at UMKC’s Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching (FaCET). Their sparse free time is spent on a wide variety of exciting activities.

The first NFTS retreat for this academic year took place October 2-3 in Jefferson City and was led by Dr. James Groccia. Groccia directed the Program for Excellence in Teaching at University of Missouri - Columbia before accepting the position as Director of the Biggio Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning at Auburn University in Alabama. He is an internationally acclaimed educational leader and author, and a dynamic workshop leader.

Here are some comments offered by UMKC participants about the retreat:

…..“The retreat was very helpful, I learned a lot, especially about effective teaching techniques … eager to apply the Seven Principles."

“…a great opportunity to reflect on my academic portfolio…. I needed the 'sanctuary' apart from my routine to think and write about my research, teaching, outreach, and service roles…”

“…surprised by the emphasis to actually get things done while we were there. I also did not expect it to be as social as it actually was. And I met more people than I anticipated which was very nice.”

“…I am so impressed that the UM- system seems to know something that some major eastern universities do not: new faculty are hungry for the opportunity to improve their teaching. Actively working on teaching skills requires both mentoring and some time away from our daily duties. I am glad that I came to a university that understands the need to make this worthy of investment!"

-Written by Bibie Chronwall, Vice Provost for Faculty Development

Want to know more about NFTS? Read this month's newsletter, U Matters

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Provost Announcement: Cynthia Pemberton appointed Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

I am pleased to announce the selection of Cynthia Pemberton as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. During the 2007-2008 academic year Pemberton served as Acting Associate Provost at Missouri State University and between 2001 and 2006 was Dean of MSU’s College of Health and Human Services. Her academic career has also included ten years at UMKC as a faculty member and in administrative roles. Pemberton will begin her duties as Vice Provost on November 17, 2008.

As MSU’s Acting Associate Provost for Student Success, Pemberton provided leadership for the development and implementation of strategies to increase student engagement with the intent of increasing student retention, graduation rates and student learning outcomes. In her role as Dean at MSU, she led an initiative to revise the college strategic plan, reflecting a commitment to multidisciplinary research, teaching and service. Under her leadership, the school established the Center for Multidisciplinary Health Education, Research and Service.

In addition to serving as Chair of the Department of Exercise Science and Physical Education while at UMKC, Pemberton was Interim Associate Dean for the School of Education. Working in partnership with then Interim Dean Linda Edwards, Pemberton developed a proposal for a new cooperative Ed. D. with the University of Missouri-St. Louis, which was approved.

During 2006/2007 AY, Pemberton participated in the American Council on Education (ACE) Fellowship Program, the nation's premier higher education leadership development program for preparing senior leaders to serve American colleges and universities. As an ACE Fellow, Pemberton was mentored by Chancellor Robert Hemenway of the University of Kansas.

“Dr. Pemberton brings to this position both extensive experience and a passion for promoting student success,” said Dr. Ron MacQuarrie, Dean of UMKC School of Graduate Studies and chair of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Search Committee. “Her experiences at Missouri State University, the University of Kansas, and at the national level will be valuable to UMKC in pursuing our goals of expanding learning opportunities and enhancing the quality of student life on campus.”

I commend the work of Dean MacQuarrie and the Search Committee for helping to select an outstanding Vice Provost for Academic Affairs from an extremely competitive slate of candidates.

Gail Hackett
Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Congratulations to the winners of the UMKC Trustee Awards

Trustees Faculty Fellowship Award
Trustees recognize the very best faculty, who have distinguished themselves through scholarship and creativity. The recipients are expected to serve as role models and to mentor and encourage other faculty members and students in pursuit of academic excellence. Nominees must be full-time, regular faculty members who have been employed by UMKC for at least three years prior to the date of nomination and who have demonstrated exceptional scholarly achievements at UMKC.

The 2008-2009 winners for the Trustees Faculty Fellowship Award of $15,000 are Sullivan Read from Biological Sciences and William Everett from the Conservatory.

Trustees Faculty Scholar Award
The purpose of the Faculty Scholar Award is to recognize faculty members who show exceptional promise for outstanding future research and/or creative accomplishments. Candidates demonstrate exceptional scholarly achievements at UMKC for their stage of professional development. These awards are available exclusively for faculty members at the rank of Assistant Professor who have been employed in this position for at least two years prior to the date of nomination.

The 2008-2009 winners for the Faculty Scholar of $5,000 are Michael O'Connor of Biological Sciences and Reza Derakhshani of Computer Science and Engineering.

N.T. Veatch Award for Distinguished Research and Creative Activity
The purpose of the N.T. Veatch Award is to recognize distinguished research and other scholarly or creative activity accomplished by UMKC faculty. All full-time, regular faculty members who have been at UMKC for at least three years are eligible to be nominated.

The winner of the 2008-2009 NT Veatch Award is William Everett of the Conservatory.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Computer Security

For the past several weeks, the Faculty Senate and Information Services have been working on an issue related to computer security. As many of you are aware, maintaining a secure, but flexible computing environment for students, faculty and staff is challenging. Security threats flow through email, software applications, and the web. There are no silver bullets that will protect university systems, and as a campus we must maintain multiple layers of security. It is incumbent upon all of us to work together and keep university information secure.

One of the ways that university information is kept secure is through the timely application of software updates and security patches. Unfortunately, these are taking long periods of time to deploy because computers are left logged in and running for multiple days (sometimes weeks), which prevents software updates/patches from being installed.

Currently, when software updates/patches are deployed timing of installation typically is:

· In 30 days – 54% of campus computers are updated
· In 60 days – 60% of campus computers are updated
· In 90 days – 65% of campus computers are updated

In order to reduce impact to end users yet streamline the installation of software updates and keep systems secure, a campus-wide PC maintenance window for software deployments is being proposed. This will allow updates to be deployed overnight when most computers are not in use. It is recognized that not all computers – especially research lab computers – can have updates/patches installed this way but the vast majority of computers on the campus can.

Faculty Senate and Information Services are asking faculty and staff for their feedback on the proposed options, time and implementation timeline as outlined below. Please view the proposal and let us know your thoughts. To provide feedback on this proposal, please email Carole McArthur ( or myself, Mary Lou Hines Fritts (, by Monday, October 6th, 2008.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Welcome and Hello

I am very pleased to announce the beginning of a new vehicle to enhance our internal university communication: the Provost’s Blog: Weekly Updates. The purpose of the blog is to inform everyone about what is happening as well as to explain any current issues or events in or related to Academic Affairs about which people may have questions. Our goal is to give you a better idea about what is going on.

Our hope is that you will use this tool to stay informed, and in return, you will give us feedback. You can make comments on the posts and you can also place suggestions for the Academic Affairs Office in the Suggestion Box below. You may leave your email address for us to respond or we can place your comments anonymously. In either case we look forward to hearing from you!

To begin our online conversation, I would like to point out that during the first week of September, UMKC hosted the University of Missouri Curators meeting on our campus. Our Interim Chancellor, Leo Morton, presented some information about our current enrollment figures (see the Chancellor’s presentation here), our campus master plan, and we also gave the Curators a tour of both of our campuses and some of our facilities.

The UMKC Faculty Senate also hosted President Forsee and the Curators at a breakfast during the Curators meeting and several of our faculty made presentations showing us in a very favorable light. Burton Dunbar, Chair of Art and Art History, spoke about partnerships we have with various organizations in Kansas City; we saw a film clip of a collaboration between Conservatory Music and Dance faculty, Jane Solose and Paula Weber, and Conservatory Dance students; and Department of Geosciences faculty members, Jimmy O. Adegoke and Caroline Davies, made a presentation about their research (see it here).

At Convocation on Monday September 15, Leo Morton and I extended a welcome to all faculty, staff and students to the new academic year, and three of our Theatre students, Samra Teferra, Mark Thomas, and Grant Prewitt performed monologues (see the video and the slide show).

Please join Leo Morton and me for a UMKC Town Hall Meeting. We want to listen to your concerns and answer your questions. We will be on the Hospital Hill Campus this Thursday, September, 25th, from 10 to 11 a.m. in the School of Medicine, Theatre A. Then this Friday, September 26th, from 10 to 11 a.m. we will be on the Volker Campus at the University Center, Pierson Auditorium.

Again, I look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and I hope that you will use the Weekly Updates blog to keep in touch with what we’re doing in the Academic Affairs Office.