The Year in Headlines

Provost Bichelmeyer takes the wheel


UM System President Mun Choi selected UMKC Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer to step in as interim chancellor. (Source University of Missouri-Kansas City)

Weeks before the beginning of the semester, former Chancellor Leo Morton announced he would retire in Oct. 2017. UM System President Mun Choi selected UMKC Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer to step in as interim chancellor.

Bichelmeyer acted as chancellor and provost for the entire 2017-18 school year.

When Bichelmeyer assumed the position as interim chancellor, she told U-News, ““I know it’s going to be a really busy fall, I am going to try to do my part to be here for students and be accessible. The best part of being at a university is being able to engage with students, faculty and staff, where we’re all learning and growing together.”

 

Downtown arts campus | Bichelmeyer, Choi optimistic about project’s future

The year started out with doubt surrounding the proposed downtown arts campus after Gov. Greitens vetoed a bill for state funding of the project over summer 2017. However, in Sept. 2017, President Choi and Provost and Interim Chancellor Bichelmeyer had a positive outlook that funding could be acquired from public-private partnerships.

 

UMKC loses private funding for arts campus, Greitens proposes new cuts to higher education

The state of UMKC’s proposed arts campus remains unclear. (Source University of Missouri-Kansas City)

After Gov. Greitens released his 2018 budget proposal suggesting a significant increase to higher education funding, the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation withdraw its $20 million pledge from the downtown campus in January. Since, the future of the arts campus has become uncertain.

 

A New Conservatory for UMKC?

In March, a bill was reintroduced into the Missouri legislature to fund the project. However, UMKC is not placing full faith in the bill. UMKC Media Relations Director John Martellaro said, “We are continuing to explore the array of options for a new facility that will serve the critical academic and research needs of our students and faculty.”

 

Dreamers at UMKC face uncertain future

President Trump’s decision to phase out DACA affected 800,000 men and women, 35 of whom attended school in the UM system.

The Trump Administration announced in September that it would phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program beginning March 2018, leaving Dreamers across the nation fearful of deportation. Nationwide, this affected 800,000 men and women, 35 of whom attended school in the UM system.

“If I am ever deported and go back to my country, I’m going to be discriminated against because I don’t know how to speak Spanish as fluently as everyone in Mexico. I was raised in this culture and I’ve been assimilated,” said Maria Franco, a UMKC student and Dreamer.

Since the original announcement of an end coming to the program, Trump left it up to Congress to save DACA. Congress failed, but last week a third federal judge ruled the government must keep the program in place, also giving the Department of Homeland Security 90 days to rationalize ending the program. If it fails to do so, the department must start processing new DACA applications.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *