Song told PwC that he had “used e-scholar data to populate both the undergraduate and graduate portion of this answer for their PRB submissions starting in 2011.”
The Princeton Review, for its ranking, factors in the number of official clubs specifically for entrepreneurship students. Norton told PwC that in 2012 Song had created a “wish list” of clubs, then directed a graduate student to put the list on the university’s web page. “(Norton) believes these additional 20+ clubs never existed at UMKC,” the PwC report says.
Donnelly told PwC that he’d spoken with Song about the clubs, and Song had said former Dean Tan had agreed on the numbers. Donnelly told PwC that he felt Song “was not being upfront with him,” and went on to say that he had “questioned the way certain answers were provided to the (Princeton Review) when Song and Tan were providing the (Princeton Review) with data.”
INSIDE THE PROFESSOR’S MATRIX
The Princeton Review also uses officially sponsored mentorship programs dedicated to entrepreneurship students to determine its rankings. For both its undergraduate and graduate programs, Bloch reported 78 mentorship programs from 2012 through 2014. Song explained to PwC that the figure of 78 derived from “a matrix that he created in which 130+ mentors were placed into 38 industry specific horizontals and 40 business function specific verticals.”
Norton told PwC that UMKC had one large mentorship program with many different functional areas, and that at most, could be said to involve five or six mentorship programs. Norton told PwC that when he told Song he was concerned about the number of reported mentorship programs, Song told him, “This is what people do.” Donnelly told PwC that with regard to the mentorship question, Song was defining the answer in a way that was “not consistent with the way the normal person would.”
However, it’s unclear whether the data manipulation had any effect on Bloch’s Princeton Review rankings. The PwC report quotes a 2014 email sent from a Kansas City Star journalist to Henry Bloch, which said none of the paper’s research suggested the flawed data sent to the Princeton Review would have changed the rankings.
Former Dean Tan, who went on leave in 2013 after a reported diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, is no longer employed at the school, a UMKC spokesperson said on Feb. 4. Tan had also been very well paid, making an annual salary of $407,490 for 2014/15; $497,490 in 2013/14; $512,000 for 2012/13; and $430,500 for 2011/12.
Donnelly has appointed a faculty committee to oversee rankings data submissions in the future.
NO COMMENT REGARDING DISCIPLINARY ACTION
When asked if any disciplinary actions related to the Bloch numbers scandals had been undertaken or was being considered, UMKC spokesman John Martellaro said the school did not comment on personnel matters.
Donnelly told PwC that one of the reasons he removed Song from his position at entrepreneurship institute was Song’s “lack of availability due to extensive travel.” Donnelly said he had received “numerous complaints from the faculty that (Song) was unavailable when they needed him.”
Martellaro confirmed that Song was teaching classes this year, but did not provide details.
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