Traditionally, an inauguration occurs right when or soon after a person takes over an acclaimed position. However, Kimberly Beatty wanted her inauguration as chancellor of Metropolitan Community College to be more than a big welcoming ceremony.
The inauguration for Beatty, who became the MCC chancellor in July 2017 following Mark James' retirement, is 2:30 p.m. Friday at Music Hall in downtown Kansas City. Beatty oversees a five-campus system on the Missouri side of the Kansas City metro region, including the Blue River campus in Independence.
“It gave me a year to transition, meet people all over the metro area, be able to build relationships,” said Beatty, who came to MCC from Houston Community College. “My real goal is to tell our story, and I'm glad had a year to network and get to know people.”
“It's been an amazing experience. I'm truly humbled to be able to lead this institution; it's a gem. Kansas City – I've never lived in this region, and it's been a welcoming community to me. I'm enjoying the city and the institution, and we have a great faculty.”
In her first year at the helm, Beatty has helped finalize the five-year strategic plan; set up a shared governance model for the faculty, staff and administrators; and organized partnerships with industry.
One such partnership is with Burns & McDonnell, which includes a classroom with the company and internships. For the KC Construction Academy, MCC is teaming with JE Dunn Construction and North Kansas City Schools. In the works is an electronics program partnership with Honeywell.
“Those are the type of things we need to leverage more, partner with industry,” Beatty said. “It's amazing what we've accomplished in just a year. These are the types of relationships we want to have going forward.”
Earlier this summer, MCC announced it plans to close its Business & Technology campus within two years and parcel those programs out to the other four campuses. The emphasis on those programs won't change, though, as Beatty says MCC is well-positioned to be a significant player in the future workforce development.
“We're on that way,” she said. “We want to continue to improve the student experience. We've had to build institutional infrastructure so students can have a quality experience no matter which campus they go to.”
Another plan Beatty has is to work with UMKC on a co-enrollment model, potentially giving more students the opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree from that school. Overall, she wants to make MCC a viable part of any student's college plans, regardless of where they wish to continue their education.
“We are the answer,” Beatty said. “That's what I'm going around telling everybody.”