UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton outlines new leadership, new developments and an action plan for the Bloch School.
Independent review upholds No. 1 research ranking
The University of Missouri System Board of Curators today released the findings of an independent review of the academic rankings of the Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
The Board of Curators commissioned the review in response to a request from Gov. Jay Nixon after questions were raised regarding rankings of the Bloch School of Management. The review was conducted by Robert D. Hisrich, Ph.D., who retired as of Jan. 1 as Garvin Professor of Global Entrepreneurship and Director of the Center for Global Entrepreneurship at Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Ariz. Dr. Hisrich was aided by work conducted by the global audit and accounting firm PwC, formerly known as PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Among the conclusions reached by Dr. Hisrich in the report released today:
- The journal article that led to the Bloch School’s top ranking in innovation management research was consistent with generally acceptable professional practices.
- The $32 million gift from Henry Bloch for a new building was not motivated by past and future rankings but by enrollment growth.
- Information provided to the Princeton Review Board for certain years was inaccurate in three subject areas, but he couldn’t conclude that the information made a material difference in UMKC’s rankings.
“I am pleased to have the Bloch School’s No. 1 ranking in innovation management research validated, but I take seriously the report’s conclusions on the three areas of flawed data in the Princeton Review application. We have already implemented changes and will continue to seek ways to improve our data collection,” Morton said.
On the ranking in the Journal of Product Innovation Management, the Hisrich report found that the journal article that yielded the No. l rankings in product innovation management – for UMKC as an institution, and for Prof. Michael Song as an individual – was “consistent with generally acceptable professional practices.”
The review by Hisrich found no basis for the charge that the school sought to artificially inflate rankings in order to persuade philanthropist Henry W. Bloch to donate $32 million for construction of the new Bloch School building that opened in August 2014. According to the review, the decision to donate the funds was made by Mr. Bloch in the spring of 2011, many months before the publication of the JPIM article.
The Hisrich review questioned flawed data reported to the Princeton Review Board including the number of student clubs cited by the Bloch School, the way mentor programs were counted and how certain enrollment numbers were calculated. The Bloch School’s undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship programs have ranked among the top 25 in the nation five different times.
Chancellor Morton said Bloch School Dean David Donnelly has already made changes to the way the data was collected and reported this year. In addition, Morton said the Bloch School has appointed a special faculty committee to oversee the processes involved in any rankings submissions going forward.
Hisrich stated in his report that he could not determine whether the incorrect data would have affected the overall final ranking for UMKC. Information from the Princeton Review stated that “a shift in one data point, even going from 100% to 0%, would not change the overall outcome of the 2014 ranking of UMKC’s program.”
Hisrich noted that the Princeton Review considers 40 separate data points in its rankings, most of which were unquestioned, and further added that “Recent submissions of UMKC using more conservative data has resulted in UMKC remaining in the top 25 universities in the Princeton Review rankings.”
The Bloch School’s benefactor, Henry Bloch, expressed appreciation for the thoroughness of the independent review.
“I am grateful to Gov. Nixon for insisting that an independent expert be brought in to bring the truth to light. Dr. Hisrich’s credentials and credibility are such that this report should put this matter to rest once and for all,” Henry Bloch said in a statement. “It’s time to get back to the important work of building on the successes of the Bloch School and continuing the fine work they’ve been doing to meet the needs of its students and Kansas City’s business community.”
For the Hisrich report in its entirety, please visit: http://umurl.us/RHreport.
For the PwC report in its entirety, please visit: http://umurl.us/PWCreport.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City recently appointed a search committee to fill the position of permanent Dean of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. The new Dean will lead the school as it continues its momentum as one of UMKC’s fastest growing academic units and one of the country’s leaders in entrepreneurship and innovation education.
Pictured, from left: Institute Executive Director Michael Song, UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton, Bloch School Dean Teng-Kee Tan, Bloch School benefactor Henry W. Bloch, FAIA ACSA Distinguished Professor Victor Regnier (University of Southern California School of Architecture), Catherine Regnier and President and CEO, Bank of Blue Valley, Robert Regnier.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Henry W. Bloch School of Management have received a $3 million gift from the Regnier Family Foundations to endow the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, housed in the Bloch School.
The foundations were established in 1990 by Victor A., Jr., Robert D. and Catherine M. Regnier to honor their parents’ legacy.
“The Institute has demonstrated excellence nationally and globally in business entrepreneurship and innovation. Now UMKC is taking that experience and strategically infusing other schools on campus with an entrepreneurial and innovative mindset,” said Victor Regnier, FAIA ACSA Distinguished Professor at the University of Southern California School of Architecture. “This allows the entrepreneurial spirit of the Bloch School to strengthen all disciplines. Taking an entrepreneurial approach to the application of knowledge and research in engineering, law, performing arts and health sciences is a model from which every university can benefit.”
The Foundations established for Victor L. and Helen Benning Regnier promotes higher education, children’s programs and libraries, primarily in the Kansas City area. The UMKC gift will provide an opportunity for more students to apply to the Institute’s nationally and globally ranked entrepreneurship programs offered through the Bloch School.
The Regniers have been long-time supporters of the Institute, having named the Institute’s Venture Creation Challenge event (Regnier Venture Creation Challenge) with an annual gift in 2007.
The Challenge is designed to encourage student venture creation through a forum in which students can present new venture concepts to local investors, business leaders and entrepreneurs. Throughout the year, UMKC students develop business plans supporting commercialization of high-growth-potential technologies as well as their own original ventures. These student teams compete in the Challenge for various awards.
Several of the student ventures have achieved initial success. Tim Sylvester’s Integrated Roadways, featured in The Wall Street Journal, created sensors to detect hazardous road conditions, using a modular pavement system. Shane Spencer’s Green REIT – a real estate investment trust focused exclusively on renewable energy – secured nine figures in investment in his first year and made Forbes’ 30 under 30 in Real Estate list.
Kristen Kenney, an alumna of the UMKC Law School, won a University of Missouri System award for RE:Cite, which helps make legal services more profitable for practitioners and more cost-effective for consumers. The product has an addressable market value of more than $800 million.
“The Regnier Family understands the significance of this experiential learning challenge as well as the quality of the entrepreneurship programs at the Bloch School,” said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton.
“Their gift will allow the Institute to continue to draw the best students and prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs who will be critical to our regional, state and national economies.”
“It is imperative for our community to support the Bloch School and UMKC so that we may continue to grow and become among the best in the world,” Bloch School Dean Teng-Kee Tan said. “The generosity of people like Henry Bloch and the Regnier Family, among others, has been critical to our success, but we must continue to sustain, grow and graduate students with an innovative and global mindset, regardless of discipline.”
The Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation develops and delivers UMKC’s entrepreneurship offerings, including the Bloch School’s degree programs at all levels and cross-disciplinary programs university-wide.
IEI Director Michael Song stressed the importance of the gift in conducting that work, saying, “The Regnier Family’s generosity will help us reach more students, create more entrepreneurs and more ventures and take our programs to the next level of excellence.”