U.S. News & World Report issues letter to USC following ranking misreports
U.S. News & World Report issued USC a letter Monday in response to investigations that found the Rossier School of Education had been misreporting data to the publication’s graduate school rankings.
The letter, addressed to Board of Trustees Chair Rick Caruso and President Carol Folt, included a new requirement that the University provide letters certifying the accuracy of its submissions to U.S. News for the next three years. The letter cited “the existence of irregularities in the School’s calculation and reporting of research expenditures” among “other potential data misreporting issues” that “warrant further examination,” according to law firm Jones Day, which conducted an independent investigation into the matter.
U.S. News said certification letters must also be signed by the Rossier dean or top academic, the president and the Board of Trustees chair, in order for Rossier to be eligible in the 2024, 2025 and 2026 Best Graduate Schools of Education rankings.
The letter comes almost four months after Rossier announced it would not be participating in this year’s U.S. News rankings in February, citing a “history of inaccuracies” spanning the last five years. The announcement followed ranking controversies at other universities across the nation, including Temple University and Columbia University, that brought into question the validity of college rankings such as that of U.S. News.
In April, Jones Day released a report detailing the results of its independent investigation into the matter. The report found that from at least 2013 to 2021, Rossier “misreported data to US News about the selectivity of its doctoral candidates,” the submissions of which were reviewed and approved by both the current and former Rossier deans.
“The U.S. News Education rankings strive to provide readers with accurate data that assist consumers as they evaluate their education options,” U.S. News wrote in a press release Tuesday. “As a result, U.S. News takes misreporting very seriously. U.S. News will continue to handle each case of data misreporting on an individual basis.”
In a statement to the Daily Trojan Tuesday, the University said it reached out to U.S. News & World Report as soon as it learned about the matter and continues to work closely with the publication. No decision has been made about Rossier’s participation in future U.S. News graduate rankings.
“We have been diligently following up on the issues raised by Jones Day since their report was issued, and the Rossier School has already put in place a number of measures to ensure accuracy and promote greater transparency about decision making in the school,” the statement read.
Measures include posting data typically requested by rankings organizations on the Rossier website and creating a dean’s advisory council of students drawn from across the master’s and doctoral programs, the University said.