Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

Who We Are

UMKC is a unique urban research university.  Explore our history and learn more about our goals for the future!  Below are descriptions of what lies at the core of the University and links to find more information.

University Vision and Mission

Our Vision: to be a model urban research university characterized by signature graduate and professional programs; a dynamic undergraduate population; a highly diverse faculty, staff, and student body; and active engagement with the city and region.

Our Mission: to lead in the life and health sciences; to deepen and expand strength in the visual and performing arts; to develop a professional workforce and collaborate in urban issues and education; and to create a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

Strategic Plan

UMKC recently completed its Strategic Plan process, during which the university community developed six overall goals that support our vision and mission:

  • Goal 1: Place student success at the center.  To provide the optimal learning environment for all students: outstanding academic programs and experiences, seamless student support, and a vibrant campus community.
  • Goal 2: Lead in life and health sciences.  To attain national recognition for excellence in research, expand opportunities for clinical practitioner training and provide outstanding health care delivery.
  • Goal 3: Advance urban engagement.  To become a model urban university by fully engaging with the Kansas City community to enhance education, public health, the arts and economic development.
  • Goal 4: Promote research and economic development.  To produce world-class scholarship and creative activity, encourage entrepreneurship, foster innovation, increase technology transfer, and build relationships that create economic and workforce development.
  • Goal 5: Excel in the visual and performing arts.  To create excellent programs in visual and performing arts that are central to campus life and support Kansas City’s initiatives in entrepreneurship, urban education and innovation.
  • Goal 6: Embrace diversity.  To celebrate diversity in all aspects of university life, creating inclusive environments, culturally competent citizens, and globally-oriented curricula and programs.
  • Goal 7: Increase sources of revenue to replace declining state funding.

Find out more about UMKC's Strategic Plan.

University Leadership

The University of Missouri--Kansas City is part of the University of Missouri System which is led by a President and the Board of Curators.  The UM System includes the University of Missouri--Columbia, University of Missouri--St. Louis, and Missouri University of Science and Technology.

UMKC's leadership includes:
  • Leo E. Morton, Chancellor
  • Barb Bichelmeyer, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
  • Mel Tyler, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
  • Susan Wilson, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Curt Crespino, Vice Chancellor for Advancement Services
  • Sharon Lindenbaum, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration

Find out more about UMKC's leadership.

Find out more about the University of Missouri System.

History and Traditions

If it weren’t for William Volker, a local philanthropist who still had some money left during the Great Depression, UMKC might not be here today.  In 1930, Volker donated a 40-acre site near 51st and Rockhill Road to establish the University of Kansas City (or KCU), which opened in the fall of 1933 with 17 faculty members and 264 students.  Classes were held in the old Dickey mansion, which is still used as office space and classrooms (now called Scofield Hall).  In 1963, the University of Kansas City became a part of the four-campus University of Missouri System. Today, UMKC is home to over 14,000 students and more than 1,300 faculty members.

The idea for having a kangaroo as the mascot Mickey&Kaseyfor the University of Kansas City (UMKC’s predecessor) began more than a year before the marsupial actually appeared on the scene. An article, “Kangaroo may go to KCU ... Student Editors Believe University Should Have a Symbol,” appeared in a September 1936 edition of The Kansas City Star.  Will Mansfield, feature writer for the KCU yearbook, was quoted as saying, “The Kangaroo would be a good name for the debate squad, since there (was) no university athletic team.”  Interest continued to grow when the Kansas City Zoo purchased two baby kangaroos. Soon after, the first known drawing of the kangaroo appeared on the cover of the November 1937 issue of a KCU humor magazine.  Six months later, the cover featured the kangaroo with Mickey Mouse, drawn by none other than Walt Disney. 

Find out more about UMKC's history and traditions.


UMKC is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.  Our most recent accreditation process concluded in 2009, and our next process will be 2019.

In addition, specific undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs are also accredited by other governing agencies and organizations.  Notice of accreditation for each program can be found in the appropriate section of the UMKC Catalog.

Find out more about UMKC's HLC accreditation process.