Data error bumps Temple's Online MBA program from No. 1 to unranked - Technical.ly Philly

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Jan. 26, 2018 11:56 am

Data error bumps Temple’s Online MBA program from No. 1 to unranked

The business school “significantly overstated the number of new entrants for its 2016-2017 entering class who submitted GMAT scores,” U.S. News said while handing down its punishment.

Temple's Alter Hall.

(Photo courtesy of Temple University)

Just a few weeks ago U.S. News & World Report crowned Temple University’s Fox School of Business as the school with the best online MBA program in the country.

The same day the news came out, a hiccup was discovered: the university had misreported the number of new entrants for 2016–17 who provided their GMAT scores.

The data error, per a statement from Temple University President Richard Englert, was caught by Temple’s own team and reported to the publication shortly after the scores went live.

On Wednesday, it was announced that, as a result of the error, the North Philly university’s program would be moved to an “unranked” position for the rest of the year and removed from a second, separate ranking.

“U.S. News has moved Temple to the ‘Unranked’ category in the Best Online MBA Programs rankings and removed the school from the Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans rankings,” said Robert Morse and Erik Brooks, part of the data team at U.S. News & World Report.

“The Fox School of Business originally reported that all 255 new entrants, or 100 percent of the class, submitted GMAT scores,” Morse and Brooks wrote. “The school later informed U.S. News the count of new entrants submitting GMAT scores was actually 50 students, or 19.6 percent.”

The next move from Temple? Ordering an independent review of the data reporting process.

“The integrity of our data and reporting are paramount,” said Englert in a statement. “After consultation with Provost JoAnne Epps and Fox School of Business Dean Moshe Porat, I have decided to bring in an outside independent analyst to review our data reporting processes, including what occurred in this instance.”

The school declined to comment further on the error or how it was discovered. In a separate statement, Porat confirmed the program will reapply for the rankings in 2019.

“We have every expectation that the Fox Online MBA program will return to its rightful place among the nation’s top programs of its kind in 2019 and beyond,” said Porat. “Rankings are a byproduct of quality, and our focus will remain where it always has—on delivering high-quality programs and service to our students.”

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