Temple University announced today that it has agreed to resolve potential claims by Fox School of Business students arising from the misreporting of certain data to U.S. News & World Report for its rankings. The class action settlements resolve the claims of students in those programs where misreporting occurred.
The agreements have been submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for its review and approval and will include both monetary and non-monetary terms. The settlements resolve the pending federal lawsuit against the university (Kyle Smith et al. v. Temple University).
The settlement does not constitute an admission of liability. While the university believes that it could have ultimately prevailed in the litigation, Temple nonetheless chose settlement in the best interests of the university and its students.
As part of the settlement, Temple has agreed to pay the Online MBA class $4 million to settle the class action lawsuit, plus $1,475,000 to settle the claims of students enrolled in the Executive MBA, Global MBA, Part-time MBA, and the MS in Human Resource Management, MS in Digital Innovation in Marketing and Online Bachelor of Business Administration programs.
How much each member of the class will receive as part of the settlement will be approved by the court. The method of allocation will be proposed by plaintiffs’ counsel.
Among the additional features of the settlement is the creation of a $5,000 ethics scholarship for a student with a demonstrated interest in the study of ethics in business who is enrolled in any of the programs that are part of the settlement.
Entering into these agreements will allow Temple to move forward, and continue to focus on its top priority of providing high-quality business education at Fox and ensuring the highest integrity in the provision of rankings data. The comprehensive agreements will build on the other remedial steps that Temple already has undertaken to date to address this matter fully and responsibly, including:
- Within Fox, a new performance analytics unit was created to implement a multi-step process for the aggregation, inspection, verification and submission of data.
- University-wide, each school, college and unit is required to document and standardize data collection, verification and submission processes.
- Temple has hired a university compliance officer to enhance its ethics and compliance program, as well as internal reporting structures.
- Temple has recruited and is continuing to recruit new staff dedicated to data processes and practices.
- Temple is implementing technology and training to support data integrity.
In addition to these internal actions, the university will undertake to continuously review and improve these and other measures going forward.