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University of Missouri Board of Curators releases review of UMKC Bloch School rankings

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John Fougere

January 30, 2015

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri 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 (UMKC). The board approved the hiring of an outside academic expert to review criticisms regarding the Bloch School’s rankings last year, following a request for such an inquiry by Governor Jay Nixon.

The board commissioned Dr. Robert Hisrich, formerly of the Thunderbird School of Global Management to conduct the review, which included an assessment of the facts in the case compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), at a combined cost of $176,000.

Dr. Hisrich’s report focused on information and methodology used in articles in two academic journals (the Journal of Product Innovation Management and the Princeton Review) as well as whether or not such rankings influenced a major gift donated to the Bloch School. Of the three primary issues raised, Dr. Hisrich concluded the following:

1. Issue: Improperly influencing a research paper published in the Journal of Product Innovation Management (JPIM) written by two visiting Chinese scholars that ranked a UMKC professor and the institution itself as the number one researcher in the field of innovation management in the world and the number one research university in the world respectively;

  • Dr. Hisrich’s conclusion: The circumstances surrounding the publication of the JPIM article and the methodology employed were consistent with generally acceptable professional practices;

2. Issue: Providing exaggerated and misstated data particularly to the Princeton Review Board;

  • Dr. Hisrich’s conclusion: The information provided to the Princeton Review Board for certain years was inaccurate in three subject matter areas, but could not conclude that the inaccurate information made a material difference in UMKC’s rankings;

3. Issue: Acquiring a $32 million donation from Henry Bloch based on past and future rankings.

  • Dr. Hisrich’s conclusion: The $32 million gift of Henry Bloch was not motivated by past and future rankings but primarily by the need for a new facility to accommodate increasing enrollment.

“It was critically important that the board receive a thorough, independent review of this matter because academic honesty and integrity are hallmarks of the University of Missouri System,” Don Cupps, chair of the University of Missouri Board of Curators, said. “This process will serve as an excellent opportunity to review procedures and improve as an institution.”

Until December 31, 2014, Dr. Hisrich was the Garvin Professor of Global Entrepreneurship and director of the Walker Center for Global Entrepreneurship at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, which is currently ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the top school of international business in the world. He currently serves as professor emeritus at the school.

Dr. Hisrich will be available to address members of the news media regarding his report at 11 a.m. today. Media should call (866) 357-7737 and use the access code of 2599419045 to join the call.

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.

For UMKC Chancellor Morton's Bloch School action plan, please visit: http://umurl.us/8OZ and http://umurl.us/Lp.

Note: these are large files and it is best to copy and paste the URL directly into a web browser for faster download.

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