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Two Academic Mergers Official on July 1

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The UMKC School of Biological Sciences is merging with the Department of Chemistry to form the new School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, or SBC. The Conservatory of Music and Dance is merging with the Department of Theatre, and it will be called the UMKC Conservatory. The official “birthday” for the new units will be July 1, the start of the new fiscal year, although the mergers are effective immediately.

The genesis for these mergers was several years ago, and the work has been done collaboratively and in the spirit of shared governance between the faculty and administration. These two proposals gained support as they moved forward through a rigorous process that included discussions with all stakeholders involved, including faculty and staff within those units, and the faculty senate. That process resulted in Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara A. Bichelmeyer making a formal recommendation in favor of these two mergers, which Chancellor Mauli Agrawal approved.

All four of these important programs will be strengthened by these mergers. In each case, natural partners are aligning. The mergers provide enhanced opportunities for collaboration in research and creativity; mounting new academic programs; and raising profiles to attract more grant funding, enrollment and donor support. These mergers will also allow the College of Arts and Sciences, the former home of the chemistry and theatre departments, to further focus resources and attention on the vital academic programs it provides.

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