Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Impressive Activities and Intellectual Resources

One of the most interesting and rewarding features of my new position as Interim Vice Provost for Research is the many opportunities for me to meet and interact with the UMKC community.

Some interactions are new, as my current duties take me to places and people on campus that, even after almost 20 years at UMKC, I had never been exposed to. One example is the Innovation Center and its Director, Maria Meyers. This Center at 4747 Troost operates with the Bloch School of Business and Public Administration to aid entrepreneurial and technological transfer activities in the community. Maria is chair of the Economic Development Strategic Planning Committee and is using her expertise to help derive plans to enhance the economic well being of the entire Kansas City area using the intellectual resources of the UMKC community. Another of Maria's activities is KCSourceLink which helps small businesses connect to the technical, educational, financial and marketing resources they need. This initiative has spread to the entire state of Missouri as MOSourceLink, which launched last September with 221 Resource Partners and is being extended nationally as the U.S.SourceLink network.

Some interactions are old, such as my renewed acquaintance with Dr. Betty Drees, Dean of the UMKC School of Medicine. Betty has been remarkably successful in enhancing the research stature of the School. An impressive group of faculty has been recruited, including the recent additions of Dr. William Lafferty, the Hicklin Missouri Endowed Chair , and Dr. Peter Koulen, the Sabates Missouri Endowed Chair. Both are tremendous assets for UMKC and for the Kansas City community. Dr. Lafferty stated in his University of Washington Website: "I believe that there are enormous opportunities to improve health. Most are based on ameliorating social problems such as poverty, racism, and violence. The greatest value from medical practice will come when all people have equal access to high quality primary care.” And Dean Drees said of Dr. Koulen “Dr. Koulen is an outstanding scientist, and his research leadership will allow the Vision Research Center to pursue its mission of understanding and preventing diseases that cause blindness. This is the type of research that translates new discoveries into improved health and well being in our community.”

These are only a few examples of the impressive activities and intellectual resources which UMKC brings to the community as part of its Mission as Kansas City's University.

-Written by William T. Morgan, Ph.D. , Interim Vice Provost for Research

If you would like to read more from Bill see our December 31, 2008 post.

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