Thursday, April 22, 2010

UMKC Strategic Plan Implementation - Ideas and Suggestions Needed

The UMKC Strategic Plan provides a guide for all to follow as UMKC moves into its next decade as Kansas City's University. Creation of the plan involved a year of self-study by UMKC, faculty, staff, students, community members and friends, and is now at a point where the first phase of the plan’s implementation has been developed.

The implementation of the Strategic Plan will be presented at two Town Hall meetings :

• April 28, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m., Room 4307 HSB, Hospital Hill
• April 29, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m., Plaza Room, Administrative Center, Volker campus

At these meetings, the University community will have the opportunity to offer ideas and suggestions and to be involved in the next important steps in the process. We invite you to come, participate and give us your feedback.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Be a Donor

Mel Tyler, UMKC Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, was diagnosed with stage 3 multiple myeloma in April 2009, and wants to increase awareness about the need for bone marrow donors. His physicians have indicated he will likely need a donor stem cell transplant in the future and at the present time there is no match for Mel in the national registry. Registry members from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds are especially needed. Mel was told that because he is African American, there was only about a 15% chance that he would find a match.

You can provide financial assistance or be a bone marrow donor by joining the registry or making a donation in Mel’s name. Joining the registry is as simple as getting a cheek swab to see if you may be a match. UMKC will be hosting two upcoming “cheek swab clinics”:

Friday, April 23, 2010 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) at the UMKC School of Dentistry, Room 434, Health Sciences Campus
• Tuesday, April 27, 2010 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) in the University Center, Room 106, Volker Campus

(Please bring personal identification and contact information for two family members or friends who would know how to reach you.)

To meet registry guidelines you need:
• To be between the ages of 18 and 60
• To be in overall good health and meet medical guidelines
• Live in the US or Puerto Rico
• Not be in the US military

Thursday, April 15, 2010

University of Missouri South African Educational Program

24 years ago, the University of Missouri System began a relationship with the University of the Western Cape (UWC) located just outside of Cape Town, South Africa. Although started as a school only for “colored” students during apartheid, UWC became one of the intellectual centers of the anti-apartheid movement. Almost one third of President Mandela’s initial cabinet were faculty members of UWC. Over the past 24 years there have been 437 faculty exchanges between our two schools involving over 40 academic disciplines. UWC has made remarkable progress and is now the 7th ranked university in all of Africa and 5th in South Africa in terms of rated researchers.

Every year 8-10 faculty members travel either to one of the Missouri campuses or to Cape Town to participate in this faculty exchange. Although there have been numerous teaching collaborations over the years, increasingly most of the recent grants have been given to fund research collaborations. The grants run up to $10,000 and are awarded by the University of Missouri South African Education Program(UMSAEP) committee consisting of 3 representatives from each of the UM campuses. A fuller description of the application process and reports of past grants can be found at our website. The application must be submitted to the campus international director by July 15th and awards are generally made by Sept.

We hope that you might come to a TelePresence session at the Administration Center 210 on April 22nd at 2:00 where we will explain the application process and answer any questions you might have about the UM/UWC faculty exchange program or the SA Partnership Program.

UWC has achieved excellence in a number of research areas. In particular, UWC:
• Is the only place in Africa undertaking comprehensive work on the hydrogen economy, researching the use of hydrogen instead of fossil fuels as an energy resource.
• Is the African leader in bioinformatics. The South African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI) is one of a small group of comparable top-level centers worldwide, and hosts Africa’s only Cray supercomputer. SANBI conducts cutting-edge research in key diseases facing Africa.
• Is a leader in biotechnology, with a special interest in the genetics of life forms that thrive in extreme conditions, and their implications for our understanding of microbial molecular ecology. UWC’s newly completed Life Sciences building is Africa’s finest.
• Holds the UNESCO Chair in Geohydrology and plays a leading role in networks across Africa in water resource research and training.
• Has the largest and most productive School of Mathematics and Science Education in Africa.
• Is home to The International Centre for Indigenous Phytotherapy Studies (TICIPS), a UWC-University of Missouri project exploring the interface between Indigenous Knowledge systems and empirical science.
• Has three World Health Organization (WHO) collaborating centers for capacity development, teaching and research in Dentistry, Pharmacology and Public Health.
• Has a Center for Humanities Research exploring humanities theory about social and cultural transformation in Southern Africa and the continent.

For more information about UWC and a description of its faculty departments, see

The UMSAEP committee also sponsors the South Africa Partnership Program. Each year, the committee awards 3 or 4 grants a year to UM faculty members who want to engage in a research project with a South African partner or partners. If there are a multiple partners for the project, then one of them can be a faculty member at UWC.

-Rodney J. Uphoff, Elwood Thomas Missouri Endowed, Professor of Law, University of Missiouri & Director, University of Missouri South African Education Program and Linna Place, Director, International Academic Programs, UMKC

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Summer or Fall Textbook Orders, Submitt by April 15th

With the end of the spring semester quickly approaching, the UMKC Bookstores are asking that any outstanding summer or fall textbook order(s) be submitted by April 15th.

The success of the end of semester textbook buyback program is completely contingent on faculty submitting textbook orders on time. The textbook buyback campaign starts April 26th and runs through May 7th. During this time, the Bookstores pay our students 50% of the new textbook price on any title that is being reused by a faculty member for the summer or fall semester. These textbooks are then sold as used copies which save the students 25% or more compared to buying a new copy. If we don’t have an order submitted for a title, we can’t buy that book from our students. The early part of May is also the time that our textbook wholesalers’ inventories of used books are at their highest levels. Every day we don’t have a textbook order is another lost opportunity for us to purchase used copies for our students.

Over the past two academic years we’ve been able to save the students over $1.8 million on their textbooks because of the increase in buyback and used book sales vs. buying new textbooks.

Please help us continue to save our students the most money possible on their summer and fall course materials by submitting your textbook order(s) now.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Graduate Education Week at UMKC

Governor Jay Nixon has designated April 19-24, 2010 as Graduate Education Week in Missouri. UMKC will be hosting several events that celebrate excellence in graduate education:

Saturday, April 10 – Preparing Future Faculty Seminar: “Faculty Roles Seminar”
Presenters will represent a variety of types of institutions of higher education in 201 Haag Hall.

Friday, April 16 – Community of Scholars
The Interdisciplinary Doctoral Student Council will bring together faculty and students to celebrate a “Community of Scholars,” a culminating annual activity where the outstanding faculty member nominated by interdisciplinary Ph.D. students and selected by the IDSC governing board is announced and honored.

Monday, April 19, 5pm to 6:30pm - School of Graduate Studies Awards Convocation
Last year, 10 types of awards were given presenting more than 50 graduate fellowships with a total value of over $700,000. Learn more about the awards.

Wednesday, April 21 – Health Sciences Research Day

Kay Barnes, former mayor of Kansas City, will be the keynote speaker, Noon to 1:00 pm. Students and faculty of the schools of Pharmacy and Nursing will showcase their research with poster presentations from 1:00 to 4:00pm in the Health Sciences Building.

Saturday, April 24, 9:00am to 2:00pm - UMKC Health Sciences Wellness Fair

The Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy are teaming up to deliver a variety of health screenings at the new Health Sciences Building on the UMKC campus. All services are free!

School of Graduate Studies Awards Convocation – Monday, April 19, 5pm to 6:30pm

2010 will be the 21st year of the School of Graduate Studies fellowship program. Last year we gave ten types of awards, presenting more than 50 graduate fellowships with a total value of over $700,000.

Superior Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards:
The School of Graduate Studies gives an award recognizing superior graduate teaching assistants. Faculty and departments are asked to nominate outstanding graduate teaching assistants. There are normally about six recipients each year. They are recognized at our Annual Awards Celebration and receive a small monetary award.

Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award:
One thesis is chosen each year to receive this award. Each academic unit offering the master’s degree with a thesis option may nominate one thesis for the annual competition. There are usually around 60 theses completed each year at UMKC and anywhere from 5 to 10 of those are nominated for the award. The selection is made by a group of faculty representing the Graduate Officers committee and the Graduate Council. The winner receives a $250 award and their thesis is then nominated for consideration in the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Distinguished Thesis competition. This competition is held in the fall to meet the deadlines of the MAGS award. Brittney Scarborough from the department of Criminal Justice and Criminology is the winner for 2009 for "Assessing the Relationship Between Neighborhood Structure, Perceived Disorder and Fear of Crime." Her thesis advisor was Toya Like, Ph.D.

Outstanding Dissertation Award:
One award will be given this year. In some years we have given up to three awards to dissertations representing research in Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and the Humanities. This year there were 36 dissertations eligible for the award and 5 were nominated for the award. The winner of the Outstanding Dissertation Award for 2009 is Dr. Rebecca Seyferth an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. graduate from English and History, for "Experimentation and Transformation: The Dramas of Percy Bysshe Shelley Reconsidered." Her dissertation advisor was Stephen Dilks, Ph.D.

The fellowship categories and their awards are as follows:

Minority Master’s fellowship:
Up to six each year. The award is a 6-hour fee remission for the following Fall and Spring semesters.

Minority Doctoral fellowship:
We give 4 or 5 each year. The award is an 18-hour fee remission for the academic year and a $11,500 stipend.

Chancellor’s Doctoral fellowship:
This is a 2-year award and we give 10 new ones each year. Each unit offering a doctoral degree and each discipline in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program may nominate one student for this award. Of those nominated, only 10 will be selected. The award is an 18-hour fee remission for the academic year and a $11,500 stipend.

Preparing Future Faculty fellowship:
This is a 3-year award targeted toward exceptional students who aspire to become college or university professors. We give up to 5 new ones each year. The award is an 18-hour fee remission for the academic year and a $11,500 stipend. PFF fellows are paired with a faculty mentor and participate in a wide variety of teaching excellence seminars and mentoring activities throughout their 3-year fellowship tenure. These seminars and activities are also open to all other doctoral students at UMKC.

Arthur Mag Graduate fellowship:
This award was established in the early 1980s through a generous contribution from the Edward Swinney Trust of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation. The selection criteria include high academic achievement, evidence of good citizenship and commitment to public service.

These criteria were established to reflect traits possessed by Mr. Mag who was a long-time community leader and benefactor of the University.

There are three new Mag scholars each year. The award is open to doctoral students from the College of Arts and Sciences, law students in the LLM program, and master’s and doctoral students in the Bloch School of Business and Public Administration.
Recipients receive a $15,000 stipend and up to 18 hours of fee remissions.

Dissertation Research fellowship:
Between 5 and 10 of these awards are given each year to students who are the final stages of their doctoral programs. These fellowships carry a stipend of $15,500 and up to 18 hours of fee remissions.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

In Appreciation

Since it is Staff Appreciation Week at UMKC, we thought it would be important for our Provost and Vice Provosts to say a few words:

“Staff play a significant role in making UMKC the dynamic and active urban university that it is by providing seamless support. Their efforts are apparent in working towards a campus that places students at the center, advances the sciences and the arts, and embraces diversity, research and economic development. I greatly appreciate staff’s continual input and accomplishments, and have the privilege to see how their hard work benefits faculty, students, and the greater community each day.”
Gail Hackett, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

“When we look at what keeps the University running and able to serve and educate students, the staff are the linchpin. Without the staff at UMKC, I could not do my job. Thank you all so very much!”
Mary Lou Hines Fritts, Vice Provost and CIO

“I feel very fortunate to work at UMKC and that good fortune is due to the outstanding staff members with whom I have the privilege to work. Their knowledge, dedication and hard work makes UMKC a great place to work and a great university for our students.”
Ronald A. MacQuarrie, Vice Provost and Dean, School of Graduate Studies

“I appreciate our staff because they are willing to seek ways to improve in how they support our faculty, students and colleagues and will ‘go the extra mile’ to help!!”
Cindy Pemberton, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs