Paul L. Caron

Monday, March 29, 2021

Former Temple Dean Faces Criminal Charges For Submitting False Data To Inflate U.S. News Ranking

Following up on my previous posts (links below):  Philadelphia Inquirer, Criminal Charges Expected For Ousted Temple Dean in Rankings Scandal, Lawyers Say:

Temple University (2018)A long-running criminal probe into efforts by Temple University’s business school to boost its national rankings with false data is expected to conclude in the coming weeks with prosecutors recommending criminal charges against its former dean, according to recent court filings and interviews with sources familiar with the matter.

Attorneys for M. Moshe Porat — who led the Fox School of Business for more than two decades until his 2018 ouster when the school’s misrepresentations came to light — said the U.S. Attorney’s Office had recently informed them that it was pursuing a grand jury indictment against him and others in the coming weeks. ...

Porat’s lawyers, who did not return requests for comment, accused Temple in court papers Tuesday of stoking the criminal probe and trying to turn their client into a “scapegoat.”

But, in a filing in the defamation case last week, the university for the first time laid the blame squarely on Porat. Not only did the fraud occur under his watch, the school’s lawyers said, he was its “mastermind.”

“He conceived it, controlled it and kept it hidden, only to try later to cover it up,” attorney Carolyn P. Short wrote. “M. Moshe Porat bears personal responsibility for the Fox School’s intentional submission of false ranking data.”

Poets & Quants, Ousted Temple Dean Faces Criminal Indictment Over MBA Rankings Scandal:

[R]ecent court filings in a defamation suit brought by Porat against the university for his firing have revealed new details that cash the dean in a poor light. According to both emails and depositions submitted in his defamation case, moving Fox higher up in the rankings became an obsession for him. The documents show that Porat put pressure on his staff for years to find ways to increase the school’s rankings.

“When results failed to materialize quickly enough, he replaced the team that had overseen the school’s annual submissions with a handpicked group that included a statistics professor charged with reverse engineering the criteria U.S. News used to calculate school scores,” according to the Inquirer. ...

U.S. News removed the Fox School off its online MBA ranking in January of 2018 after finding out that the school misreported critical data on its program. Temple had reported that all 255 of the program’s latest incoming class submitted GMAT scores to get into the program with the average score being 619. In fact, the school acknowledged that only 50 students, or 19.6%, submitted GMAT scores. As a result, Temple’s online MBA program, ranked first in the nation by U.S. News, for four consecutive years, was moved to unranked status for 2018 [and now ranks #100].

Prior TaxProf Blog posts:

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