Earlier in the year, I informed you that we had engaged the nationally respected law firm Jones Day to conduct a comprehensive review of rankings data and processes within the Fox School of Business. As you may recall, the data originally submitted to U.S. News & World Report for the 2018 rankings were inaccurate regarding the percentage of incoming Fox Online MBA students who provided GMAT scores as part of the enrollment process.
That review is now complete, and it is my duty to report that the Fox School, under the leadership of Dean Moshe Porat, knowingly provided false information to at least one rankings organization about the Online MBA. In addition to the misreporting of the number of students who took the GMAT from 2015 to 2018, the average undergraduate GPA was overstated, and there were inaccuracies in the number of offers of admission as well as in the degree of student indebtedness.
It was the dean’s initiative to disband a longstanding committee charged with ensuring the accuracy of rankings data. This absence of checks and balances, together with an undue focus on rankings, enabled such misreporting. While we are committed to determining the nature and extent of possible incorrect data reporting regarding other academic programs at Fox, one thing is clear: This is contrary to the fundamental value of integrity that is at the heart of our academic mission.
Today, Executive Vice President and Provost JoAnne A. Epps and I asked Dean Porat to step down effective immediately as dean. An interim dean will be identified, and we will begin a national search for a permanent dean as soon as possible.
Temple’s values and culture have guided us successfully since 1884. They are guiding me now in today’s decision. While I am deeply saddened by these developments, I am confident we are taking the right steps to address this issue. Our message here is simple: What happened at the Fox School cannot be allowed to happen again at Temple.
I remain firm in my belief that our Online MBA program, and the Fox School as a whole, is one of the best in the nation and an excellent choice for students who want an exceptional management education in a vibrant urban environment. Today’s action should not detract from the tremendous accomplishments of the school’s faculty, staff, students and alumni.
Provost Epps will share additional information on a series of measures, including a new university-wide policy regarding rankings, more robust checks and balances for rankings data collection and reporting, and new data analytics staff. We are also sharing information with our various accrediting bodies, as well as the U.S. Department of Education.
Richard M. Englert