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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Apr 20, 2007    #063
Contact: John Allen
816-235-1585

NAACP and the University of Missouri-Kansas City work to improve diversity on campus

The University of Missouri-Kansas City chancellor and the Kansas City, Mo., branch president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that establishes a foundation of expectations and offers a tangible means for addressing racially-centered issues of concern within UMKC.

The MOU is the result of concerns shared by representatives of both UMKC and the Kansas City branch of the NAACP.

With facilitation by the United States Department of Justice, UMKC and NAACP have extensively reviewed several issues brought forth by the recommended audit findings, including continuing dialogue with constituent and on-campus groups. Those issues include minority student, faculty and staff recruitment and retention; minority student support services; availability and awareness of programs, guidance and activities focused on diversity topics; grievance procedures for all employees and students; contract compliance and equal employment opportunity practices; and enhancing the existing Black Studies Program.

The MOU documents existing status of issues, provides expectations and, where feasible, timelines for changes that will improve the environment of UMKC.

“This MOU is a step in the right direction to address the concerns of the community and to improve the racial climate at the university,” said Anita Russell, Kansas City, Mo., branch president and national board member, NAACP. “The NAACP commends UMKC for its willingness to come to the table, and through serious dialogue, create a living document that will help bring about change for the better.”

“I am grateful to the NAACP for stepping forward and working with us to move our environment in a deliberate and positive direction,” said Guy H. Bailey, UMKC chancellor. “This MOU represents a solid commitment to change between community and institution. It is a significant milestone to our continuing work to excel as a multicultural university.”

The Memorandum of Understanding is available at http://www.umkc.edu/chancellor/ode/.

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 and life sciences, and urban affairs.

 

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