Athletic task force issues report
After investigating whether UMKC should continue to have intercollegiate athletics or maintain NCAA Division I status or drop to Division II or III, the faculty senate’s athletic task force released its findings in October.
The task force determined intercollegiate athletics should continue, and that the department was “well managed and, if anything, thin.” However, the members of the task force felt it premature to come to a conclusion regarding UMKC’s Division I status in NCAA. The report cited an ongoing external study that will continue to examine that question. No further information has been released.
OPA flaw displaces students, costs school millions
After receiving an increased number of maintenance tickets, UMKC officials announced in October, a number of cracked PVC pipes were leaking throughout student housing at Oak Place Apartments.
After further examining the problem, the university determined necessity for extensive repairs estimated at $10 million, requiring the 212 students living in the north wing of building to move to a different location for the spring semester.
Future of Oak Place Apartments surrounded by uncertainty
After repairs to the north wing began early 2018, UMKC discovered the damage was far more significant than anticipated. By the end of March, the remaining 252 students living in the south wing of the building had to vacate their homes for the semester.
Stemming from an error in original construction, the problems with Oak Place Apartments is so extensive, the future of the building, as well as the cost of repair, is still unclear.
“If you think about when a car is in an auto accident, there’s a certain point where you say ‘I need a new car,’” said Simmons. “We have not made that determination, but that is one of things you do look at: Is there a point where you say you’re going to have so many parts and pieces that you just start over?”
UM Curators launch lawsuit in response to OPA damages
Citing errors in construction and design, the UM Curators launched a lawsuit in April, against 34 entities including JE Dunn – the project’s general contractor, Gould Evans Associates – the project designer.
UMKC officials investigating alleged sexual assault
UMKC Title IX opened an investigation into an alleged sexual assault that occurred at an off-campus party in November.
The victim, Eloenore Fischer, a third-year visual arts and secondary education major recounted her experience with U-News.
Fischer said the alleged attackers – UMKC student athletes – mocked her on a flight of stairs after she told them not to touch her. They allegedly followed Fischer into the kitchen of the home where she was cornered as they began undoing their pants.
“The taller guy stepped to block the door from me, and the soccer player grabbed my arm and pulled me back into the room. At that point, I screamed and I squeezed in-between the two guys and out of the room,” Fischer said.
Title IX is still investigating the alleged sexual assault.
UMKC announces new Chancellor
After a four-month search, President Choi announced in February, the chancellor search committee selected Mauli Agrawai as UMKC’s next chancellor.
Agrawai is coming to UMKC from the University of Texas – San Antonio, where he is the interim provost of academic affairs
He will begin as acting UMKC Chancellor on June 20.
Going forward, Agrawal’s goals for UMKC include creating an exceptional student experience, championing multiculturalism and upholding university ideals through “resilient people, process and infrastructure.”
UMKC students express concern, excitement over Brookside 51 apartments
For most of the 2017-18 school year, construction of Brookside 51 Apartments and Whole Foods has been ongoing.
Construction is almost complete, and UMKC students gave U-News their opinions on the project.
Leases to the apartment complex have upscale prices, something some students took issue with.
“I definitely think they should have built something more affordable. That’s ridiculous,” said Taylor Meeks, a freshman nursing student.
Although, according to UMKC Media Relations Director John Martellaro, UMKC didn’t pursue the project anticipating for students to live there.
“We do not anticipate that a lot of students will choose to live there,” said Martellaro. “But we think some faculty and staff may view them as an attractive housing option.”