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Frank Ellis, chair of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Bloch cited for excellence

PA excels in nonprofit management education

The city’s top business leaders and business educators gathered at the University of Missouri-Kansas City today to celebrate the university’s achievements in applying entrepreneurial practices to address social problems.

UMKC announced that in the recent U.S. News & World Report listing of “Best Graduate Schools 2013" rankings, the nonprofit management emphasis in the Henry W. Bloch School of Management’s Master of Public Administration program jumped 10 spots from its former ranking at No. 25 to No. 15 in the nation.

School namesake Henry W. Bloch said this represents achievement in “social entrepreneurship” and reflects his vision for the school that bears his name. He was joined by Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Chair Frank Ellis, Bloch School Dean Teng-Kee Tan, UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton and Department of Public Affairs Chair David Renz at the celebration, held at the university’s James C. Olson Performing Arts Center.

“I am an entrepreneur and an innovator in both the for-profit and the nonprofit sectors, and I am proud to have my family name associated with a school where exciting things are happening and the good news just keeps coming,” Bloch said. “In my personal life and my career, I am a businessman who cares about his community and gives back to it. I never wanted to be one or the other, because our city relies on us for civic leadership and business growth.”

According to Ellis, the Bloch School’s Public Administration programs are helping to realize Henry Bloch’s vision.

“The for-profit side of the Bloch School is considered a key ingredient to making Kansas City the nation’s most entrepreneurial city. The Bloch public administration programs, especially the Levitt Challenge, will foster innovative collaborations with ideas that could turn our urban core around,” Ellis said. “Through centers like the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership; the research, service and teaching of nationally renowned faculty like David Renz; and programs like the Master of Public Administration and new Executive Master of Public Administration; the Department of Public Affairs at the Bloch School has excelled as a thought leader and civic catalyst for good in our communities.”

Announced today, the Aaron L. Levitt Social Entrepreneurship Challenge allows students from across UMKC to compete in developing innovative strategies that address some of the most complex urban community needs and challenges. This is similar to the Regnier Venture Creation Challenge – a UMKC competition designed to encourage venture creation by students, where the new venture concepts are presented to business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs.

David Renz, Chair, Department of Public Affairs, Beth K. Smith/Missouri Chair in Nonprofit Leadership and Director, Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, made yet another announcement today. This fall, Bloch welcomes the inaugural Executive MPA class, which will focus on executive leadership in the public, nonprofit and healthcare sectors. The EMPA provides specialized executive education for individuals in these sectors who have advanced professional experience.

“This is the single most noteworthy ranking of public affairs programs in the nation,” said Renz.

The Master of Public Administration program is housed within the Bloch School’s Department of Public Affairs, which also is home to the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, a nationally pre-eminent academic center engaged in research and organization development initiatives that help agencies address some of the most important challenges and issues of our region – issues such as meeting the mobility needs of our oldest citizens, and the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity. The center has provided leadership development to more than 50,000 public service leaders and more than 2,000 nonprofit and governmental agencies in Kansas City and throughout the U.S. since it was founded in 1991. 

Also within the Department of Public Affairs is the L.P. Cookingham Institute for Urban Affairs, named after a leading civic innovator, pioneering city manager Perry Cookingham. The Institute works with leaders from governments throughout the Kansas City metropolitan region, and under the leadership of UMKC faculty member Jered Carr, it will launch a new series of professional development and research initiatives designed to address some of the most significant challenges in metropolitan governance.

The nonprofit management emphasis at UMKC focuses on the role of the nonprofit sector in the economy, agency governance and executive leadership, and social entrepreneurship.

Bloch School Dean Teng-Kee Tan reiterated the successes the School has had over the past few years, particularly in entrepreneurship and innovation.

“The Henry W. Bloch School of Management’s key mission, vision and value proposition focuses on twin pillars of excellence: entrepreneurship and innovation in the for-profit sector and social entrepreneurship and civic innovation in the public/not-for-profit sector,” Tan said. “The rankings Bloch has achieved reinforce the fact we are a top school in both areas.

“Entrepreneurship and non-profit social entrepreneurship is what the life of our school’s namesake, Henry Bloch, is about,” Tan noted. “Our job at the Bloch School is to nurture our students to become more like Henry Bloch each day. Our academic excellence and recognition shows we are certainly going in the right direction.”
 


Henry Bloch, H&R Block co-founder and school namesake.

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“I am an entrepreneur and an innovator in both the for-profit and the nonprofit sectors, and I am proud to have my family name associated with a school where exciting things are happening and the good news just keeps coming.”

Henry W. Bloch