by Brooke Allen
Should “caveat emptor” be the operative philosophy when colleges market to students, or should they hold themselves to a higher standard than, say, a drug dealer?
Emory University confessed that for 11 years it has been fudging data it sent in for U. S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings. The publisher said that, “Our preliminary calculations show that the misreported data would not have changed the school’s ranking in the past two years (No. 20) and would likely have had a small to negligible effect in the several years prior.” (Read the article here.)
This second confession by U. S. News only serves to prove that their ranking methodology is deeply flawed. Since integrity is such a major part of character, confessed cheating should drop you to Dead Last in the rankings, and a cover-up should get you barred altogether pending review by the accrediting authorities.
Of course, despicable behavior by colleges may be just another clever marketing ploy intended to send a message to the vast pool of students who embrace cheating: “Come here; you are our kind of people.”
I sent my children to college so they could be exposed to a diverse set of value systems different from our own, but this is not what I had in mind.
Shame on you all.