The Ride of My Life

Since July of 2012, I have served UMKC as the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development.  To say that this has been a fulfilling time in my career at UMKC would be a gross understatement!  These past 6-years have been the most privileged of my 28 years at UMKC and of my entire career as a university faculty member/administrator.  As an administrator, there is no greater fulfillment than to see those you serve be successful in their endeavors.  As a Chief Research Officer that means, assisting faculty with their research, grant applications and awards, assisting deans to advance their unit research initiatives, and promoting UMKC within the UM System, the region and at the national level.

Over the course of the last few years there are a number of accomplishments that I can take pride in, but one that stands out for me is the creation of Explore, the UMKC Research magazine.  Until 6 years ago we had no publication that spotlighted research at UMKC.  Perhaps this was emblematic of a past UMKC; we simply didn’t voice our story loud, and often, enough.  When volume 1 of Explore came out in print, I hoped that we would have enough great stories to sustain the expectations created by such an outstanding effort.  Five volumes later, and a 6th in the works, and we are still spotlighting world-class faculty scholars and the pipeline continues to grow.   This fact,along with a rejuvenated effort to invest in research bodes well for the future of research at UMKC.

As for me, I won’t be riding off into the sunset just yet!  My new role as Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Research Support will leverage my years of research experience and administration in promoting faculty research success, primarily for junior and newly hired faculty members. This will include, but not be limited to, assisting faculty members in navigating the extramural application process, developing proposal writing skills, expanding networks for collaborations, and mentoring them in research and career development activities.  In a sense, the totality of my career has prepared me for this position and I look forward to the new challenge that lies ahead.

As I transition into my new role, I would like to acknowledge the outstanding work performed by the staff of the Office of Research Services, Research Compliance, and Technology Commercialization.  Those of you who work regularly with the ORS know what I am talking about!

To my Colleagues at the Office of Research Services: It has been my sincere honor and privilege to have worked closely with all of you. Your dedication, professionalism, hard work, and “can do” spirit inspires me to be better at all that I do!