Bob Simmons, associate vice chancellor of administration, has announced that he plans to retire at the end of February 2021.

Over his 25 years of service to UMKC and the UM System, Simmons has become one of the most recognized people on campus. He and his Campus Facilities Management team touch virtually every aspect of university operations.

Over the years, he has led dozens of capital projects on all four UM System campuses, but has shared that he was particularly proud of the student-led process that culminated in the opening of the new UMKC Student Union in 2010. Both that building and the Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, two of the most recent capital projects Simmons led, are LEED Gold accredited for following environmental building strategies.

Simmons also worked very closely with Jacqueline Kelly at the UM System on design and construction supplier diversity programs and on the development of the highly successful Minority Business Enterprise/Women’s Business Enterprise Advocacy and Mentoring Program.

“As I think about Bob, what strikes me is his authenticity,” said Sharon Lindenbaum, vice chancellor, finance. “We have all seen it in his commitment to our people and our mission, especially our students. His passion for his work and strong leadership also stand out.”

Chancellor Mauli Agrawal praised Simmons for his dedication to the university.

“Whenever a problem or issue arises with our physical plant, any time day or night, Bob somehow always manages to be among the first on the scene,” Agrawal said. “I’m not the first UMKC Chancellor to sleep soundly knowing that Bob Simmons is just a phone call away.”

Simmons was hired as the UM System university architect in 1995. He came to UMKC in 2005 as director of facilities management. He was later promoted to assistant vice chancellor and then associate vice chancellor. He has been recognized with multiple honors including:

  • Design-Build Institute of America Leadership Award, 2018
  • Mid-America Minority Business Development Council, nominated for CEO of the Year 2008 and awarded Buyer of the Year 2012 and 2013
  • Rotary Club of Kansas City Plaza Vocational Service Award, 2008
  • UM System President’s Award, 2001

With his departure two people will report directly to Lindenbaum on an interim basis: Michael Graves, CFM director of facilities operations, and Bill Haverly, CFM director of planning, design and construction.