BREAKING: Temple Fox Business Dean Moshe Porat Resigns
News of Porat’s dismissal was just announced in a letter from Temple University president Richard M. Englert, who writes, “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.”
Alongside the letter, the university revealed the in-depth findings conducted by Jones Day, which can be read in full here. The law firm’s report also revealed that the Temple University business school reported false data not just for its Online MBA program, but several other programs as well. Porat and the other business school personnel, according to the findings, deliberately misrepresented data in order to forge better placement in the rankings.
“The investigation revealed that (i) the Dean and other Fox personnel, made clear that improving or maintaining Fox’s position in rankings was a key priority; (ii) Fox had in place a concerted, rankings-focused strategy including detailed analyses of U.S. News’s rankings methodology and strategies tied to specific U.S. News data metrics, which strategy was promoted internally by the Dean and other Fox personnel; and (iii) the environment fostered by the school’s emphasis on rankings contributed to the reporting of inaccurate information to U.S. News. Moreover, the Dean’s focus on rankings, coupled with his personal management style, caused Fox personnel who interacted with the Dean on ranking-related matters to feel pressure to perform in this regard.”
While Englert assured the quality of the program in his letter, he notes that policy of reporting data will undergo a complete overhaul moving into the future.
“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.”
No word has been released on Porat’s potential replacement as Dean, as of yet. Stay tuned to MetroMBA as the story continues to unfold.