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 http://www.umkc.edu/accreditation.

-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 (http://www.umkc.edu/maps/), 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 traigerj@umkc.edu 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 http://www.coache.org/

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.