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