UMKC Strategic Plan Meeting
Miller Nichols Library 303
April 16, 2009 - 3-4pm
Bonnie Postlethwaite convened the meeting to discuss and seek input for the UMKC Strategic Plan Draft.
She is serving on UMKC’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee created by Provost Gail Hackett in
October 2008. The committee members represent a broad cross-section of UMKC constituencies
including faculty, staff, students and community members. The Steering Committee charge was to
focus on the “big picture” for determining UMKC’s direction. Subcommittees were formed to gather
information on UMKC core missions and issues and report back to the Steering Committee. These
Life and Health Sciences
Visual and Performing Arts
Undergraduate Education/Student Success
Urban Visions/Community Engagement
Diversity Campus Climate
Sciences and Technology – (This has been rolled into other goals)
A number of major reports including the Blue Ribbon Task Force; “Time to Get it Right” and “Time to Get
Things Done,” were consulted by the Steering Committee in drafting the plan. A writing team also was
formed, with members of the Steering Committee, who worked with subcommittee chairs to bring
consistency to committee reports and create a cohesive draft plan of 6 goals with objectives. A number
of sample metrics, strategies and tactics have been suggested out of the subcommittee reports for each
Prior to this new Strategic plan, UMKC was operating under an interim plan, “UMKC’s Vision and
Strategic Goals,” put in place by former UMKC Chancellor Guy Bailey at the beginning of his tenure.
Dr. Bailey was mandated to align UMKC’s plan with the UM System plan. It was based primarily on
preceding plans and without wide input from the campus. UMKC has made significant progress in the
four major goals of this plan and now is updating and creating a long-term plan to aid in positioning
UMKC as a world-class institution. In addition, UMKC’s Accreditation process requires the institution to
have a current strategic plan in place.
The UMKC Mission Statement was not changed. UM System and UMKC Mission Statements are
approved by the Curators and require permission to make any changes. The Steering Committee made
only minor changes to The UMKC Vision Statement .
The Provost’s goal is to finalize the Strategic plan by the end of the Spring term 2009, (or within 2009
calendar year) to integrate this into implementation plans and to insure that individual campus units’
plans can be in line with UMKC’s Strategic plan. The series of UMKC Town Hall meetings with campus
constituents and community groups were organized to encourage feedback and to vet the draft plan.
UMKC Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives Discussion:
Goal 1. Place Student Success at the Center.
To provide the optimal learning experience for all students: outstanding academic programs, seamless
student support, a vibrant campus community, and engaging locally, regionally and globally.
Provide excellent academic programs that challenge all students to achieve at a high level.
Provide “high impact” educational experiences associated with student engagement and
o Greatly expand the SEARCH Program (Students Engaged in Artistic and Academic
Research) - (possible tactic for immediate action)
Provide academic experiences that empower all students to contribute to a dynamic and
complex world characterized by significant demographic and technological change.
Create a service model that allows a one-stop approach to meeting student needs (real and
Develop proactive systems and programs to support student success.
Observations - Goal 1:
There needs to be a push to recruit undergraduates. This goal is geared to building and
retaining undergraduates but lacks emphasis on recruitment.
Other goals are geared to graduate students. There is a general impression that UMKC is
concentrating on graduate students.
Undergraduate population is included in Vision Statement but the goals leave out the
undergraduates, or at least do not explicitly focus on undergraduates in the wording.
The SEARCH program should be greatly expanded.
An instructional/teaching component is not in the plan.
The sample metrics are very focused on undergraduates.
There could be better wording for “Place Student Success at the Center.”
Goal 2. Lead in Life and Health Sciences -To engage in cutting edge research, develop strategic
partnerships that enable translational research opportunities, and provide excellent interdisciplinary
education in life and health sciences.
Implement organizational and administrative strategies to create meaningful collaborative
partnerships with the Kansas City Life and Health Sciences research community.
o Appoint a Vice Chancellor for Research to coordinate Life and Health Sciences research
efforts and promote strategic partnerships. - (possible tactic for immediate action)
Establish a unified strategic approach to the UMKC Life and Health Sciences research mission.
Implement new Life and Health Sciences graduate, doctoral, professional and interprofessional
Improve research laboratory and administrative support services.
Enhance collaborative and cross-disciplinary research and educational programs within the
science and engineering communities.
Observations - Goal 2:
The Libraries could be inserted in this objective, “Improve research laboratory, and
administrative support services”, for example: “Improve research laboratory, library resources,
and administrative support services”
A lot of work is being done across the sciences and this goal gets at the problem of “colleges in
KU seems to be leading in publicity for the Life Sciences. A Vice Chancellor for Research is a key
position to upgrade UMKC’s profile.
Increasing enrollment is missing. Focus is on retention.
If the first “quick win” for the Lead in Life and Health Sciences is to appoint a Vice Chancellor for
Research, this goal will be extremely undermined. They have wanted this forever, and the
reason is simple why it never happened – there was no budget for this person for recruitment or
staff and all the other things such a person should expect to have to do the job. Not only that,
no one could decide what this person should be - a leader, a coordinator, and facilitator, etc.
Finally, while this has ebbed and flowed, faculty is always reluctant to see a new administrator
hired. (In fact, how would this be possible with the hiring freeze?)
Goal 3. Advance Urban Research and Engagement To engage with the local, regional, national, and
international community in partnerships that foster opportunity, innovation and sustainable
Increase Urban Research by enhancing the capacity of the Office of Research to attract funding
and develop new partnerships across units, schools and departments.
Support faculty research, teaching and service in the metropolitan area by connecting faculty to
community organizations, city and regional agencies, and local foundations.
Strengthen the educational pipeline from area high schools and community colleges.
Develop systems to increase access to UMKC's academic and professional resources.
Integrate students, faculty, staff, and services into the Kansas City community.
o Enhanced support for internships and service learning projects through a one-stop
office for student s also connecting with job placement. (possible tactic for immediate
Observations- Goal 3:
We have a department devoted to Urban planning in the Bloch School (Institute of Urban
Affairs) and the CAS Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design that do not seem
to figure high in the plan or the individual units in the plan.
The Geosciences need more visibility, UMKC doing more work on programs and sustainability
than other institutions in the state.
The goal, “develop systems to increase community members’ access to UMKC’s academic and
professional resources” may have very large library implications.
“Advance Urban Engagement” still is fuzzy to me – I did not come away from the Town Meeting
presentation with an “elevator talk”.
Goal 4. Excel in the Visual and Performing Arts To create excellent programs in visual and performing
arts that are central to campus life and support Kansas City’s initiatives in entrepreneurship, urban
education, and innovation.
Enhance UMKC’s reputation as a national leader in artistic excellence.
Enhance all students’ education through infusing the arts into campus life.
o UMKC arts events/education as part of UMKC’s freshman experience to increase
student success and cultural competence. (possible tactic for immediate action)
Collaborate with local and regional partners to provide community arts programming and
Demonstrate the relationships between artistic creativity, entrepreneurial innovation, and
Observations –Goal 4:
Disagreement that there should be a fine arts fee to students.
The goal definition needs to be more exciting and descriptive of UMKC’s role in the cultural
vibrancy and economic life of Kansas City to attract people to live and work here.
Publicity remains an issue for infusing UMKC arts recognition throughout Kansas City. Individual
faculty (but not the University) are recognized for contributing to the arts.
Work with the UMKC Belger Art Center has been a good example of creative use of art in
partnering with other units.
Goal 4 was very intriguing – it could make UMKC very special.
Goal 5. Embrace Diversity To celebrate diversity in all aspects of university life, creating safe
environments, culturally competent citizens, and globally-oriented curricula and programs.
Provide an environment where all students, faculty and staff feel safe to pursue their personal,
academic and professional goals.
Provide a diverse learning and life experience to create culturally competent citizens.
Recruit and retain a diverse campus community.
Ensure diversity initiatives are actively reviewed and owned by the University community.
o Create a Chancellor’s Advisory Board on Diversity with broad based constituent
participation to advise the Chancellor of diversity efforts, campus climate and
community perception. (possible tactic for immediate action)
Observations -Goal 5:
The use of the word “safe” is problematic as it implies that the urban campus location is not
safe. Suggested re-wording:
To create a diverse university environment where culturally competent citizens engage in
globally-oriented curricula and programs.
1. Provide a globally oriented setting where all students, faculty and staff are valued
for their diverse personal, academic and professional goals.
There may be a better way to word this to define safety in more psychological terms.
Diversity should infuse all the goals, is it necessary to have this as a separate goal?
Past studies on campus may help support the need for this as a separate goal.
May I embrace inclusiveness as well as diversity?
Goal 6. Promote Research and Economic Development To foster innovation, improve technology
transfer, produce world-class research, and develop partnerships that create economic development.
Expand the research enterprise.
Create cross-disciplinary research, graduate programs, and strong community partnerships that
support entrepreneurship, innovation and economic development.
Develop and implement effective tools to manage physical assets and human resources.
Build programs to develop the workforce to address current and future community needs.
Strengthen innovations within the science and technology communities to increase technology
transfer of intellectual property
o Develop a University-wide process for identifying, compiling and evaluating
technology transfer opportunities (White board to Boardroom). (possible tactic for
Observations- Goal 6:
There is no reference to increasing financial capacity which was a goal in the interim Strategic
It doesn’t deal with infrastructure, funding and resources (library, technology, facilities,
Goal 6 did not mention anything on increasing state dollars or financial support from the
General Strategic Plan Observations:
The new Student Center project and MNL expansion may help to recruit students.
Kansas City private school students may have more of a connection to UMKC by the time they
are ready for college (than public school students) if they have been here for classes or have met
professors. With the downturn in the economy, more students may consider UMKC.
The student base is the local community, putting resources into “campus life” is a lost cause.
More dormitories may help to retain students but may or may not attract new students.
More marketing and better publicity needed to focus on the great faculty at UMKC and the
areas in which we excel.
“Student First” does not seem to be in our actions, we need to be always thinking it.
We are concerned about library collections, facilities and other resources that did not appear in
the plan (Lab, technology) but are essential to accomplish all of the goals. This can be plugged
into the next level down in the plan but there is concern that they do not appear in the strategic
Is there a mechanism that will be used to ensure that the unit plans work together to achieve
this strategic plan, and not just parallel to each other and never interacting?
It would be essential that the metrics actually tell us if we are achieving the plan and not be just
something else we count, or already count. Some of the sample metrics did not appear to
answer that question, but I know this was not all of them.