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The Student News Site of University of Missouri - Kansas City

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Courtesy of Rosanne Wickman
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A picture of the posters on the University Walkway.
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State of the University: UMKC’s Research Renaissance and Campus Evolution

Agrawal’s address highlights collaborations, program success and campus revitalization.
UMKCs+State+of+the+University+address+took+place+on+Wednesday%2C+April+3.+Photo+by+Jazlyn+Summers
UMKC’s State of the University address took place on Wednesday, April 3. Photo by Jazlyn Summers

  Chancellor Mauli C. Agrawal delivered the State of the University address on Wednesday with an outpouring of pride for UMKC and all that has been accomplished in the past year. 

  Agrawal outlined future plans that would benefit the campus and boost student success. He also shined a light on the partnerships the school has with the four professional sports teams in Kansas City. 

  “I hear just about every day from someone in the community about how they see this incredible momentum at UMKC,” Agrawal said. “People are noticing progress, and they’re rooting for our success more than ever before.”

Research Goals

  When Agrawal came to UMKC in 2018, he and his team developed a five-year plan to guide research goals. In those five years, the university doubled its total research expenditures and tripled research and project grants. 

  The chancellor began his address with a focus on his top priority, which is to have UMKC achieve the Carnegie R1 designation for research.  

  “The R1 destination will make it easier for us to attract more world-class faculty and students. It will accelerate the creation of new knowledge to serve society and to enrich a student’s classroom experiences and exposing students to high quality research as we know is a proven way to enhance the career outcomes,” Agrawal said. 

Student Success and Programs

  Another priority for Agrawal is student success. 

  “We take pride in ourselves for our efforts to serve a talented and diverse student body which includes many students who are either first-generation or have high financial need,” the chancellor said.

  First Gen Roo has proven to be a great program. Students saw 96% first-to-second-semester retention compared to the 88% of non-participating students.  

  “This successful program of ours received national recognition when the Center for First Generation Students Success named us a First Scholars Program,” Agrawal said. 

  Some new programs going through final stages of approval include a bachelor’s degree in architecture in the School of Science and Engineering, a master of legal studies program through the School of Law and eight new Ph.D. programs in electrical engineering, computer engineering, civil engineering, computer science, economics, education, humanities and natural sciences starting in Fall 2025.

Future Building Projects and Upgrades

  On campus, there will be a few major changes to student life. 

  Say goodbye to the ASSC Dining Hall and hello to the new “Foodiverse,” which will open in the Student Union in January 2025. During construction of the new dining hall, Starbucks will remain open. However, Chick Fil A will not. 

  After much speculation, UMKC officials have decided to close 51st Street between Cherry Street and Rockhill Road and transform the street into a pedestrian plaza. This goal for this renovation is to provide another gathering area for students as well as more green space. 

  The Conservatory will also be expanded to improve the performing arts programs. Agrawal did not announce when construction will begin, but a preview of the construction can be found here

  Off-campus, construction will begin in June for the $120 million UMKC School of Medicine-St. Joseph building.  

  “UMKC is leading the way in improving health care in Missouri. The new Healthcare Delivery and Innovation Building is the largest capital project UMKC has invested in,” said Missouri Gov. Mike Parson. “I am proud to have supported the UMKC Health Sciences District project, and the School of Medicine campus in St. Joe, addressing the state’s rural physician shortage.”

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