Charles C. Johnson reports:
Claremont McKenna College, a private liberal arts school nestled in the foothills on the eastern outskirts of Los Angeles County, dishonored itself and defrauded the public in a cheap effort to bolster its national rankings in U.S. News and World Report. But if that weren’t bad enough, Claremont’s deception calls into question the very worth of its students, faculty, and graduates.
Richard Vos, Claremont’s dean of admissions for 25 years, resigned in disgrace this week after admitting to systematically manipulating the college’s SAT scores since 2005. Vos evidently altered the mean, median, and range of SAT scores to boost the college’s position on the influential list of college rankings.
The scheme worked. Claremont McKenna cracked U.S. News & World Report’s list of top 10 liberal arts colleges, placing ninth in 2011. But Vos escalated the fraud when he passed along the fake scores to the U.S. Department of Education and Western Association of Schools & Colleges. By so doing, Vos has jeopardized the college’s accreditation and eligibility for federal funds. The college’s bond rating may be downgraded, taking the value of a degree down with it.
Read the whole thing.
For an illuminating, humorous, and yet sobering review of how college ranking lists became so influential, and so easily manipulated, see Andrew Ferguson’s excellent book, Crazy U: One Dad’s Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College. I hope to get around to reviewing it soon.