Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Nick Peroff

Dr. Nick Peroff, professor in Public Affairs at the Bloch School of Management, has been at UMKC for 41 years, ever since he first obtained a job after graduate school. In that time, he has served as an assistant professor, associate professor, full professor, Associate Dean, Interdisciplinary Ph.D. faculty coordinator, and a member of the Faculty Senate.

Peroff is currently working on some updates and revisions to courses, as well as pursuing his interest in American Indian affairs, particularly with the College of Menominee Nation in Wisconsin. He will also be involved in a startup nonprofit called Village Square-KC in the months ahead.

“[My] interest in Public Affairs followed logically from the successful pursuit of a PhD in Political Science in Madison and an opportunity to do research in and teach public policy within the context of a school of accounting, business and public administration,” he said.

In his work with graduate students, Peroff teaches in the classroom for MPA students, IPhD students, and the Bloch School’s new MBA students. He also advises MPA students and a few IPhD students.

“The content and context of two of the courses I regularly teach, ‘The Politics of Administration’ and ‘Public Management,’ change all the time,” he said, “so trying to meet the objectives of the two courses motivates me keep up with things going on in the world so I can stay current in those courses.”

Peroff said he is motivated by curiosity and the opportunity to solve problems, try to solve them, and give students some of the tools necessary to help them to deal with problems they will inevitably face in the future as public, nonprofit or health administrators and managers.

With his retirement looming in August 2015, Peroff said he enjoys the flexibility and support he has in the Bloch School. He has been able to pursue his research interests in American Indian policy and in more recent years, complexity theory/science. 

“[My] accomplishments include teaching the thousands of graduate students that enrolled in my classes over the years and learning, often many years later, that some former students not only remember, but think the content of those courses provided them with some of the best knowledge they received while pursuing a degree at UMKC,” he said. “I had the opportunity to be, I think, the first member of the faculty in the UM System to teach a full course at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in South Africa in 1991. In the 1990’s, with the help of UMKC faculty and our bookstore, I shipped over 25,000 used and surplus books to UWC to help them establish a new library. A book I published over thirty years ago is still in print and in use in many American Indian Studies programs and elsewhere.”

Some of Peroff’s other accomplishments include being President of the Western Social Science Association, a Public Administrator of the Year Award (Academic Level) from the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), receipt of the Elmer P. Pierson Teaching Award in the Bloch School, and nomination for membership in Phi Kappa Phi.

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