Office of the

Academic Innovation

On this page, you will find information about new program planning and development, steps to approval, forms, and contact information. You will also find information about how your program might participate in Missouri Online (eLearning). Please direct any questions about the new program process or this website to Laurie Ellinghausen, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Innovation, at


New academic programs are essential to fulfilling UMKC’s mission as an innovative urban research university that prioritizes student success. The need for new majors, minors, and certificates may arise from changing workforce needs that present opportunities to prepare our students for cutting-edge disciplines and careers. New programs also may respond to interdisciplinary synergies across academic units and departments, making way for methodologies and approaches that push the boundaries of current knowledge and offer unique educational experiences to students. Of course, new programs should always be considered as discovery leads to new knowledge that needs to be disseminated to society.  

The Academic Innovation initiative at UMKC seeks to inspire, grow, and support new programs at all stages of development. At the same time, we must also ensure that new programs serve the best interests of our students and the university by aligning them with strategic objectives and workforce needs, differentiating them from similar programs in the university system and the region, and building them in a way that promises financial sustainability. 

Under the leadership of the Provost, the Academic Innovation Council (AIC) brings faculty leaders, administrators, and staff professionals together to develop and implement such programs. Our policies and procedures encourage faculty to propose new programs in a way that is efficient, transparent, and strategic, thus making the best possible use of faculty time and expertise. 

The steps below outline the process for proposing new academic programs to the AIC.  In addition to AIC approval, these programs must also secure the approval of the relevant academic unit(s) according to each unit’s governance structure. The provost must approve any new program proposal, which may then also require the approval of University of Missouri Academic Affairs, the Missouri Department of Higher Education, the Higher Learning Commission, and/or the US Department of Education before being added to the UMKC Catalog. 

Please direct general questions about the process to Laurie Ellinghausen, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Innovation, at  

Academic Innovation Preliminary Work

Academic Innovation Process

Academic Innovation Roster