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.

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