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Thursday, February 9, 2023

Columbia University admits to submiting false data in college rankings

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When submitting statistics to the United States, Columbia University claimed that it used “outdated and/or faulty techniques.” according to a statement issued by the institution on Friday. News & World Report for inclusion in the magazine’s 2021 college rankings.

Whatever the size or the reason, anything less than complete accuracy in the data we report is inconsistent with the standards of excellence to which Columbia holds itself, according to the statement. “The Columbia undergraduate experience is and always has been centered around small classes taught by highly accomplished faculty,” the statement reads. We sincerely regret the errors in our earlier reporting and are dedicated to improving.

Michael Thaddeus, a professor of mathematics at Columbia University, questioned in February the Ivy League school’s surge in rankings from 18th when it first appeared in 1988 to 2nd in 2021. Thaddeus observed that “few other top-tier colleges have also improved their ranks, but none has equaled Columbia’s exceptional leap” in a statement that was published on the website of the mathematics department of Columbia University.

Thaddeus cited information that the institution had provided to the US. News & World Report cast doubt on Columbia’s improbable ascent in the rankings.

“Can we be confident that the figures correctly reflect the realities of life within the university?” “Unfortunately, the response is no.” He remarked rhetorically

The math professor then tallied information provided by Columbia University to the U.S. on “undergraduate class size, the proportion of faculty with terminal degrees, percentage of faculty who are full-time, and student-faculty ratio.” News & World Report analyzes the data “with statistics generated by other methods, depending on the information made public by Columbia elsewhere,” and compares it to other figures.

According to Thaddeus’ research, there were “discrepancies sometimes extremely considerable” that always seemed to favor Columbia.

According to Columbia University Provost Mary Boyce, the university will “refrain from sending data to U.S. News and World Report” for the publication’s 2022 undergraduate college rankings” in reaction to Thaddeus’ findings.

Boyce announced that the university would begin taking part in the Common Data Set (CDS) Initiative in the fall of 2022. According to the initiative’s website, the CDS Initiative is “a collaborative effort among data providers in the higher education community and publishers” to provide accurate information to students looking for information on colleges and universities.

Boyce not only committed to taking part in the CDS Initiative but also revealed the establishment of a new website that provides extensive context and analysis of the student experience at Columbia University.

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