Faculty & Staff E-news 1.26.15

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As Dean Ellen Suni communicated to all SOE faculty and staff last week, an offer was made to one of the candidates for the SOE dean position, and although it appeared the offer would be accepted, the candidate withdrew at the last minute for personal reasons. The search committee advised the Provost that it did not believe any other candidate adequately met the needs of the School and recommended that the search continue. The Provost agreed, and the Search Committee has begun reaching out to potential new candidates. A new timeline for the search will be developed and distributed to you so that you can block possible interview dates on your calendars.

Search committees tasked with filling faculty positions in CIL and ELPF also have been busy, meeting to review candidates. The search for the new director of CPE also continues to move forward. After conducting phone interviews with several candidates last week, the committee has made its recommendations for on campus interviews for two candidates. These two individuals will be given presentations to faculty and staff on Friday, January 30th from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. (candidate 1) and 11:30-12:30 p.m. (candidate 2) in room 307. I encourage everyone to make an attempt to attend as your input is important as we search for the best individual to move our CPE and the School forward. The search remains open until filled.

As you all know, recruiting and retaining students across campus and within the SOE remain a high priority. As of the end of the first day of classes (20 January 2015), UMKC had enrolled 13,114 students in 159,403 credit hours.  This represents a decrease of 0.73% (-97 students) in headcount and a decrease of 0.95% in credit hours (-1,525.5 hours) when compared to this time last year (21 January 2014).  These numbers reflect 1.69% fewer undergraduates (-136 students) and 0.75% more graduates (+39 students) than at this time last year. The School of Education is one of five academic units that are experiencing decreases in both undergraduate and graduate enrollment. As of the first day of spring semester, the SOE is down 18.43% in undergraduates and nearly 9% in graduates for an overall drop of 12.78%. The end result is that, for the first time in many years, our student enrollment has dropped below the 1,000 mark. Needless to say, I need everyone’s assistance in identifying ways in which we can reverse this trend in a timely fashion.

On a positive note, I am pleased that we had a good turnout at the first of our ‘Difficult Conversations and Honest Discussions: Equity, Justice and You’ sessions last Friday. Kansas City, Missouri, police officers Matt Tomasic and Octavio “Chato” Villalobos engaged 23 faculty and staff in a conversation about some of their successes in community policing. They shared stories of their personal journeys and experiences and lessons learned around the importance of building relationships with members of the community. Both officers are part of the Westside Community Action Network (WestCAN) and have received numerous awards and recognitions locally and nationally for their approach to policing and have been featured on the front page of The New York Times, Al Jazeera America TV, PBS Frontline, and numerous local media outlets for the success of the Day Labor Program that was implemented and resulted in a 67% decrease in 911 calls in a high crime area. The response from the audience was overwhelmingly positive with individual requests afterwards for more assistance or participation from the officers. My thanks to the Culture and Climate Team for coordinating this event and to everyone who joined us.

As you know, our sixth annual Urban Education and Community Forum is now only five weeks away! RSVP to reserve your seat for the March 3rd presentation by Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, III, president of The University of Maryland, Baltimore County: “The Role of Universities in Transforming Communities.”

Be thankful we didn’t see snow this weekend, and have a productive, engaging week.