Temple University announced June 9 that the dean of its Fox School of Business, Moshe Porat, was asked to resign. His ouster occured after an independent investigation found him partly responsible for the Fox School’s misreporting of data to U.S. News & World Report — causing its online master of business administration program to be dropped from the 2018 rankings.
The report by law firm Jones Day found that Porat, who led the school since 1996, built a workplace environment heavily focused on improving the school’s rankings. In 2013 Porat disbanded the committee that collectively drafted responses to rankings surveys.
Since the 2014 rankings, the data was principally supplied by a single employee who worked with little oversight and was personally praised for increases. That employee, not named in the report, alleged that some of the misreporting was ordered by Porat. Other staff of the Fox School also did not correct errors it knew about. However, the investigators did not conclude whether any false reporting was due to Porat’s instruction.
According to the report, the incorrect data included inflating grade point averages, understating the indebtedness of graduates, understating the number of admission offers to students and misreporting the number and results of the Graduate Management Admission Test taken by applicants.
Jones Day did not publicly name other specific staff who were responsible, although one of its recommendations to prevent future false reporting was to review those responsible for the false reporting and take action they thought appropriate. Philly.com reported June 9 that Darin Kapanjie, who was responsible for the launch of the online MBA program, is still employed at Temple.
Fox’s online MBA, founded in 2009, was ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report 2014-18. (Drexel University’s program is ranked No. 61, tied with several other schools.) The business school benefited from that inflated rank through sharply increased enrollment in its program. The 2018 rank was canceled in January after Temple reported its mistakes; a source within the university told The Philadelphia Inquirer this was because of pressure from a whistle-blower.
Temple online MBA student Kyle Smith filed a class-action lawsuit against the university in February, alleging the misreporting constituted a deceptive business practice that reduced the value of his education. The suit is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The university has said it will name an interim dean while it conducts a national search for a new head of the school.