Assistant dean at University of Illinois falsified admissions data for money

November 17, 2011 The former assistant dean of admissions at the University of Illinois law school falsified LSAT and GPA data in order to increase his own salary, according to a final report into the scandal conducted by the university’s legal counsel and ethics office, financial advisory firm Duff & Phelps and law firm Jones Day.

Paul Pless resigned from the law school on 4 November, after the news broke that he had inflated grades and test scores of students in six of the past seven years to make incoming classes appear much smarter than they actually were. The fudged numbers helped Pless to boost the school’s ranking, upon which basis his salary was nearly doubled during his seven-year tenure, to $130,051.

The school has a lot of work to do to repair its tattered reputation, notwithstanding that it took immediate action to investigate its figures when concerns were raised over the numbers in August. The report recommends that the law school create a monitoring and auditing program to ensure that the school’s internal controls are functioning properly and that all figures reported - both internally and externally, are accurate and supported. Bruce Smith, the dean of the university’s College of Law, said: ”The college takes seriously the issues of data integrity and intends to implement the report’s recommendations promptly and comprehensively.”

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