The Ivy Coach Daily

September 11, 2022

Columbia Expresses Contrition

Columbia misreported data to US News & World Report.

Columbia University, which just a couple of months ago was removed from the annual US News & World Report college ranking for getting caught with its hand in the cookie jar misreporting data to the publication, has now sort of fallen on its sword. The school, which placed second in last year’s US News college ranking along with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (behind multiple-time defending rankings kingpin Princeton University), came forward this week to admit the school had done wrong and reported faulty data to the publication — albeit the school professed the errors were a result of “outdated and/or incorrect methodologies.”

As Nick Anderson and Susan Svrluga report for The Washington Post in a piece entitled “Columbia acknowledges giving incorrect data for U.S. News rankings,” “With the acknowledgment of the embarrassing missteps, the Ivy League university in New York expressed contrition over problems that appeared to have been first identified by a whistleblowing math professor skeptical of how Columbia had come to be ranked second in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.”

And what do we have to say about Columbia’s non-apology apology? Let’s just say that if a Columbia undergraduate is caught cheating on a paper, the student isn’t going to get away with it by claiming their cheating was the result of outdating suboptimal testing conditions. So for Columbia’s administration to attribute the misreporting of data to “outdated and/or incorrect methodologies” is nonsense — particularly when the school likely would never have brought their reporting of faulty data to light if not for their whistleblowing math professor. Come on, Columbia, set the example for your students. Offer a genuine apology. Fall on your sword. No caveats!

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