UMKC Fills Two Key Leadership Positions

Welcome Provost Lundgren and School of Medicine Dean Jackson
An aerial view of the UMKC campus and Kansas City

University of Missouri-Kansas City Chancellor Mauli Agrawal announced appointments to two key leadership positions at the university.

Jenny Lundgren, Ph.D., will serve as provost and executive vice chancellor, the chief academic officer of the university. Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., will serve as dean of the UMKC School of Medicine, known around the world for its innovative six-year B.A./M.D. program. Both have been serving in those roles on an interim basis; “interim” will be dropped from their titles May 1.

Typically, even when they have strong internal candidates, major research universities conduct a national search for senior leadership positions. The unprecedented impact of COVID-19 demanded a change in approach.

“In this challenging time, I must balance that tradition against the immediate need for stable, innovative leadership,” Agrawal said in a letter to campus April 28. “Drs. Lundgren and Jackson have led with intellect and heart during the pandemic, and I have full confidence that they will continue to capably help us navigate through the uncharted territory ahead.”

Portrait of Jenny Lundgren

During her first three months in the provost role, Lundgren has demonstrated a deep capacity for working through complex issues with partners across UMKC and the University of Missouri System.

She also will continue to serve as dean of the School of Graduate Studies until further notice. Prior to these roles, Lundgren was a well-published researcher who served as a department chair of Psychology and as an associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. She joined UMKC in 2006. 

“I appreciate greatly the trust and confidence Chancellor Agrawal has placed in me, and I will do my best to live up to it,” Lundgren said. “I am equally grateful for the guidance, support and wisdom my faculty colleagues have shared with me over the past several months, and hope to continue to be able to rely on such a valuable and rewarding collaboration.”  

Mary Anne Jackson portrait

Jackson has been leading the School of Medicine for almost two years. She is an alumna of the UMKC School of Medicine and a pediatric infectious diseases expert, affiliated with Children’s Mercy and internationally known for her research. During the current COVID-19 crisis, she is one of the six physicians statewide who is advising Missouri Governor Mike Parson. She is a frequently sourced expert for national publications. She joined UMKC in 1984.

“I am honored to serve as the dean for this medical school, which has been ahead of the curve in educating and mentoring physicians and health professionals for nearly half a century,” Jackson said. “I look forward to helping grow its research enterprise to improve the health of our community and beyond.”

Agrawal said he is postponing indefinitely plans to create a senior leadership position to oversee the deans of Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Dentistry on the Health Sciences Campus at Hospital Hill. He will review that idea once the university has moved past the challenges of the pandemic.

“I extend my heartfelt thanks to these two leaders for their contributions to UMKC as we continue to pursue our mission of excellence in learning, service and discovery,” Agrawal said.

Published: Apr 28, 2020

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