UMKC recognizes James C. Olson Professors

12 professors make up first class

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) recently recognized 12 faculty as inaugural members of the James C. Olson Professorship Program, a program established by the UM System. It provides an opportunity to honor selected senior members of the University of Missouri faculty by providing them with a named professorship and certain continued benefits upon retirement.

The Professorship Program at UMKC was named in honor of James C. Olson, who was the UMKC Chancellor from 1968-1976 and UM System President from 1976-1984.

“Our Olson Professorship program benefits both the faculty and the University,” said Gail Hackett, UMKC Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “It offers us a great way to continue our focus on student success by honoring and keeping excellent faculty who have retired, and it provides our faculty a transition period into the next phase of their lives. Dr. Olson would appreciate this Professorship program in his honor because it is the type of win-win program he always championed.”

The 12 professors have a combined number of 335 service years. The longest length of service is 44 years, with three professors having 40 years each.

The Program’s selection process is based on the professor’s contributions to the University’s mission. The professors are approved by their unit’s faculty, and appointments and individual agreements are negotiated with the appropriate Dean and Department Chair. The final appointments are made by the Provost.

The selected professors will remain Olson Professors with an appointment that is approximately 25 percent of their full-time employment, earning no more than 25 percent of their final academic-year salary. The length of the term is renewable each year, up to three years.

The Olson Professors are:

David Atkinson, Curators Distinguished Teaching Professor/Professor of Political Science and Law, Department of Political Science, College of Arts and Sciences

George Gale Jr., Professor, Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences

Jennifer Martin, Hall Family Foundation Professor, Department of Theatre, College of Arts and Sciences

Robert John McIntyre, Professor, Keyboard Studies, Conservatory of Music and Dance

Harris Mirkin, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Department of Political Science, College of Arts and Sciences

Richard Murphy, Professor, Department of Physics, College of Arts and Sciences

Michael Neer, Professor, Department of Communication Studies, College of Arts and Sciences

Louis Potts, Professor, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences

Peter Singelmann, Professor, Departments of Sociology and Criminal Justice, College of Arts and Sciences

Craig Allen Subler, Professor, Department of Art and Art History, College of Arts and Sciences

Charles Wurrey, Curators Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences

Bob In-Yu Yang, Associate Professor, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, School of Medicine

The professors will continue to have office space appropriate to the assignment; email, phone and computer support; access to parking, library and athletics commensurate with regular faculty; and eligibility for travel funds at the discretion of the applicable dean.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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