Celebration for a Champion

Bloch School Atrium dedicated to Former Dean Teng-Kee Tan

Infectious energy, innovative thinking and passion for excellence. These were but a few of the words used to describe Teng-Kee Tan during a dedication celebration to recognize his leadership and his successes.

Tan served as dean of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City during 2009 – 2013 when he resigned due to health-related issues.

More than 200 faculty, staff, alumni, city officials and Kansas City community members gathered for the tribute, as Tan received thanks and praise for his vision and numerous, successful initiatives.

“There are only two words that I need to say today: Thank you,” said Henry W. Bloch, Bloch School benefactor and co-founder of H&R Bloch. “Thank you, Teng-Kee, for accepting the challenge, to create a world-class school of management here in the community that I call home.

“As far as I’m concerned, he is the finest business school dean in the United States,” Bloch said. “It has truly been an honor to work with him.”

Tan had numerous successes while serving at Bloch.

He was responsible for receipt of the largest gift in Bloch’s, and UMKC’s, history – a $32 million gift from the school’s namesake, Henry W. Bloch, to build the Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The gift was a testament to the trust Henry Bloch placed in Tan and Chancellor Leo Morton’s vision for the school.

Tan brought the Twin Pillars philosophy, an approach that successfully linked its for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, which led to the name change in 2013 from the Bloch School of Business and Public Administration to The Henry W. Bloch School of Management.

Under his leadership, and with assistance from what he called “the finest faculty,” Bloch’s individual programs, and the school as a whole, now enjoy national name recognition.

“They are the finest management, faculty and staff, teaching the latest programs,” said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton. “The Bloch School is one of UMKC’s brightest shining stars, and its reputation has raised the profile of the entire university.”

Newly-named Dean David Donnelly, Ph.D. praised Tan for his leadership and for the growth of the school. Donnelly served as interim dean during Tan’s leave of absence.

“Many of the people who have been instrumental in the growth of the Bloch School, into the first rank of global management education programs, are here today,” said Donnelly. “All of you have played a vital role in helping this school achieve success. No one, however, has had a more fundamental and foundational impact than the man we have come together to honor today – Teng-Kee Tan.

“During his time as dean, Teng-Kee’s passion for excellence, and his infectious energy, worked its way throughout this school. He has been more than just an effective leader. Working with the faculty and community, he helped create a vision for the Bloch School that ignited progress and growth.”

A mixture of emotions were evident as Tan spoke about his vision, his successes and his departure.

“I am here and humble with the grace of God,” said Tan. “Many prayed for me, and I am happy and lucky. Lucky because I married my university sweetheart; we raised a great family. And, now I have a granddaughter.

“I was an entrepreneur, I was able to teach at universities and I became dean of this school because I was inspired by the community and by Henry Bloch.”

To honor the spirit, energy, passion and innovation for which Tan is known, the university dedicated the open atrium space in the new Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in his honor.

In recognizing Tan’s leadership and to keep him as a valued part of the team, a four-foot sign dedicating the Dr. Teng-Kee Tan Atrium was unveiled in the center of the Atrium space.

In addition, Tan was presented with a proclamation from Mayor Sly James and the City of Kansas City, Mo., acknowledging his many achievements, including “elevating the visibility of both the Bloch School and the university to the Kansas City community to inform, educate and engage.”

To read more about Dr. Teng-Kee Tan’s experience, research and teaching, click here.


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