Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Sound of Silence

Here's an article from the Philadelphia Inquirer, commenting on Villanova's response in the face of the data inflation scandal that broke four months ago today. Or rather, their lack of a response. It seems that Villanova's strategy could be summed up as: "Least said, soonest mended."

Is that a smart move? I think it probably is. Unless they plan on taking extremely proactive, positive steps to deal with the larger problem, they have nothing to gain and everything to lose from the story getting any media attention at all.

I think the most interesting part of the article is buried at the bottom.

"Two American Bar Association committees are working on revamping the reporting requirements in an effort to better inform prospective students. One of the participants, David N. Yellen, dean of Loyola University School of Law in Chicago, says he doubts there's much that can be done to prevent the kind of out-and-out academic fraud that occurred with the Villanova numbers.

He says the upside is that it probably is very rare - there are only so many Bernie Madoffs in the world. The employment information is another matter. That is reported every year and used by U.S. News & World Report. Yellen says it is often misleading because it makes no distinction between full- and part-time employment. Moreover, salary data often are reported from a misleadingly small sample of graduates."


Is it really rare? Or is it just rare to get caught?

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