Provost Thank You

From: UMKC Provost <>
Sent: Friday, December 6, 2019 8:50 AM
To: UMKC Faculty <>
Subject: HLC Thank You

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for the time and effort you gave to participating in the many HLC reaccreditation site visit activities on Monday and Tuesday.

Thanks especially to all who served on the HLC Planning Committees, and to the HLC Executive Team, including co-chairs Cindy Pemberton and Ken Novak, Vice Provost Kelli Cox, Project Manager Alexis Petri and HLC liaison Ruth Cain for their excellent work on this critical initiative.

During our debrief with the site visit team, Chair John Campbell and the team members let us know how impressed they are with what they found at UMKC, and reminded us that we have much to be proud.

Specifically, the team noted:

  • The deep and clear commitment of everyone they met to our public urban research mission, to our students and to our community.
  • The recognition and buy-in across the board to grow and better serve our undergraduate students, as we continue to learn and understand exactly what shape this work needs to take.
  • Our recognition of the challenges we have faced and continue to face in terms of finance, retention, and enrollment, and our steadfast commitment to facing these challenges and rising above them, and the impressive way these challenges have brought the campus closer together and more focused on our shared future vision.
  • We’ve built a sense of trust and respect over the past five years – for data, for process, for governance, and for people.
  • The sense of dedication, responsibility, and commitment to the work of making significant change – from faculty, staff and leaders at all levels across UMKC, and the spirit, the willingness, and the generosity people bring to this work.
  • A strong desire from individuals at all levels throughout UMKC to use data to engage in continuous quality improvement.
  • We continue to face pressures given the context of higher education within our region and state, and we all continue to be extremely stressed.
  • We have a strong foundation, an impressive strategic plan to lead our work as we move into our future, and our work is still nascent, still somewhat fragile, and it includes many initiatives and we have many moving parts.
  • The team was truly impressed with the culture of respect and appreciation we have at UMKC. Team members were especially impressed with how quick so many people were to recognize and give shout-outs to the work of others, to point to what someone else has done, how natural and a part of our culture it is for that to occur, and they admonished us to keep stoking this flame because it’s so powerful.

It will likely take a couple of months before we receive more complete information on next steps regarding our reaccreditation. I continue to be optimistic that we will receive a fairly positive report when that time comes.

In the meantime, please take a moment to let these messages from the site visit team soak in, to recognize the great work that we have done, to give yourself a nod, and to thank your colleagues for such tremendous accomplishments. Then, as always, I know we’ll all get back to our important work.

I myself simply couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve done at UMKC, and of what we represent. I am extremely grateful to each and every one of our colleagues, our students and our community members who make up this amazing institution.

It is truly an honor to serve as Provost of UMKC.



 Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Ph.D.

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, University of Missouri – Kansas City
Professor, Department of Management, Henry W. Bloch School of Management