Who We Are

UMKC is a unique urban research university. Explore our history and learn more about our goals for the future! Below are descriptions of what lies at the core of the University and links to find more information.

University Mission, Vision, and Values

Our Mission (what we do): As an urban research university, the mission of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is to promote learning through the discovery, preservation and dissemination of knowledge of public value across a broad spectrum of disciplines and fields of study. UMKC celebrates the individual and embodies diversity and inclusion by intertwining these goals with innovation to enable transformational societal impact aimed at bringing cultural, social, health and economic prosperity to the metropolitan, regional and global communities it serves.

Our Vision (why we do what we do):  UMKC aspires to be an exemplary public urban research university of the 21st Century, pursuing excellence as a human-centric learning and discovery community, fostering equity, diversity and inclusion to enrich the lives of the people and regions it serves.

Our Values:  We, the community members of UMKC, are proud to contribute to a student-centered urban university, serving our mission of learning, discovery, research and service, inspired by our commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and respectful interaction.  Our key values:

  • Accountability
  • Learning
  • Respect
  • Diversity
  • Collaboration
  • Integrity

Strategic Plan

UMKC recently completed its Strategic Plan process, during which the university community developed five overall pillars that support our mission and vision:

  • Pillar 1:  Provide exceptional student learning, success and experience
  • Pillar 2:  Become a thriving discovery enterprise
  • Pillar 3:  Transform our community and region with impactful engagement
  • Pillar 4:  Foster an environment of invigorating multiculturalism, globalism, diversity and inclusion
  • Pillar 5:  Develop a strong and resilient people, process and physical infrastructure

University Leadership

The University of Missouri–Kansas City is part of the University of Missouri System which is led by a President and the Board of Curators. The UM System includes the University of Missouri–Columbia, University of Missouri–St. Louis, and Missouri University of Science and Technology.

UMKC’s leadership includes:

  • C. Mauli Agrawal, Chancellor
  • Barb Bichelmeyer, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
  • Curt Crespino, Vice Chancellor for Advancement Services
  • Carol Hintz, Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
  • Sharon Lindenbaum, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
  • Brandon Martin, Athletic Director
  • Anne Spenner, Vice Chancellor for Strategic Marketing and Communications
  • Susan Wilson, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion

Division of Student Affairs

The Division of Student Affairs is responsible for providing a variety of student support, service, and educational programs to the University community.  The Division also facilitates the total educational growth and development of UMKC students to include personal, social, physical, cultural, leadership and intellectual development, as well as student conduct and responsibilities.

Offices include:

History and Traditions

If it weren’t for William Volker, a local philanthropist who still had some money left during the Great Depression, UMKC might not be here today. The University of Kansas City (or UKC) was chartered with the City of Kansas City in 1929, but didn’t have a home until 1930, when Volker donated a 40-acre site near 51st and Rockhill Road. UKC opened in the fall of 1933 with 17 faculty members and 264 students. Classes were held in the old Dickey mansion, which is now called Scofield Hall. In 1963, UKC became a part of the University of Missouri System.

The idea for having a kangaroo as the mascot for the University of Kansas City (UMKC’s predecessor) began more than a year before the marsupial actually appeared on the scene.  An article, “Kangaroo may go to KCU … Student Editors Believe University Should Have a Symbol,” appeared in a September 1936 edition of The Kansas City Star.  Will Mansfield, feature writer for the KCU yearbook, was quoted as saying, “The Kangaroo would be a good name for the debate squad, since there (was) no university athletic team.”  Interest continued to grow when the Kansas City Zoo purchased two baby kangaroos.  Soon after, the first known drawing of the kangaroo appeared on the cover of the November 1937 issue of a KCU humor magazine.  Six months later, the cover featured the kangaroo shaking paws with Mickey Mouse, drawn by none other than Walt Disney.


UMKC is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

In addition, specific undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs are also accredited by other governing agencies and organizations.  Notice of accreditation for each program can be found in the appropriate section of the UMKC Catalog.