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Interim chancellor appointed at the University of Missouri-Kansas City

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Christian Basi

August 09, 2017

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri System President Mun Choi today announced the appointment of Barbara Bichelmeyer to serve as interim chancellor of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, effective August 15 when UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton retires. Bichelmeyer currently serves as provost and executive vice chancellor at UMKC

Morton, UMKC chancellor since 2008, announced his retirement in May. He will serve as chancellor emeritus and assume the position of chief operating officer at DeBruce Companies, a well-known Kansas City company with strong business and philanthropic roots. Bichelmeyer, a Kansas City native, was appointed UMKC provost by Morton in June 2015.

 “I have every confidence in Provost Bichelmeyer and her ability to lead UMKC to new heights, despite some of the challenging times currently facing higher education,” Choi said. “We have significant fiscal challenges but also great opportunities. I’m emboldened by the tremendous resources at UMKC in our excellent faculty, staff and students; distinct areas of academic and research excellence in which we can promote and invest to take us to greater heights; and an extremely high level of civic and community support for our mission.”

Bichelmeyer’s appointment will be in effect until a new, permanent chancellor is named. Choi plans to meet with faculty, staff, alumni and supporters to discuss details of a search for a permanent UMKC chancellor.

Bichelmeyer brings extensive experience in academic affairs, student success initiatives and online education.  Prior to joining UMKC, Bichelmeyer served as a senior leader at Indiana University responsible for strategic oversight of academic affairs for all seven campuses of the university, impacting 8,800 faculty and academic staff and 115,000 students. Prior to her employment in higher education, she worked in private industry in the Kansas City area, including Intertec Publishing, the Johnson County Daily News and Sprint. 

Bichelmeyer received bachelor’s degrees in English and Journalism; master’s degree in Educational Policy and Administration; and a doctorate in Educational Communications and Technology, all from the University of Kansas.

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