Columbia University Tumbles Down U.S. News & World Report’s Rankings After Admitting to Fudging Data


On Monday, U.S. News & World Report released its “Best Colleges” list for the 2022-23 academic year, with Columbia University plummeting 16 places—from second to 18th—after it was accused of submitting fudged data. The Ivy League school admitted in a contrite statement on Friday to fluffing its numbers, months after being called out by one of its own educators, math professor Michael Thaddeus, who called the key figures behind Columbia’s rank “inaccurate, dubious, or highly misleading” in a February blog post. U.S. News’ statement said it had recalculated Columbia’s rank using federal data and its own peer assessment survey, as well as what the company called “assigned competitive set values” where third-party data was lacking. Thaddeus told the Times these values seemed to be “just a slightly more decorous way of saying they pulled these numbers out of the air.” In the same interview, he called U.S. News’ operations “so shoddy” as to be “meaningless,” adding: “If any institution can decline from No. 2 to No. 18 in a single year, it just discredits the whole ranking operation.”

Read it at The New York Times