Fox MBA student sues Temple

Fox School of Business’s Online MBA program lost its No. 1 ranking from the U.S. News & World Report on Jan. 25. The national recognition still appeared on signage, like this advertisement in Alter Hall, on Jan. 29. | ALYSSA BIEDERMAN / FILE PHOTO

UPDATED at 10:25 p.m. on Feb. 19, 2018

Kyle Smith, a graduate student in the Fox School of Business Online MBA program, is suing the university for the school’s “fraudulent and deceptive business practices,” the Penn Record reported.

Fox’s online MBA program lost its No. 1 ranking last month for “significantly overstating” its test scores to the U.S. News & World Report. Smith alleged he “paid a premium” to enroll in the once top-ranked program, the Penn Record reported.

Fox has ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report for its Online MBA program for four consecutive years, before losing its rank for 2018.

“We look forward to litigating the matters raised in the complaint,” said Smith’s attorney, Jason Brown of JTB Law Group, in a statement. “Academic honesty is a two-way street. Just as students are accountable for candor and accuracy, schools must be held to the same standard.”

Smith said in the complaint that the rankings “scandal would cause ‘diminution in the academic value’ of his degree and ‘reduced opportunities in the workplace for recipients thereof,’” Law360 reported.

The U.S. News & World Report’s ranking formula gives extra weight to programs that report more than 75 percent of their students’ standardized test scores for tests like GMAT and GRE.

The school said it reported 100 percent of its new students’ standardized test results in the Summer and Fall of 2017, but it only reported 20 percent of the results.

The university hired Jones Day, an international law firm with nearly 2,500 attorneys, to review the school’s reporting processes, Law360 reported. The university has yet to disclose who will defend it in Smith’s suit.

“The Fox School of Business has and will continue to offer high quality, high-value programs,” university spokesman Ray Betzner said in a statement. “With respect to the lawsuit, the university intends to defend itself vigorously.”


Kyle Smith, a student in the Fox School of Business’ online MBA program, is suing the university for the school’s “fraudulent and deceptive business practices,” the Penn Record reported.

Fox’s online MBA program lost its No. 1 ranking last month for “significantly overstating” its test scores to the U.S. News and World Report. Smith alleged that he “paid a premium” to enroll in the once top-ranked program, the Penn Record reported.

The U.S. News and World Report’s ranking formula gives extra weight to programs that report its students’ standardized test scores.

The school reported 100 percent of its new students’ standardized test results in the summer and fall of 2017, but only 20 percent of students actually reported test results.

Smith is seeking damages, court costs and interest. The university hired an outside firm to review the school’s reporting processes.


Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include both the university statement and the student’s representation’s statement.

CORRECTION: A former version of the photo caption misstated that the signage featuring Fox’s No. 1 Online MBA program was still advertised in Alter Hall. It was still advertised on Jan. 29 and has since been updated to reflect the correct date the file photo was taken.

Kelly Brennan
can be reached at kelly.brennan@temple.edu Or you can follow Kelly on Twitter @_kellybrennan Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews

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