The Trustees support the university’s key values of Learning, Diversity, Integrity, Accountability, Respect, and Collaboration. These key values guide us as we work to:
- Advocate for the university and make connections with civic organizations, businesses, community leaders and elected officials.
- Shape our future leaders by serving as mentors for Trustees’ Scholars.
- Collaborate with campus leadership on programs and initiatives to enhance the student experience and strengthen the university.
Some of this work is captured in our work in standing committees and Strategic Activator Task Forces.
The executive committee is comprised of the Board Officers, committee chairs, and task force co-chairs.
Executive committee members
Debby Ballard, Chair
Paul Holewinski, Treasurer/Vice Chair, Asset Management
Doranne Hudson, Secretary/Vice Chair, Strategy & Planning
Cameron Garrison, Vice Chair, Governance
Rachel Beichley, Chair, Engagement
Jennie Clarke, Vice Chair, Development
Charles Shields, Vice Chair, Advocacy
Donna Ward, Vice Chair, Trustees’ Scholars
Leigh Anne Taylor Knight, Trustee Managing Co-Chair, University Brand Enhancement
Dave Harrison, Trustee Managing Co-Chair, Strategic Real Estate Planning
Scott Smith, Trustee Managing Co-Chair, Workforce/ Career Preparation
Kyle Vena, Trustee Managing Co-Chair, Professional Development and Training
Assists in making the case for quality, higher education as a necessary attribute of a progressive state and as an economic driver for Missouri. Leverages the influence of the board on behalf of the university to ensure city, county, federal and especially, state elected officials, as well as other key constituencies understand the importance of and solicit resources for the university.
Advocacy Committee members
Charlie Shields, Chair
Asset Management Committee
Accountable for the fiduciary matters of the board, including management of the endowments, the restricted funds and the finances associated with the UMKC Trustees’ real estate program. Approves and manages the annual Trustees’ operations budget and advises the board on all budgetary matters. Oversees and manages Board-owned properties, including the purchase of new property and maintenance and sales.
Asset management Committee members
Paul Holewinski, Chair
Recognizes Kansas City businesses, civic and philanthropic leadership, organizations and individuals that share the same advocacy for the university through the Trustee Community Engagement Awards initiative. The awards are aligned with the UMKC Trustees’ mission and must be meaningful to the university and the community. The awards are announced at the board’s Annual Meeting.
Awards Committee members
Lisa Weixelman, Chair
Oversees trustee fundraising programs, takes leadership in meeting financial goals such as sponsorship of UMKC Trustees’ Scholars and raises funds to cover the board’s annual operational expenses.
Development Committee members
Jennie Clarke, Chair
Holds orientation sessions with new trustees and determines how Trustees can engage and encourages trustees to actively participate in the work of the board.
Engagement Committee members
Rachel Beichley, Chair
Considers and recommends changes to the corporation’s bylaws and all other governing documents or policies, reviews any possible policy violations or questions of conflict of interest, annually reviews actual and potential conflicts of interest of members of the board and officers and resolves any such matters. Projects and discussions are organized and activated that connect the expertise and influence of the trustees to campus-community issues. The committee nominates a candidate for each elected office on the board and consults with the chair on placement of members into the vice chair roles. Conducts board orientation for new trustees. Monitors the involvement and engagement of all trustees and works with individual members to help engage them in the work of the board and university.
Governance Committee members
Keith Copaken, Chair
Trustees’ Scholars Committee
Implements the Trustees’ Scholars Program, which provides a fully funded scholarship and a full educational and experiential program for a select group of students seeking an undergraduate degree at UMKC. Develops a marketing program for the scholarship in collaboration with UMKC Admissions, a process for screening and selection of the scholars, and a program for scholars to interact with UMKC Trustees. Assesses the ongoing financial needs as connected to endowment and fundraising recommendations. Creates opportunities for scholars to network with key community leaders from various systems of influence and instill an affinity for Kansas City, leading to long-term residence in the area.
Trustees’ Scholars Committee members
Donna Ward, Chair
Strategy & Planning
Strategy & Planning Committee members
Meet a Trustees Board Member
Secretary and Vice Chair, Strategy and Planning
UMKC is an extraordinary resource for Kansas City, as a large, research-based university in the heart of the city, and the trustees work to link this vital resource with the needs of the business and civic communities. Trustee committees do real work with real results. The impact on the university makes trustee involvement time well spent.