Aug 25, 2006    #133
Contact: Nick Barron

UMKC nationally ranked as powerful community partnerTop 25 listing highlights University’s commitment to the greater Kansas City area

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) has been ranked as one of the top 25 “Best Neighbor” universities in the nation for its positive contributions to the community it calls home.

UMKC is listed alongside the University of Southern California, the University of Chicago and George Washington University for its efforts in strengthening Kansas City’s economy and improving its quality of life.

“This award recognizes that UMKC has taken its rightful place in Kansas City and is responsive to its underserved peoples, to its economic possibilities and to its educational needs,” UMKC Chancellor Guy Bailey said. “To us, this is only what an urban university should do.”

The rankings come as a result of a two-year research project by Dr. Evan Dobelle, president and CEO of the New England Board of Higher Education. Dobelle studied the economic impact and influence of universities and colleges on their local communities.

"During my research, I became quite impressed by the University of Missouri-Kansas City's devotion to its community,” Dobelle said. “Through programs ranging from local business incubation to improved urban education, UMKC clearly demonstrates that it is deeply committed to investing in and advancing the community. I can't imagine Kansas City without UMKC."

UMKC is a campus of opportunity serving as a pipeline of resources to Kansas City. Among its many programs and services:

Institute for Urban Education – A four-year undergraduate program that develops elementary and junior high teachers focusing on teaching math, science and literacy, this program specializes in training teachers for local urban schools.

Sojourner Clinic – Staffed by UMKC School of Medicine (SOM) students, under the supervision of SOM faculty, this free clinic has provided top-notch medical care to Kansas City’s homeless population for nearly two years.

Children and Family Legal Services Clinic – By pairing the resources of the UMKC School of Law with those in the local legal community, this clinic provides legal representation to the community’s foster children and their families.

Partnership for Smiles – Created to meet the total oral health needs of disadvantaged children and families in the greater Kansas City area, this program is staffed by UMKC School of Dentistry students and faculty, operates out of eight area locations and treated nearly 8,400 patients last year alone.

Community Music and Dance Academy – The Academy uses the national reputation and excellence of the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance to bring music and dance to the Kansas City community through camps, personal instruction and professional development.

Project Outreach – Through the use of games, role playing and student presentations, this program managed by UMKC School of Pharmacy students, annually teaches 300 Kansas City fourth graders the importance of staying away from drugs.

News articles on the “Saviors of Our Cities” ranking:

Colleges' community commitment: A meaningful measurement

Union College will take 'savior,' thank you

Campus voted 'best neighbor'

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban affairs.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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