November 8, 2011
University of Illinois Issues Report on Admission Data Manipulation
The University of Illinois has issued its report on the Law School’s revelation that it reported of false student profile data to the ABA and US News. A copy is available here. Principle findings from the Executive Summary show these discrepancies:
- COL reported and/or publicly disseminated erroneous GPA data for the Classes of 2008 and 2010 through 2014.
- COL reported and/or publicly disseminated erroneous LSAT data for the Classes of 2008, 2010 through 2012, and 2014.
- COL reported and/or publicly disseminated erroneous acceptance rate data for the Classes of 2008 and 2012 through 2014.
Some of the specifics include details such as these for the class of 2014:
- Changes were made to the LSAT scores of 109 students and to the GPAs of 58 students;
- Twenty-five students had both their LSAT score and GPA changed, while 42 students had neither changed;
- Every change was upward;
- The largest LSAT score change was 12 points, which occurred five times (all from 156 to 168);
- One hundred LSAT scores were increased by at least two points, while 64 scores were increased by at least seven points;
- The largest GPA change was 1.03 points (from 2.59 to 3.62); GPAs of 4.0 were ascribed to eight international students, even though under ABA reporting rules none of these students should have been treated as having had any GPA for purposes of computing the class’s median GPA;
- and Thirty-six GPAs were increased by at least one-tenth of a point.
All other discrepancies for other classes, including some not raised at the time the scandal broke are documented in the report. The blame falls to former assistant dean Paul Pless who the report identifies as the party who manipulated and reported the data. The College of Law administration is faulted only by failing to have administrative controls in place that would have prevented such manipulation. The report states that administrators placed a lot of confidence in Pless, who was perceived as an outstanding employee, who, in hindsight, turned out to be not so outstanding.
I’d say from my own experience in law schools that Illinois is not the only school that likely lacks those secondary controls. Admission committees rely on information supplied by the admissions office for statistical analysis. Perhaps independent members of the law school should have access to the raw data for their own use. I can imagine law schools implementing a form of those controls after this episode. We still await the ABA response.
More is in the Daily Illini. [MG]
After slapping this school's wrist, the ABA will move onto the next item within its agenda- certifying 5 new law schools.
Posted by: Chris | Nov 9, 2011 10:18:51 AM
Slap on the wrist, at best. Most probably the ABA will praise Illinois for "coming forward"
Posted by: Bret | Nov 9, 2011 7:48:51 AM