Another day, another fall from grace. The rankings scandal at the Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City is taking a severe toll on the school’s entrepreneurship program.
Professor John Norton, associate director of Bloch’s entrepreneurship institute, has resigned, the university announced Feb. 20. His exit, effective Mar. 15, follows last week’s resignation of professor Michael Song, who a Pricewaterhouse Coopers audit found suggested had orchestrated the feeding of false rankings data to the Princeton Review, and had written part of a journal article that named him and Bloch No. 1 for innovation management education.
Norton, who was the institute’s managing director at the time of the Princeton Review submissions, had told PwC auditors that some of the information sent to the Princeton Review misrepresented the program, and that other numbers were fabricated outright. Norton said Song, the institute’s founder and head, had pressured him to submit the numbers, and that he had feared for his job security.
“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 in a release extremely similar to Song’s statement on his own resignation.
FACULTY DISAVOW HONORS
The Bloch faculty last week endorsed a resolution renouncing all awards and honors given to the entrepreneurship program over the decade that Song ran it.
University chancellor Leo Morton has said a one-year moratorium has been put in place on submission of any rankings-related data from Bloch.
“This will give us time to put our new processes in place,” Morton said. “We have first rate faculty, staff and students and excellent programs that need no embellishment.”
However, Bloch and the university are still claiming the No. 1 findings in the Journal of Product Innovation Management, even though Song admitted he helped write it, and a journal executive told PwC ghost writing would likely be cause for retraction.
Song had been pulling in an annual salary of around $400,000, making him the third-highest-paid employee at the university. Norton had been making $159,000.