In light of recent events involving UMKC’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management and its rankings in the Princeton Review, two professors have resigned. UMKC announced professor Michael Song’s resignation on Feb. 13 and professor John Norton’s one week later in a press release.
Song’s resignation was accepted immediately by Chancellor Leo E. Morton.
“Michael Song is a talented researcher and teacher who strived relentlessly to lead the development of outstanding entrepreneurship programs at UMKC,” Morton said. “Students get a first-rate education in entrepreneurship through the programs developed during his time here.”
During his tenure at UMKC, Song served as the founder and director of the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The Institute was founded in 2005, though Song stepped down from his position as director last year.
Song resigned from the University two weeks after the Bloch School’s top 25 rankings from the last four years were pulled from the Princeton Review.
“We have outstanding students and excellent programs that I helped create in the Bloch School but my presence has become an unnecessary distraction,” Song said. “For the best interests of the students and programs, I have reluctantly decided to resign from UMKC so that everyone can focus on doing the important thing — training the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.”
Norton, who served as associate director of the Regnier Institute, resigned shortly thereafter.
According to the Huffington Post, “Norton told auditors he felt pressured by Song to do improper things related to the ratings but didn’t speak up because he feared for his job and believed in Song’s vision for the institute.”
“I am as passionate as ever about teaching entrepreneurship and innovation to our excellent Bloch School students, but I have reached the conclusion that my role in events of recent weeks may distract from that mission,” Norton said. “It’s critical to students and the community that this excellent program be able to move forward and continue fostering the growth of entrepreneurship education.”
Bloch School Dean David Donnelly agreed that Norton’s resignation was in the best interest of the University, and thanked him for his contributions to the University during his time at UMKC.
“John has always worked hard on behalf of our students and was dedicated to their success and to the success of our program,” said David Donnelly, Dean of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. “We wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Norton’s resignation will be effective Sunday, Mar. 15.