Office of the

University Writing and Reading Board

The University Writing and Reading Board (UWRB) is located under the Office of the Provost, meets monthly (or as needed), and consists of individuals committed to the improvement of the critical reading and writing skills of UMKC students, the teaching of writing, and UMKC’s writing culture.


About the University Writing and Reading Board

The UWRB promotes writing and reading across the curriculum at UMKC. Guided by best practices and UMKC assessment data, this diverse group of instructors, staff, and administrators supports the professional learning of all faculty in the teaching of writing and reading.

Thomas Ferrel and Henrietta Rix Wood, UWRB Co-chairpersons via email:

  • Jason Alston, University Libraries
  • Keichanda Inger Burnett, Multicultural Student Affairs
  • Antonio Byrd, English Department
  • Stephen Christ, Honors College
  • Julie Collins, Academic Support and Mentoring
  • Crystal Doss, Department of English
  • Thomas Ferrel, UWRB Co-Chair; ASM, Writing Studio
  • Lance Godley, School of Dentistry
  • Margaret Kincaid, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
  • Steven Melling, Communication Studies
  • Alexis Petri, Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor - Faculty Affairs
  • Alice Reckley, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature
  • Aaron Reed, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
  • David Thurmaier, Conservatory
  • Omiunota Ukpokodu, School of Education
  • Henrietta Rix Wood, UWRB Co-Chair; Honors College

The board sends invitations to join, reviews any requests to join, and elects its own chair(s). Personal communication and dialogue are key components of UWRB recruitment efforts. The UWRB includes the following ex-officio members: Director of Composition and Director of the Writing Studio. All members of the UWRB are voting members.

Individuals from (though not limited to) the following units may be members of the board or may be non-member consultants to the board: Academic Advising, Composition, University Libraries, and the Writing Studio.

The duration of UWRB service terms are open. At the beginning of the spring semester, board members communicate with the UWRB whether they intend to serve on the UWRB during the next academic year. The UWRB then reviews its membership together and collaboratively decides its recruitment needs to maintain a diverse membership in three senses:
  1. The UWRB strives to reflect the diverse student population at UMKC and is guided by the Chancellor’s Diversity Council’s Working Definition of Diversity.  For more information, visit
  2. The UWRB strives to have at least one member from each of UMKC’s academic units. The UWRB strives to have at least four to six members representing each of the following general academic areas: (1) Education and Social Sciences, (2) Humanities and Arts, and (3) Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Applied Sciences.
  3. The UWRB seeks representation of faculty teaching writing at the lower- and upper-division undergraduate level, in writing-intensive classes, at the graduate level, and within various disciplines.

  • Promote reading and writing across the curriculum and support the professional learning of faculty in teaching reading and writing at the undergraduate and graduate level. Professional learning aligns with best practices and is responsive to our assessment data.
  • Maintain and update writing intensive (WI) course guidelines, approve WI courses proposed across the campus, and review or help assess such courses as needed or requested, including transfers of similar courses from other institutions.
  • Review assessment reports of student reading and written communication, such as the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), and general education written communication courses.
  • Maintain the UWRB website, especially the WI archive, providing reading and writing teaching resources for faculty across campus.

The Campus Writing Board (CWB) existed in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) for many years as a subcommittee of the A&S Curriculum Committee with appointments made by the Dean. The Director of Writing across the Curriculum was the founding chair, and the CWB included faculty members representing Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences. At its December 5, 2011, meeting, the CWB became a university-wide board located under the Office of the Provost and changed its name to the University Writing and Reading Board. The UWRB created and supervised the launch of the RooWriter Writing Assessment in September 2013 and advised the RooWriter Coordinator until the RooWriter was discontinued in Summer 2020.