Temple reaches settlement with Pa. Attorney General over rankings scandal

The university has agreed to establish a $250,000 scholarship for Fox School of Business students and maintain its ethics helpline and data verification unit.

Temple will fund $250,000 in scholarships for students in the Fox School of Business as part of a settlement with Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro over the business school’s rankings scandal last year, Shapiro’s office announced today in a release. 

The settlement also requires the university to provide information about last year’s rankings scandal to prospective students, implement mandatory data integrity training for Fox employees, maintain its ethics and compliance helpline, which was established in May, and perform annual compliance assessments to be submitted to the state government.

In July, Temple created a centralized data verification unit tasked with reviewing nearly all data sent outside of the university, including data sent to rankings organizations. The university also required each individual school or college to create internal data review processes.

“Importantly, Temple University has agreed to terms that will ensure students and their families are making informed choices moving forward,” Shapiro said in the statement.

“Temple is pleased to reach a resolution of this matter, which follows a comprehensive and ongoing effort by the university to create a set of internal controls to ensure that Temple’s data is collected and reported transparently and accurately,” said President Richard Englert in a statement to The Temple News.

Fox’s rankings scandal unraveled after the university announced the school had falsified several of its programs’ data sent to U.S. News and World Report. Shapiro’s office and the U.S. Department of Education announced independent investigations soon afterward.

A report by the law firm Jones Day found that the business school had overstated the number of students in its Online MBA program, the undergraduate GPA of students and the number of offers it made to applicants. The school had been ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report for four consecutive years before the scandal.

“This behavior mislead students, alumni, employers and the public about the quality and value of these Temple programs,” Shapiro said in the statement.

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