Paul L. Caron

Monday, May 6, 2019

Ousted Business School Dean Files $25 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against Temple For Unfairly Blaming Him In U.S. News Rankings Scandal

Temple University (2018)Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Poets & Quants, Ousted Temple Dean Sues School For $25M:

It’s like the cockroach of rankings scandals. It just won’t die.

Almost exactly 10 months after being forced out of his two-decade-long post as dean of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, former Dean Moshe Porat announced today (May 2) he is suing his former school and university President Richard Englert for $25 million in a defamation case.

The 72-year-old Porat, whose relationship with Temple began in 1976 when he immigrated to the U.S. from Israel as a graduate student, alleges that he was unfairly blamed for the reporting of false rankings data to U.S. News and that his reputation — and legacy — were destroyed:

In July 2018, and again in October 2018, Temple falsely told the world that I “knowingly provided false information” and was “removed” for “falsifying data” to rankings organizations like U.S. News & World Report. The administration at Temple took away the job I loved, damaged my health, and destroyed my reputation and the legacy of my life’s work I spent decades building. They did this with a false narrative invented for its expediency in public relations – and to deflect attention from the University’s own role in all of this. I have been made a scapegoat. ...

Contrary to the University’s statements, there was never a direction from me – or to my knowledge from anyone in the leadership of the Fox School – to manipulate rankings data or to dismantle oversight. Indeed, the opposite is true. Over the years, I gave numerous written directives imploring Fox staffers to ensure that all of the rankings data submissions were accurate and honest. In response, I was repeatedly assured that the data submissions were unassailable.

In the University’s defamatory press release, President Richard Englert accused me of having an 'undue focus on rankings.' Was the Fox School focused on our rankings? Certainly, but no more so than others at Temple or other universities across the nation. In fact, Temple leadership encouraged us at Fox, as well as all the Temple schools, to emphasize rankings and they even led a university-wide retreat dedicated to that effort in 2016. ...

Since 2014, University leaders have required all Temple schools, including the Fox School of Business, to submit all proposed rankings data to a University-wide office, reporting to the Provost, known as Temple’s Institutional Research and Assessment office (IRA). The IRA was supposed to audit and validate the rankings data submitted by all Temple schools and had the ultimate responsibility for verifying data accuracy. None of this was made public when I was removed as Dean last year. Why did the University and IRA not uncover the inaccuracies? ...

During my 22-year tenure as dean, the Fox School doubled its enrollment while dramatically raising the quality of the student body and the kinds of jobs they receive upon graduation. We recruited outstanding faculty and dramatically raised research and tenure standards. At the same time, I worked hard with my team to raise resources through fundraising and through expansion into numerous new domestic and global programs. All told, we raised more than $100 million for the school, dramatically increasing the endowment and built three state of the art facilities for the students.

Documents released by Dr. Porat's lawyer:

Press coverage:

Prior TaxProf Blog posts:

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