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U.S. News Strips University of Oklahoma of Ranking for Inflating Data

U.S. News & World Report has stripped the University of Oklahoma of its past ranking for providing false data on alumni giving.

According to an update on the U.S. News website, the university reported inflated data to U.S. News. It told the website that its two-year alumni giving rate was 14 percent, instead of the correct rate of 9.7 percent for 2019. The school has been inflating this data since 1999.

The average alumni giving rate is assigned a weight of 5 percent in accordance with the Best Colleges ranking methodology.

The latest move will affect the University of Oklahoma’s placement in the National Universities, Best Value Schools, Top Public Schools, Best Colleges for Veterans and A-Plus Schools for B Students rankings and lists that U.S. News puts out.

“The misreporting by these schools resulted in their numerical ranks being higher than they otherwise would have been if the correct data had been used originally,” the U.S. News said.

“Because of the discrepancies, U.S. News moved the schools to the “Unranked” category, meaning they do not receive numerical ranks.”

Former University of Oklahoma president Jim Gallogly, who announced his plans to retire earlier this month after serving the office for less than a year, was the first to uncover the misreporting of data which began under former university president David Boren.

“We later discovered that gifts and alumni support statistics were significantly over-stated in various filings (though not at our foundation), and that a couple of new housing projects on campus had low occupancy rates and were struggling,” Gallogly wrote in his retirement statement.

The University hired the law firm, Jones Day, to investigate and review the misreporting of the data by the previous administration. This report has yet to be made public.

In a similar case from 2018, U.S. News unranked Temple University’s Fox School of Business for submitting inaccurate data regarding the percentage of incoming MBA students who had provided GMAT and GRE scores as part of the enrollment process. The administrators blamed the school’s dean, Moshe Porat, for knowingly providing the false information and ultimately terminated him from the office.

Earlier this month, Porat filed a $25 million lawsuit against the school and its president, Richard M. Englert, for maligning his image in the rankings scandal. Porat is seeking health and reputational damages.

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