University of Missouri-Kansas City
Eugene Trani, Ph.D., became vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City on July 1, 1980, and concluded his service on Aug. 31, 1986.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City was established in 1963 when the University of Kansas City became part of the University of Missouri. The University of Missouri-Kansas City offers undergraduate, graduate and professional education in the College of Arts and Sciences; the schools of Basic Life Sciences, Business and Public Administration, Computing and Engineering, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Continuing Education; and the Conservatory of Music. With a faculty of more than 2,000, UMKC enrolls approximately 14,000 students, 5,000 of whom are graduate and professional students.
As vice chancellor, Trani was responsible for the operations of all UMKC's schools, colleges and libraries, as well as UMKC's public radio station, KCUR-FM, and the Affirmative Action Office. His specific responsibilities included the management of the budgets of all academic units; the development and evaluation of curriculum; the evaluation of teaching, research and public service programs; and the selection, promotion, compensation, and professional development of faculty and academic administrative personnel. He also served as chancellor in the absence of the chancellor. He served as chairman of a number of campus-wide committees, including the Dean's Council, the Promotion and Continuous Appointment Advisory Committee, and the Council for Planning and Evaluation, and was a member of many other campus-wide committees.
As vice chancellor, Trani also was UMKC's representative on the University of Missouri's Academic Affairs Council; represented the university to various local, state and federal agencies; and served as UMKC's academic representative to the American Council on Education, the Association of Urban Universities, the Urban 13, the Mid-American State Universities Association, and the Land-Grant Association (NASULGC). Trani served on the boards of directors of the Truman Medical Center, the Hospital Hill Health Services Corporation, the Vendo Company Trust Fund, the Kansas City Museum of History and Science, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Kansas City Ballet, and the National Conference of Christians and Jews (Greater Kansas City chapter); and on the Advisory Committee of the Kansas City Alliance of Business, the Education Committee of Children's Mercy Hospital, the Curriculum Committee of the Pembroke Hill School, and the Planning/Allocation/Research Committee of the Heart of America United Way Campaign. He was a member of the Ineffectuals Discussion Club and the Carriage Club and served on a regular basis as a commentator on foreign policy developments on both radio and television stations in Kansas City and as a contributor to Kansas City's largest newspaper, the Kansas City Star.
During the time Trani served as vice chancellor at the university, UMKC introduced a major scholarship program for talented high school graduates, a research incentive plan, a continuing education incentive plan, an undergraduate nursing program, a number of new academic degree programs (a bachelor's and master's in computer science, a bachelor's in general studies and a master's of fine arts in theater), an ROTC unit, and an intramural practice plan in dentistry. In addition, during that same period of time, UMKC established a School of Basic Life Sciences and centers for Labor Studies, Underground Space Studies, Urban Law, Cancer Information and Direct Marketing; had its programs in dentistry, engineering, pharmacy, theater, nursing, business administration, medicine, law and education reaccredited; brought about major enhancements of its academic computing capabilities; introduced direct admission from high schools into its schools of Dentistry, Law and Pharmacy; and received major grants from the Hallmark Education Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, the Direct Marketing Foundation and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, as well as significantly increased the number of university faculty and students who received national awards such as Fulbright fellowships.
Also during that time, UMKC developed major teaching and research programs in computer science, with special concentration in computer networking and telecommunications, and in basic life sciences, with special concentration in molecular biology and cellular biology. Finally, during that time, UMKC worked out a series of jointly funded faculty appointments and programs with a number of Kansas City institutions, including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Midwest Research Institute, the Linda Hall Library of Science, the Kansas City Ballet, the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Museum of History and Science, the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, United Telecommunications Inc. and several area school districts. In conjunction with its school district, Kansas City also became part — along with Boston, Detroit, Milwaukee, Oakland, Cincinnati, Tampa, Birmingham and several other cities — of a NASULGC-Ford Foundation project stressing cooperation between urban universities and urban school districts.
While Trani served as vice chancellor, the University of Missouri-Kansas City established a Center for International Affairs and became a leader in the field of international education. Between 1980 and 1986, UMKC signed exchange agreements with the Shanghai Second Medical University and Harbin Medical Schools, Wuhan University, Harbin Teachers University, Hangzhou University, Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Chinese University of Science and Technology and Heilongjiang University, all in the People's Republic of China; the University of the Philippines; the University of New South Wales in Australia; the University of Otago in New Zealand; Karl Marx University in Hungary; Mara Community College in Malaysia; Keimyung University and Hanyang University in Korea; the University of Veracruz in Mexico; the University of Alexandria in Egypt; and the University of Seville in Spain; and many UMKC faculty members and students benefited from these exchanges by studying at the partner universities.
Trani himself was selected by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars to serve as senior Fulbright lecturer in American history at the Soviet Union's Moscow State University in the spring semester of 1981, where he lectured on the history of American political parties between 1912 and 1940. While in the Soviet Union, he negotiated a direct faculty exchange agreement between the University of Missouri and Moscow State University. The exchange agreement was expanded to include a jointly edited series, "Soviet-American Dialogues on United States History," which featured Soviet-authored articles on American history, with detailed critiques by American historians. The first issue of the series, which was published by the University of Missouri Press, appeared in 1989.
In November 1983, Trani served as senior historical lecturer at the University of Seville in Spain, where he lectured on American history of the 1920s. While at UMKC, Trani had a series of assignments as senior historical lecturer in the American Participants Program of the United States Information Agency, giving lectures on American political history and foreign relations and developments in American higher education at colleges and universities, as well as research institutions, government agencies and news media, in a number of countries. In April and May 1984, Trani visited Hong Kong and the Republic of Korea as part of the American Participants Program. While in the People's Republic of China, he negotiated a direct faculty exchange agreement between the University of Missouri and Peking University. In February and March 1985, he again served as American Participants lecturer, visiting the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. Several exchange agreements between UMKC and universities in the countries that Trani visited in 1985 have been negotiated. In January and February 1986, he served for a third time as American Participants lecturer, at that time visiting Malaysia, Singapore, Burma and Thailand.
Trani held a tenured appointment as professor of history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and taught American history courses on a regular basis.