Joe Reardon, former mayor and CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., will return to his alma mater, Rockhurst University, this fall to teach a course focused on regionalism.
The course, titled Regionalism: From Concepts to Working Models, will introduce students to the concept of regionalism and the development of working models for regional approaches to business, economic development and governance. The class will meet on Monday evenings throughout the fall semester, and will consist of business and political science students who are in their junior or senior year at Rockhurst.
Reardon, who will officially be an adjunct professor and executive in residence for the Helzberg School of Management, admits this is something he’s always wanted to do.
“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to teach the next generation of leaders about these unique concepts,” said Reardon. “I’ll share my experiences, but also bring other Kansas City leaders to class to present their own perspectives. My goal is for students to leave the class with a solid understanding of why regionalism matters to Kansas City, now and in the future, and that they are able to describe and critically evaluate existing models to see what works and what doesn’t.”
Through case study analysis, in-class presentations and a final capstone project, this course will cover topics such as models of effective leadership when governing in a region like Kansas City, the economic impact of border wars, and economic incentive policies that promote small business growth and entrepreneurship.
“Rockhurst is the perfect place to offer a course about understanding the complexities of regional governance and economic development,” said Cheryl McConnell, dean of the Helzberg School of Management. “As a private institution focused on leadership and community engagement, we are able to host conversations and engage in balanced, respectful discussions from all political and governmental perspectives.”
Reardon has invited Sly James, mayor of Kansas City, Mo., also a Rockhurst alumnus, to assist him with the first in-class presentation. From there, he plans to bring in leaders from a variety of areas such as business, nonprofit, community and government. The course will conclude with students presenting capstone presentations to business and community leaders.
Reardon is married to Amy (Pitman) who also graduated from Rockhurst University.
The Reardons reside in Kansas City, Kan., with their two sons, Jack and Connor. He practices development, land use, corporate and technology law with the Kansas City, Kan., law firm of McAnany, Van Cleave and Phillips P.A.
Learn more about this seminar and other Helzberg School of Management offerings at rockhurst.edu/helzberg.