Rutgers created fake jobs for graduates to increase the ranking of MBA programs, suits

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Rutgers Business School is always keeping track of results.

On its website, it announces its ranking no. 1 this year by Bloomberg Businessweek as the best public business school in the Northeast. Fortune gave a similar honor in 2021. And US News & World Report rated his MBA program among the top ten for Best Overall Employment Results in the US, as well as number 12 for the MBA Chain Management program of Supply.

But in a lawsuit against whistleblower filed Friday, a Rutgers administrator accused the university of fraudulently exploding those national rankings by creating completely false jobs to show the success of its business school graduates in finding employment.

The lawsuit by Deidre White, the business school’s human resources manager, alleges the program used a temporary agency to hire unemployed MBA students, placing them in untrue positions on the university itself – for no other reason than to do so. it seems like a larger number of graduates were getting full-time jobs after receiving their Rutgers degrees.

“The fraud worked,” White House attorney Matthew A. Luber of McOmber McOmber & Luber wrote in Marlton. In the first year of the scheme, they said Rutgers was abruptly pushed, among other things, to ‘No. 1 ‘business school in the northeast.

The university, in a statement, said as a political issue that it would not comment on the specifics of the lawsuit.

“We will say unequivocally, however, that we take seriously our obligation to accurately report data and other information to ranking and reporting agencies,” the university said. “Rutgers Business School strictly follows the MBA Career Services and Employers Alliance guidelines in submitting MBA statistics and similarly follows the appropriate guidelines in submitting university statistics.”

Going through an external tempo agency, White’s lawsuit claimed that the university was able to circumvent restrictions on ranking systems that did not allow universities to count internal employment for the purposes of employment statistics.

White, 54, who claimed she was the subject of revenge for health and other issues aimed at forcing her resignation or termination, said the university used more than $ 400,000 from his fund to fund the fake positions and to pay for what she called “blackmail.” employment agency.

Such a scheme, if true, has led to criminal charges elsewhere.

A former dean of the Temple University business school was found guilty in 2021 of using fake numbers in a complex fraud operation aimed at boosting the school’s national ranking and increasing revenue.

Moshe Porat, 74, was convicted of federal fraud and conspiracy theories for his role in the fraud scandal aimed at boosting the University of Philadelphia’s Fox Business School rankings. The school’s online MBA program was ranked the best in the country by US News & World Report in the years it provided falsified data. He was sentenced last month to 14 months in prison.

In the wake of the Temple allegations, the University of Southern California announced last month that it was withdrawing its education school from the US News & World Report graduate ranking after determining that it had given the publication inaccurate data that goes to at least five years ago. .

And at Columbia University, a mathematics professor specializing in algebraic geometry challenged ranking no. 2 of the university, posting a statistical analysis that questioned the key supporting data that had led to a meteoric rise in the school rankings.

“It has been a pleasure to witness Colombia’s continued rise from 18th place, to its debut in 1988, to the second-highest position it reached this year – surpassed only by Princeton and linked to Harvard and MIT “, wrote Michael Thaddeus. “Several other top-level universities have also improved their rankings, but none has matched Colombia’s extraordinary rise. “It’s natural to wonder what the reason may be.”

His conclusion – that some of the key figures supporting Colombia’s top rankings were “inaccurate, dubious or very misleading”.

Colleges across the country have faced pressure to improve their rankings, which administrators know is very important to parents and students.

The allegations by White, however, raised allegations of outright fraud.

“It was a flagrant attempt to give the impression of a higher overall rating of full-time employment with third parties and to fraudulently strengthen Rutger… ‘ranking’ with crucial media, such as US News & World Report, ”the lawsuit said, noting that as a result of the” data manipulation scheme “, Rutgers received money and funding from applicants, students, graduates and donors and earned” millions of dollars a year in revenue growth. ” from schooling “.

The lawsuit – which also appointed Dean of Rutgers School of Business and director of the Business School’s Career Management Office and others – accused that when White raised concerns about the scheme in March, the university failed to investigate.

“The scheme was organized, deliberate and clear,” he said, citing the hiring of special students for positions “well below the criteria for an MBA student”.

In one case, the lawsuit referred to emails related to interviews with two students, who were described by an administrator as “significantly overqualified” for the position being offered.

“As claimed in the complaint, Mrs. “White not only underwent a clear revenge, but she had to work in an environment full of fraudulent activities,” said Luber, her lawyer.

White, who remains a university employee, is seeking unspecified damages, arrears and reinstatement of all benefits

“Our client feels like she has an obligation to students and parents who relied on Rutgers to provide honest insights about her graduation programs,” Luber commented. “She can no longer stand idly by and allow the fraud to continue. “She is looking forward to her day in court.”

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Ted Sherman can be contacted at tsherman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TedShermanSL.

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