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.

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