Dear UMKC Family,
With deepest gratitude to the dedicated work of many in our UMKC community, I am pleased to announce today that we have reached our first milestone with UMKC Forward. More than 120 people have been serving on committees working to reimagine how we best fulfill our mission as a public research university serving Greater Kansas City and beyond. You can find the committees’ recommendations posted online at this page.
Now, we broaden UMKC Forward to get additional feedback from our campus and our extended university community. Over the next week, we invite you to weigh in on the ideas through our UMKC Forward surveys, one for Team A recommendations and one for Team B recommendations. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and provide feedback.
As a reminder, each team had different missions. The objective of Team A was to provide recommendations for each unit, department or program to reorganize and/or downsize to spur both efficiency and potential growth. Two subcommittees comprised Team A: one focused on academic review and the other focused on operating and administrative review across the campus.
Team A’s specific charge was to make recommendations for significant future cost savings, especially for academic and operational programs and structures that are not mission critical. Team A’s first round of ideas did not reach the target of $40 million in savings, so more work will be needed in the coming weeks. Here is the Team A feedback survey.
Meanwhile, the objective of Team B was to take a broad look at the entire university to identify opportunities for innovation, growth and investment that will generate new revenue through academic, auxiliary and external services. Here is the Team B feedback survey.
Each of the recommendations from both teams must focus on advancing the mission of UMKC as outlined in our UMKC Strategic Plan. And, collectively, both sets of recommendations must work together to make our current operations more efficient and build toward a brighter future for our students, faculty, staff and community.
Two important notes, as you get ready to review the ideas:
First: As you read these ideas, I expect you will have many reactions. Some ideas will resonate, some ideas will pleasantly surprise. The reverse may also be true. There may be ideas you don’t like, or don’t feel will work. I ask you to remember at this point that these recommendations are just that: ideas vetted by colleagues and deemed worthy of consideration. At this point, nothing is set in stone. That’s why it’s so important that you respond to the survey.
Second: The committees tell me that they received many good ideas that didn’t meet the specific requirements of this exercise. For example, Team A’s goal was to develop recommendations with significant cost savings. If an idea had merit, but didn’t generate savings, it was either forwarded to Team B or set aside for later consideration. Don’t worry – I have asked them to keep track of all good ideas so we can revisit them in the future.
The survey closes on July 27 and all the feedback will be presented to me.
I will review all the recommendations and your feedback. Then on August 12, I will announce the ideas that can move forward for immediate implementation and those initiatives that will be launched for longer-term development and implementation. Other ideas will be retained for future consideration.
I want to close by thanking Teams A and B for their diligent work and to all of you for forging ahead with UMKC Forward even as we grapple with COVID-19 and the myriad ways it has altered our campus life.
Change is difficult. But with change come new opportunities to make UMKC a better place for us all. By being strategic with our time and resources, we can increase the excellence of our academic enterprise and enhance our ability to graduate students who are ready to go out and change the world. We can create the bold vision and financially sustainable future that will help us achieve our dreams. As we say, changing the world starts here. UMKC Forward represents a tremendous opportunity to further that mission.