Ursula Gurney was named the Deputy Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) in May 2017. Prior to her appointment, she was the Senior Associate AD for Internal Operations/SWA.
In her current role, Gurney oversees the areas of academics, compliance, sports medicine, sports performance, and is the primary liaison with UMKC's Offices of Admissions, Registration and Records and Residential Life. In addition, Gurney serves as a Deputy Title IX officer for the institution. She has oversight of ten of UMKC's sixteen sports, serving as the sport administrator for women's basketball, men's and women's golf, women's volleyball, and men's and women's cross country and track and field. She represents UMKC as a member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Administrative Council and serves as a member of the Director of Athletics Senior Staff.
As Senior Woman Administrator (SWA), Gurney provides administrative leadership in the management and governance of UMKC's Intercollegiate Athletics program, and is heavily involved in key decision making at the institutional, conference, and national levels. Gurney collaborates to address strategic initiatives and departmental goals, serve as a resource to all student-athletes and coaches, support gender equity and title IX issues, and evaluate performance of departmental employees. Gurney is charged to help foster a culture that embraces diversity and advocates for student-athlete welfare.
Under Gurney and her staff, UMKC has built a tradition of academic success. The current cumulative department GPA is 3.30. Currently, 15 of UMKC's 16 teams have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better. UMKC's Graduation Success Rate (GSR) remains steady at 88%, while the current cumulative Academic Progress Rate (APR) is 984.
Gurney is an active member of the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A) and Women Leaders in College Sports. Gurney is individually certified by the N4A, and has presented multiple times at N4A's national and regional conventions. She has served since 2012 on N4A's Board of Directors, and currently hold the position of Director at Large for Strategic Planning. She is currently a member of N4A's Strategic Planning Committee and a faculty member for the N4A's Professional Development Institute (PDI) Leader/Manager Track. In 2018 she was awarded the N4A's Distinguished Service Award, and in 2015 she was awarded N4A's Lan Hewlett Award, an honor presented to those who demonstrate an unyielding commitment to the profession. Gurney currently serves on the NCAA Committee of Academics, and the WAC's Academic and Governance Committee. Between 2011 and 2013 she was a member of the NCAA Division I Recruiting and Athletics Personnel Issues Cabinet. She is a graduate of Women Leaders 2012 Leadership Enhancement Institute (LEI), the 2010 West Institute for Administrative Advancement (IAA), and a 2009 graduate of the N4A's Professional Development Institute (PDI) Leader/Manager Track.
Prior to her work in Kansas City, Gurney spent seven years at Ohio State University.
Athletically, Gurney swam competitively at the national level in Canada participating in several National Championships, Olympic and Commonwealth Games Trials.
Gurney earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2000. She then went on to earn her master's degree in history from SFU in 2002.