Princeton Review strips UMKC of top 25 rankings

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Princeton Review for the first time has stripped a college of its rankings after learning that the University of Missouri-Kansas City knowingly submitted false data.

The company announced Monday that it was pulling the school's top-25 ranking for graduate and undergraduate entrepreneurship programs for 2014. The company later announced it also would strip the rankings for 2011, 2012 and 2013 at the university's request.

Robert Franek, a senior vice president for The Princeton Review, said in a written statement that the company was "extremely disappointed" to learn about the problems.

UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton said the school has made changes and was "committed to ensuring that the academic integrity of this institution is maintained and strengthened." The chancellor also issued this statement in a news release:

A statement from UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton

A detailed review of the rankings of our Henry W. Bloch School of Management, performed at the request of the University of Missouri Board of Curators, revealed flaws in how we reported some statistics to The Princeton Review, which has ranked the Bloch School’s undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship programs among the Top 25 in the nation.

According to that review, our applications to The Princeton Review for consideration of rankings in 2011, 2012 and 2013 included inaccurate information submitted in three of 40 subject areas The Review considers for its rankings. The incorrect data provided included the number of student clubs, the number of mentoring programs and select enrollment numbers. Two members of the Bloch School faculty submitted inflated statistics in those three categories.

As a result of that finding, The Princeton Review informed us today that it is withdrawing the Bloch School’s ranking for 2014. While Bloch had revised its application process in 2014 and has great confidence in that year’s rankings submission, we understand why the Princeton Review has taken this step. Even one inaccurate data point is one too many, and our integrity is paramount. With that in mind, we have requested that The Princeton Review withdraw our rankings from 2011, 2012 and 2013, based on the inaccurate information provided for those years.

The Bloch School will continue a journey that began more than a year ago to ensure that our rankings submissions follow best practices. Over the past twelve months, the Bloch School has implemented significant changes in our ranking applications procedures, including oversight of the process under a new leader of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and, as Bloch School Dean Dave Donnelly announced last week, he has also appointed someone to lead a special faculty committee to oversee all ranking applications and processes.

UMKC and the Bloch School are committed to ensuring that the academic integrity of this institution is maintained and strengthened and we are confident that the months ahead will show we have achieved that.

The move came after a report highlighting the problems was released Friday.

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