A Kansas City Star investigation that turned up falsified data submitted for rankings at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s business school has won a national Gerald Loeb Award.
“A Misleading March to the Top” was chosen in the local coverage category, sharing the honor with a series by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The award, announced Tuesday night in New York and issued by the University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management, was the second Loeb won by The Star in the past three years.
The UMKC stories by Mike Hendricks and Mará Rose Williams, published last year, found a pattern of exaggerations and misstatements aimed at boosting the reputation of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management.
In the wake of the stories, two UMKC officials resigned, and the Princeton Review stripped the university’s entrepreneurship program of top 25 rankings for the past four years.
“Over the years, I always expected every organization to which I provided philanthropic support to act in an open, transparent and truthful manner,” Henry Bloch said in February, after the school’s rankings were stripped.
“As shocked and terribly disappointed as I am to learn that flawed data was submitted, I am now counting on UMKC’s leadership to ensure that a culture embracing the highest level of integrity is upheld at the Bloch School in the future.”
In addition, Chancellor Leo Morton apologized to students, faculty and the community for the rankings fiasco and promised it would “never happen again.”
A series on the beef industry published by The Star won the 2013 Gerald Loeb Award for explanatory journalism. The Loeb Awards are often referred to as the Pulitzers of business journalism.