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Academic Affairs / Provost

Administration 203
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4116

Chapter 1: Historical Perspective

Institutional History
UCM is a state-assisted institution of higher education located in Warrensburg, Missouri, a community of about 19,000 citizens. The University has provided quality postsecondary education to its historical 21-county service area, the state, and the nation for more than 142 years. It is one of five state regional universities created by the Missouri General Assembly and has gradually evolved in role and mission to meet the changing needs of the state's citizens.

Originally known as the State Normal School for the Second Normal District of Missouri, UCM was established in Warrensburg in 1871 to educate teachers for the state's public schools. Recognizing state needs and the changes that were occurring in the missions of Missouri's normal schools, on May 20, 1919, the General Assembly officially designated the institutions as state teachers colleges. State Normal School Number Two officially became Central Missouri State Teachers College. Central Missouri continued to grow and to extend its mission beyond teacher education. In 1946, the General Assembly once again upgraded the campus' status, and the institution became Central Missouri State College.

In response to the needs of a highly diversified and rapidly growing student body following World War II, Central launched building programs, hired more faculty members, added new services, created new degree programs, and initiated offerings at the graduate level. Central Missouri State College was authorized to offer Master of Science in Education degrees beginning in 1947 and Master of Arts and Education Specialist degrees a few years later. In recognition of the changing role and importance of the college, the General Assembly granted permission in August 1972 for University status to be adopted. Enabling legislation during 1995 allowed Central Missouri State University a statewide mission, and in 1996 the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE) granted that mission in professional applied sciences and technology. A detailed description of the University's statewide mission can be accessed at

In 2005, the Missouri legislature passed a bill that was signed by the governor giving CMSU's governing board the opportunity to change the institution's name to the University of Central Missouri. By a historic vote of the Board of Governors, Central Missouri State University became the University of Central Missouri effective Sept. 20, 2006. The name change provided a crucial ingredient in fulfilling the University's new vision statement, symbolically representing its emergence as "a nationally recognized comprehensive university that delivers a world-class university education."

Governance and Administration

During a reorganization of state government in 1974, the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE) was established to coordinate statewide higher education policies in consultation with the institutions. Appointed by the governor and approved by the Senate, the board consists of nine members, one from each congressional district and not more than five from the same political party, who serve six-year terms. CBHE serves as the policy-making body for the Missouri Department of Higher Education and selects the chief executive officer, who functions as the commissioner of higher education.

The CBHE is authorized to plan (i.e., to conduct studies, gather data, and set statewide goals in higher education), to approve new and review existing degree programs, and to set statewide guidelines regarding admission, articulation, and residency requirements. One of its principal functions is to make appropriation recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly.

The University of Central Missouri derives its authority from state statutes and is ultimately responsible to the people of Missouri through the governor and the General Assembly. By state statute, Central has a Board of Governors that has been charged through the Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo) 174.120; 174.457; and 172.100 with the general control and management of UCM. This charge includes the ability to make bylaws, rules, and regulations and to delegate authority to University officers and employers. The Board's eight members, including a nonvoting student representative, are appointed by the governor with the approval of the state Senate.

The University president is selected by the Board of Governors and, under its authority, serves as chief executive officer. Providing leadership for NCA's 1994 evaluation visit was Dr. Ed Elliott, who retired in 1999. The Board hired Dr. Bobby Patton in fall 1999 to lead the University. Dr. Patton stepped down from his presidential post in 2005, and a successor, Dr. Aaron M. Podolefsky, served as president for five years. On Aug. 1, 2010, Dr. Charles Ambrose officially began his board-appointed duties as UCM's 15th president, and is continuing to serve at that post. Reporting directly to the president are: three vice presidents (Provost/Chief Learning Officer, Vice President for Finance and Administration, and Vice President for Alumni Relations and Development); the Executive Director of the UCM Foundation; one University director (Intercollegiate Athletics); the Chief Strategy Officer; and an executive assistant. The University's Legal Counsel reports to the Board of Governors and, on a day-to-day basis, works with the University president. This team makes up the president's executive council. UCM's complete organizational chart is presented in the Supplemental Materials section of the Virtual Resource Room.

The president draws upon the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT), formerly known as the President's Cabinet, to provide information and recommendations regarding policy development. The SLT includes representatives from the executive council, Vice Provost for Institutional Effectiveness, Vice Provost for Student Experience and Engagement, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, Vice Provost for Technology, Chief Information Officer, and Executive Director for Facilities, Planning and Operations. SLT members are charged to represent campus-wide interests during the policy development process. There are also governance five groups on campus (the Faculty Senate, Professional Staff Council, Support Staff Council, Bargaining Unit, and Student Government Association) to help facilitate and foster an atmosphere of open communication across all lines of the faculty, staff, and students. Strategic planning and policy development at UCM follow prescribed formats that encourage input and interaction by the various campus governance groups and enhance collegial governance. These processes are discussed in Chapter Six of this self-study report.

Academic Program Overview
Through its diverse academic and co-curricular activities, UCM helps students acquire appropriate values and ethics, career knowledge and skills, the ability to think and communicate effectively and practical competence. The University fosters personal discovery, as well as career choice and placement, and assists people in becoming greater assets to society. UCM's academic colleges offer programs at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and education specialist levels. Two cooperative doctoral programs are also available. With personal academic improvement always in mind, the University's Department of Academic Enrichment helps "underprepared students prepare, prepared students advance, and advanced students excel."

College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences provides a liberal education foundation for all of UCM's degree programs. This dynamic base allows students to develop the skills, knowledge, values, and ethics necessary to maximize their potential. The college prepares students to become creative and contributing members of society through programs in art and design; communication and sociology; English and philosophy; government, international studies and languages; history and anthropology; music; theatre and dance, religious studies, and women's and gender studies.

College of Education
Graduates of UCM's College of Education serve society in a variety of specialized areas. In the field of education, the University continues its long tradition of offering a number of quality programs to prepare teachers and school administrators. Departments within the college include career and technology education, educational foundations and literacy, educational leadership and human development, and elementary and early childhood education. Centers in the college are a vital resource to education students and professional educators, and provide training opportunities to prepare students for their future careers. They include the Central Regional Professional Development Center, Missouri Center for Career Education, Midwest Clinic for Autism Spectrum Disorders, and the Midwest Center for Charter Schools and Urban Education.

College of Health, Science and Technology
The College of Health, Science and Technology offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in basic and applied sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics to support the technical requirement of the post-industrial society. The college also incorporates basic and applied sciences in several degree programs to prepare students for a variety of health care fields.
Academic units include the School of Health and Human Performance; School of Environmental, Physical and Applied Sciences, and the School of Technology. The college also houses departments offering programs in mathematics and computer science, psychological science, and biology and Earth science.

Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies
The Adrian and Margaret Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies offers programs of study in accountancy and computer information systems; business administration; economics, finance and marketing; entrepreneurship and social enterprise; hotel and restaurant administration; information technology; management, and marketing, all within the School of Business Administration. An education through UCM's business and economics programs provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the marketplace. Courses combine global issues with detailed explanations of day-to-day approaches to make organizations successful. Modern, technology-based curricula prepare students for current and future job markets. The college also includes a School of Professional Studies, which includes departments which offer academic programs in aviation; criminal justice, communication disorders and social work; and military science and leadership.

Honors College
UCM elevated its honors program to The Honors College in 1999. Students participate in a wide range of options and opportunities tailored to fit the needs of motivated students with strong academic potential. Requirements include an "Honors Colloquium" seminar, two college-level modern language courses, and an individualized research project. These opportunities can lead to internships, graduate school referrals, and professional contacts.

Graduate and Extended Studies
Graduate and Extended Studies offers over 40 degree programs, including Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Science, Master of Science in Education, Education Specialist, and cooperative doctoral degrees, which are conferred by the other participating institutions (Doctor of Education in educational leadership with the University of Missouri; Doctor of Philosophy in technology management with Indiana State University). A number of UCM's graduate programs are in high-need areas as defined by the state, such as school counseling and alternative teacher certification. The University recently added eight graduate certificates.

UCM is accustomed to rigorous scrutiny through academic accreditation and uses University- wide and discipline-specific analyses to validate the quality of the institution. Accreditation was first granted by the North Central Association (NCA) of Colleges and Schools in 1915, two years after the organization began accrediting higher education institutions. UCM's Bachelor of Science in Education degree programs were first accredited in 1928 by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Accreditations by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) have been renewed continuously over the years, and Central's Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)-International. In addition, many of Central's programs have earned discipline-specific accreditation through national associations.

Discipline-specific accreditation is held for the following baccalaureate programs: accounting, actuarial science and mathematics, athletic training, automotive technology management, aviation management, chemistry, commercial art, computer-aided drafting and design technology, computer information systems, construction management, dietetics, electronics technology, fashion: textiles and clothing in business, finance, interior design, management, marketing, music, nursing, occupational safety and health, physical education, professional pilot, social work, studio art, teacher education, and theatre.

Master's degree programs with discipline-specific accreditation include business administration, industrial hygiene, library science and information services, music, nursing, physical education, exercise and sport science, speech pathology and audiology, teacher education, technology, industrial management, and technical and occupational education.

Responses to Challenges raised by Commission at Last Re-Accreditation
The site team that visited the University of Central Missouri (Central Missouri State at that time) identified one unresolved challenge dealing with assessment in the Assurance Section in their Report of a Comprehensive Evaluation Visit submitted to the Higher Learning Commission in 2004. The evaluation team recommended the University submit a program report by July 2007 that provides evidence of a fully operational university-wide assessment program. The University completed this report and submitted the report in 2007as directed with no recommended follow-up.

Although not listed as an item for follow-up, the evaluation team did recommend that the University consider moving the physical and natural sciences from the College of Arts and Sciences to the College of Applied Science and Technology. As outlined in the President's Strategic Resource Model, the science programs were moved into the restructured College of Health, Science, and Technology as part of the 2011 reorganization.

The team also suggested the University examine its use of functional majors. The University acted on this recommendation and eliminated the functional majors from our curricular offerings. Another suggestion was for UCM to expand its presence in Kansas City, Missouri, which has also been accomplished with the growth of our program offerings and student enrollments at our Central Summit Center in Lee's Summit, Missouri, and more recently with the development of the Missouri Innovation Campus (formerly Central Summit Center). Lastly, following the recommendation of expanding the institution's new faculty orientation, the University instituted a 4-day orientation process focused on teaching and assessment methods.

Major University Events Since 1994

Below is a list of major university events at Central since the NCA site visit in 1994.

1994 Continuing accreditation granted for 10 years by NCA

1996 Central granted Statewide Mission in Professional Applied Sciences and Technology

1997 Board of Regents becomes Board of Governors

1999 James C. Kirkpatrick Library opens

1999 President Elliott retires

1999 Bobby R. Patton becomes thirteenth President of Central

1999 Maastricht Friendship Tower is dedicated

2000 Central Summit Center in Lee's Summit Missouri opens

2000 President Patton outlines the University's ‘four cornerstones': 1) Quality teacher education, 2) Professional and service needs of Missouri, 3) Commitment to technology and 4) International perspective

2001 NCATE grants continuing accreditation to teacher education programs

2002 New Strategic Plan adopted, Framework for the Future: Progress by Design

2002 Major state budget cuts force campus wide review and stringency measures

2003 Central's Summit Center moves to expanded facilities within Summit Technology Campus

2004 President Patton announces intention to step down from presidency upon end of his contract in June 2005

2004 NCA recommends continued accreditation for UCM

2005 Aaron M. Podolefsky becomes UCM's fourteenth President

2006 Board of Governors (in June) approved vision for university that states: "The University of Central Missouri aspires to be a nationally recognized, comprehensive university that delivers a world-class university education by providing a small-college learning environment coupled with large-university opportunities."

2006 University's Board of Governors in October approves name change from Central Missouri State University to University of Central Missouri. The name change provided a crucial ingredient in fulfilling the university's new vision statement, symbolically representing UCM's emergence as "a nationally recognized comprehensive university that delivers a world-class university education."

2007 Consistent with new vision for university, UCM implements reorganized college structure, expanding from four to five colleges:

2007 To accommodate growth, UCM Summit Center relocates into 40,000-square-foot space within Summit Technology Campus at 850 NW Chipman Road, Lee's Summit.

2008 Groundbreaking at Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport marks the beginning of the grading process that is an essential step in preparing for future building construction. As additional funds become available, the current terminal will be demolished and replaced by a larger, modern facility that will better meet aviation needs that advance the region both economically and educationally.

2008 Board of Governors approves a new strategic plan, upon recommendation of President
Podolefsky and the Cabinet

2009 Campus Master Plan, a blueprint to strategically plan for long-term physical growth, approved by Board of Governors

2009 Groundbreaking in April to publicly commemorate the renovation of the Morrow-Garrison buildings and to kick off construction of the adjacent Student Recreation and Wellness Center. Together projects cost nearly $36 million. UCM also embarked on a $36.1 million backlog of deferred maintenance projects in an 18-month period while enhancing energy conservation and cost savings.

2010 Podolefsky leaves position as President

2010 Board of Governors appoints Charles M. Ambrose as fifteenth President

2010 Beginning in September 2010, UCM began development of a Strategic Resource Model to help the university focus on student success and better align its programs and services with resources at a time when there are significant reductions in state support. The model is comprised of four key components:

Revenue Growth
Fiscal Management: Institutional Budgeting
Academic Program Viability and Productivity
Administrative Efficiencies

2010 Plan to reorganize academic colleges and departments to meet primary objectives outlined in Strategic Resource Model was announced, with new structure to be implemented July 2011. The four-college academic structure consists of:

College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (eight departments)
College of Education (four departments)
Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies (seven departments)
College of Health, Science and Technology (six departments)

2011 Comprehensive administrative review was initiated in March and concluded in June to create new resource allocation model that identified ways to save more than $2 million and enhance efficiencies for FY 2012 and beyond

2011 Administrative organizational changes initiated to help the university move forward

2011 UCM develops institutional metrics that directly align to the State of Missouri Performance Based Funding Model, focusing energies on primary statewide higher education objectives of access, college completion, affordability and engagement.

2011 New strategic positioning platform developed to provide a clear and concise means to communicate elements of UCM that make the university distinctive within a competitive and crowded higher education marketing within the state and region it serves. Articulated as "Learning to a Greater Degree," it includes key deliverables such as a positioning statement, unique attributes, audience definitions and benefits, and reasons to believe to help clearly chart UCM's future direction and growth.

2011 UCM opens new Military and Veterans Success Center

2011 Newly constructed Audrey J. Walton Clubhouse opens at Keth Memorial Golf Course

2012 Following months of discussions between UCM administrators and faculty, the Lee's Summit R-7 School District, Metropolitan Community College, and numerous corporate leaders, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announces a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to support the Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC) initiative. He established a fund to encourage similar partnerships across the state, of which UCM obtained $1 million in additional state support for The MIC.

2012 The first cohort of students was recruited into Bachelor of Science degree program in systems engineering technology at The MIC, an initiative designed to help students:

Attain a four-year college degree two years after high school
Graduate with no college debt
Gain applied experience through paid internships
Develop highly sought-after skills for high-paying careers

2012 UCM purchased the former South East Elementary School property as the site for relocation of operations in the current General Services Building at South and Holden streets. Part of UCM's updated campus master plan, the goal is to erect in place of GSB the new mixed-use, 320-bed student housing-retail facility by fall 2015. Doing so also means relocating football locker rooms from GSB to nearby Audrey J. Walton Stadium.

2013 The Learning to a Greater Degree conceptual student contract was adopted and scheduled to become effective with the entering freshmen fall class. Consistent with state and national graduation goals, the contract is designed to help students graduate on time by requiring them to enroll in 15 credit hours each semester, establish regular contact with academic advisors, attend class on a regular basis, and reside in the residence halls for their freshman and sophomore years.

2013 Renovation and construction begins at South East Elementary School, and efforts to upgrade the lower level of Audrey J. Walton Stadium and relocate locker rooms advance. A design-builder was named for the estimated $42.15 million mixed-use facility.

2013 United States President Barack Obama speaks at UCM, citing The Missouri Innovation Campus as an example of collaboration needed nationally to help reduce the cost of higher education and to prepare students for jobs of tomorrow.

2013 Second academic program, a bachelor of science in Engineering Technology/Design and Drafting Technology (CADD), launched at The MIC, and first summer student internships initiated.

2013 UCM begins fall semester with the largest enrollment in the university's 142-year history, 12,494 students, up 5.2 percent from the previous year's record-setting enrollment.

2013 First National Convening on Higher Education Innovation in Kansas City includes a summit and academy to discuss bringing The MIC to scale and replicating it in other communities. The event was sponsored by The Missouri Innovation Campus, The Office of Missouri Governor - Jay Nixon, the Lumina Foundation, the Kauffman Foundation, and UCM.

University of Central Missouri Self-Study Team

Steering Committee
CHAIR:  Michael Grelle, Vice Provost for Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment
Sharlene Bax, Vice Provost for Student Experience and Engagement and Professor of Political Science
Amber R. Clifford-Napoleone, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Curator of the McClure Archives and University Museum
Joyce Downing, Associate Dean of the College of Education and Professor of Special Education
Ashley Guyer, Research Analyst, Institutional Research, Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment
Angela Karlin, Director of Student Financial Assistance
Janice Putnam, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, Compliance Officer, Interim Director of Office of Sponsored Programs and Professor of Nursing

Planning Committee
CHAIR: Michael Grelle, Vice Provost for Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment
Sharlene Bax, Vice Provost for Student Experience and Engagement and Professor of Political Science
Steven Boone, Associate Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of Chemistry
Tina Church-Hockett, Director of Graduate Studies
Amber R. Clifford-Napoleone, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Curator of the McClure Archives and University Museum
Davie Davis, Chair of Academic Enrichment
Joyce Downing, Associate Dean of the College of Education and Professor of Special Education
Alice Greife, Dean of the College of Health, Science and Technology
Ashley Guyer, Research Analyst, Institutional Research, Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment
Angela Karlin, Director of Student Financial Assistance
Donna Mayeux, Administrative Assistant to the Vice Provost
Carole Nimmer, Director of Testing Services
Janice Putnam, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, Compliance Officer, Interim Director of Office of Sponsored Programs and Professor of Nursing
Dorothy Salsman, Budget and Planning Director

Technical Team
Gwyn Aych, Webmaster
Brian Long, Project Administrator