UMKC Nixes Name Change for Now
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The University of Missouri – Kansas City is in no hurry to ditch the “Missouri” part of their name any time soon, officials said on Friday.
University officials say that surveys showed that changing the school’s name to the University of Kansas City wasn’t going to be a popular move, escpecially with current students, alumni and faculty – despite support for the change from the greateer Kansas City community.
“The research at this point tells us that our university community is not ready to make this move,” said Chancellor Leo E. Morton in a statement. “Going forward, we will focus – as The University of Missouri-Kansas City – on two primary goals: continuing to be Kansas City’s university, and a university of national and global impact and significance. And we will find ways to make sure that the value we generate will be clearly understood, from every corner of Kansas City to every corner of the planet.”
UMKC officials had been exploring the possibility of a name change as a way to boost undergraduate enrollment and philanthropic giving in response to diminished financial support from the state.
“We committed from the beginning to a research-based decision-making process,” said Morton. “We said if it could help us achieve our mission, vision and strategy, then it was worth considering. And if we were to learn that it wouldn’t help, then we wouldn’t go forward with it.”
Morton added that there was some concern that the move was a way to distance UMKC from the other schools in the University of Missouri system.
“If there is any disappointment here, it is that some may have misunderstood a name change to mean a break with the University of Missouri System. That has never been contemplated, no matter what our university name is,” Morton said. “We anticipated some concern regarding the University of Missouri connection, but it was more widespread than we expected. We want to ensure that no one leaves this process thinking of us as anything other than a strong partner and believer in the University of Missouri System.”
The school, which was founded in 1933 as the University of Kansas City, became the University of Missouri-Kansas City when it joined the University of Missouri System in 1963.