Gov. Mike Parson Visits UMKC for Roundtable on Higher Ed and Workforce Development

The governor discussed "building the foundation" for important partnerships
Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal sits with Governor Mike Parson at a table

Governor Mike Parson visited the University of Missouri-Kansas City to host a roundtable discussion with greater Kansas City community leaders on higher education and workforce development. It's the first time this governor has visited campus.

The governor’s discussion focused on the importance of partnerships for workforce development between K-12 institutions, higher education and the private sector.

“When I first became governor, improving infrastructure and workforce development were the two main goals. I knew the only way I could do that was to partner with K-12 and to partner with higher education,” Parson said. “We are building the foundation of that right now.”

C. Mauli Agrawal, UMKC Chancellor, noted several programs the university has to help bridge those gaps, including a new signature program - Professional Career Escalators. Launched this year, the escalators allow students to include applied experiences to their degree programs, like internships or service learning.

“From the time they start classes, this program will help students focus on their career dreams, and not just getting a degree. That will drive workforce development long-term,” Agrawal said.

Some members of the roundtable consisted of:

  • C. Mauli Agrawal, UMKC Chancellor
  • Jenny Lundgren, Provost
  • Kevin Truman, Dean of the School of Computing and Engineering
  • Mary Anne Jackson, Dean of the School of Medicine
  • Steven Haas, Dean of the School of Dentistry
  • Charlie Shields, Vice-Chair UMKC Board of Trustees and CEO of University Health
  • Scott Boswell, President of UMKC Board of Trustees and President of Commerce Trust West Region
  • Ramin Cherafat, Chair of the Greater KC Chamber and UMKC Board of Trustees
  • Joe Reardon, CEO Greater KC Chamber
  • Kimberly Beatty, Metropolitan Community College Chancellor
  • Mark Bedell, Superintendent of Kansas City Public Schools


During his 2022 State of the State address in January, Parson released his budget recommendations for Fiscal Year 2023, which included a recommendation for a 5.4% increase in the core budgets of high education institutions and is proposing $265 million for capital projects across all four of the University of Missouri institutions.

“I would like to thank you for your steadfast support of higher education and understanding of the critical role that public universities play in preparing the workforce,” Agrawal said.

If the total amount of Parson’s recommended funding for higher education is included in the budget, Agrawal said UMKC plans to use its portion to help expand the university’s Health Sciences District, which is home to the School of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Health Studies and Pharmacy.

Combined with UMKC’s partnership with University Health that is already in place, this project would bring billions of dollars to the region, create jobs, propel research and solidify our place among the region’s top healthcare institutions.

“This will make UMKC the premier academic health center,” Agrawal said.

Published: Feb 9, 2022