UMKC Forward Updates

Growing our excellence and financial stability
UMKC campus

Launched in May 2020, UMKC Forward is a comprehensive and collaborative plan to achieve growth and excellence for Kansas City’s university. The program includes ideas and exploration by a broad-based group of faculty, staff, students and community members.

In March, UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal rolled out the UMKC Forward plan, which included investments in five key areas: Student Success, Faculty Development, Research Excellence, Career Expansion and Community Engagement. University work groups have been busy and share the following updates.

Student Success: Professional Mobility Escalators

The signature Professional Mobility Escalators™ program is a unique, trademarked system of personalized support and services unlike anything being offered across the U.S. It is designed to propel students from their academic studies to good-paying careers.

  • Mako Miller, M.A.Ed, will lead the PME. Miller, who started her new role on July 6, will be working on all aspects of program development and engaging with the faculty working groups to learn about current practices and where program development is needed. The process will continue through the academic year in preparation for the official launch in the fall 2022 semester.
  • The hiring of an assistant director of Career Preparedness position was approved. A search will begin in the fall 2021 semester. This position will be involved in the development of one of the five core PME experiences, career guidance and development.
Faculty Development: Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence

A new Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence, or CAFE, will feature a comprehensive program of mentoring, development opportunities and resources to support, attract and retain high-quality and engaged faculty.

  • Three of four appointments have been made for leading the pillars: Molly Mead, Teaching and Learning; Alexis Petri, Research and Creativity; and Lorie Holt, Career Progression, Leadership and Faculty Life. The appointment of a lead for the Service and Engagement pillar is in progress.
Research Excellence

To reach the goal of doubling research expenditures by 2028, UMKC will invest in building up research capacity and infrastructure, identifying high-impact research collaborations, training and mentoring researchers as well as investing in faculty hiring.

  • UMKC has planned for and budgeted to hiring new positions in FY22:
    • Graduate Fellow to provide logistic support for large scaled interdisciplinary grants.
    • Faculty Fellows to provide narrative writing bootcamp in summer and each semester.
    • Pre-Award staff member.
    • Post-Award staff member.
    • Research compliance staff member.
Career Expansion

UMKC will expand TalentLink, adding a robust offering of badges and certificates alongside high-quality professional, online and continuing education opportunities meeting in-demand needs for individuals and the companies they work for.

  • UMKC is currently recruiting for a director of TalentLink.
  • $250,000 in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds have been allocated to TalentLink.
New Academic Structure

Starting in fall 2022, UMKC will have three new academic units among its 10 schools: the School of Science and Engineering; the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; and the School of Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences.

  • Jen Salvo, Allen Rostron and Mark Nichols have been named faculty facilitators of the work groups.
  • Summer preparation work includes Resource Investment Model (RIM)/budget modeling and the creation of FAQ documents for faculty, staff and students related to scholarships, fees and advising, degree requirements and more.
  • A fall check in is scheduled for the week of Aug. 16.
Published: Jul 12, 2021

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