While he’s only been on the Bloch School scene a short time, Brian Klaas, Ph.D., is ready to make his mark on UMKC and Kansas City. Klaas comes to Bloch from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, a school with a number of nationally ranked programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.
In addition to his duties as dean of the Bloch School, Klaas is also a professor of management. Bloch faculty and staff are excited to have Klaas’ leadership in driving the Bloch School to the next level of success. And when he’s not on campus, you can be sure to catch him around Kansas City — embracing all the community has to offer.
First impression of Kansas City?
It’s a gem flying under the radar. Outstanding community spirit, positive public and private sector engagement, entrepreneurial energy — all combine with an extremely high quality of life. KC also has easy access to world-class museums, farmer’s markets, performing arts venues and professional sports.
Favorite Kansas City barbecue restaurant? Thus far at least?
To this point, I have been to Gates, Joe’s Kansas City, Jack Stack and Q39. There is no way to identify a favorite among that group — all were amazing. I loved the ribs at Gates and Joe’s, the Crown Rib and beans at Jack Stack and the brisket and burnt ends at Q39. Recently, Henry Bloch suggested a few that were on his list of favorites. I can’t wait to make my way through the rest of the list.
Tea or coffee? How do you take it?
No sugar, please, otherwise I’m good. I love both tea and coffee in all iterations and in great quantities. I’m looking forward to having coffee meetings at Crow’s Coffee and The Roasterie.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
I had a colleague who, after every meeting, would wish me well by saying, “Remember, life is not a dress rehearsal.” Pithy and full of meaning. I should also say that Tom Bloch’s book about Henry is a storehouse full of great advice. A couple of my favorite lines from Henry that the book quotes are: “Everybody makes mistakes but not everybody learns from them” and “The difference between success and failure is usually in the little things.”
Favorite things about the Bloch School thus far?
There are a lot of good people genuinely trying to do good things.