Fred Schlichting, who spent 18 seasons with the UMKC men’s soccer team as assistant and then associate coach, has joined the School of Medicine as director of advancement. In his coaching role, he was responsible for coordinating soccer recruiting, events and day-to-day administrative operations — skills that transfer well to his School of Medicine role. Schlichting, a St. Louis native who played soccer and earned a degree in psychology at Notre Dame, talks about his new post.
Q. Why did you make this switch?
A. Soccer is a wonderful community, and I got to know lots of great people, but I wanted to reach out to even more people in the Kansas City area and at UMKC. I always felt that the School of Medicine was a pride of the university, and I was really impressed by the faculty and people in the dean’s office. And now I’m enjoying getting to know the alumni and looking forward to being able to serve them.
Q. What does an advancement director do? What are your goals?
A. Advancement is making people feel connected to UMKC. We want to keep people informed about our mission, and to create events where alumni and students can interact, and we can all celebrate UMKC.
In the short term, I am meeting as many people as I can to learn how the school works and how I can be of assistance. Longer term, I’d like to see increased exposure for the School of Medicine in our community and more events for alumni to stay connected. I’d like to highlight more points of pride from which we can tell our story.
Q. Do you see carryover from your soccer work in your new position?
A. One similarity I see is in the docent units. They very much are a team, and succeed with the same sort of dedication and commitment of time, effort, energy, continuity and camaraderie.
And of course we’re all under the UMKC banner: Kansas City’s university. Kansas City’s medical school. We’re all part of something bigger than ourselves. Medicine is such an incredible example of how education can serve the community at large.
Q. What do you like to do outside of work? What makes you who you are?
A. I have a really strong sense of family. I love spending time with my wife and two daughters. I enjoy staying active, running and playing soccer. And I love to read, often fiction that I can try to pull themes and life lessons from.
Professionally, I’ve always wanted to be of service to others. I have career and professional goals, certainly, but if I wasn’t somehow benefitting others, I don’t think I’d feel right just working to draw a paycheck.
Q. Any parting thoughts for alumni? How can they help?
A. I want alumni to express their needs and share their ideas, so I can create events and add to our communication in ways that meet those needs.