Governor Nixon calls for review into top ranking of UMKC business school

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The University of Missouri-Kansas City is now facing serious questions about its integrity.

On Thursday, Governor Jay Nixon called for a review into how the UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management obtained a number one ranking. The 2011 study published in the Journal of Product Innovation Management ranked the UMKC school ahead of universities like Harvard and Stanford.

Nixon asked for the review after a Kansas City Star investigation revealed questionable methods by the school. In a letter to the Missouri Board of Curators, Nixon wrote, “The article raises serious questions about the integrity of the scholarship and strategies that have been employed to raise the profile of the institution.”

In response, UMKC released the following statement.

We completely agree with Gov. Nixon on all the key points in his letter to Mr. Downing:

  • that the people of Missouri deserve to know that claims we make about our academic programs are founded on trustworthy, accurate information;
  • that the issues raised by the Star’s article are fundamental to UMKC’s integrity;
  • and that this situation calls for a thorough review of the promotion of the Bloch School and the studies and rankings on which that promotion has been based.

In particular, we agree with the statement by the governor that “such a study has not been conducted.” Indeed, it certainly has not been conducted by the Kansas City Star.

We have not violated the public trust; we say this with confidence, based on multiple reviews of these issues conducted in academic circles long before the Kansas City Star became involved – reviews that found these criticisms to be without merit. We contend that it is the newspaper’s one-sided reporting, and not the acclaim that our programs and faculty have earned, that is truly misleading. The newspaper chose to ignore the extensive evidence we have provided to them of both the previous investigations into these charges, and of the many highly regarded world-class programs at the Bloch School that are not connected to these complaints in any way.

We welcome a thorough, objective and unbiased review of this situation by independent, knowledgeable experts. If such an investigation is performed by people who both understand academic processes, and have no stake in the outcome, people will not have to take our word, or the newspaper’s; they will have a truly independent evaluation in which they can have confidence.  

Following Governor Nixon’s letter, the Board of Curators said they will evaluate all the facts.

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