Months after the multi-million dollar sexual harassment case between two professors, another serious case of serious sexual misconduct surfaced at Columbia Business School. In November, a first-year MBA student came to P&Q, alleging she and other classmates had been drugged and raped by other full-time MBA students at Columbia. And what the student, Katie Brehm, did in reaction to the brutal attack was incredibly brave and courageous. The 31-year-old young professional wrote an email to the 70 fellow students in Cluster A, one of several groups assigned to take all of the first-year core classes together.
She wrote the Nov. 7th letter as much for clarity as anything else. Brehm had little recollection of what exactly happened the night she was assaulted at a social event celebrating the end of mid-term exams. She decided to rely on the recollections of her classmates and friends. From what she could piece together, Brehm had become convinced that a tall, white male classmate had slipped a date-rape drug into the Bulleit Bourbon she ordered at the bar and taken advantage of her blackout.
That night ended with a sidewalk spill that led to the diagnosis of a concussion, a rape kit assessment in a New York City hospital that found bruises on her inner thighs and vagina, indicating signs of forced penetration, and endless questioning of friends about what exactly happened at a private party attended by hundreds of Columbia Business School students.
“I have been MIA since the Jane Hotel because I am on short-term medical leave,” she told her classmates. “While it is partially for a concussion, it is predominantly because a fellow CBS student has drugged me three times this semester. I have spent the last two weeks in and out of the hospital, NYPD, and Columbia University gender based misconduct offices. At the Jane Hotel, three female students sustained concussions. If you want to believe that is a coincidence, that is your choice. Not only was I drugged, but I was sexually assaulted. I am not letting whoever did this to me get away with it…”
Even more traumatizing and frustrating for Brehm? Columbia’s lack of response to her plea for justice. There was no follow-up from Dean of Students Zelon Crawford after a 20-minute meeting on Nov. 7, shortly after sending the email to her Cluster A classmates. The dean, she says, never even sent a follow-up email or made a phone call to check up on Brehm to make sure she was okay.
She believes the school is protecting and harboring two criminals. ”They have sat on allegations of drug assisted sexual assault for over three weeks,” says Brehm. She recently hired a law firm that is exploring the potential of a civil suit against the school for failing to promptly and adequately deal with her serious charges and to protect her and the other female students at the school. A spokesperson for Columbia Business School declined to comment for the original story.
2018 started off with a bad bang for Temple University’s Fox School of Business. After placing first for four consecutive years in the U.S. News ranking of online MBA programs, Temple was left off the list. The reason? Falsifying data. The school had reported a slew of falsified data that would boost their place in the rankings. After a investigation that lasted until July, the school announced Dean M. Moshe Porat, who had been dean of the school for over two decades new about the falsified data.
In the immediate aftermath of that embarrassment, the university hired Jones Day to conduct an investigation.
“It is my duty to report that the Fox School, under the leadership of Dean Moshe Porat, knowingly provided false information to at least one rankings organization about the Online MBA,” wrote Temple President Richard M. Englert. “In addition to the misreporting of the number of students who took the GMAT from 2015 to 2018, the average undergraduate GPA was overstated, and there were inaccuracies in the number of offers of admission as well as in the degree of student indebtedness.”
The Jones Day investigative team interviewed 17 Fox employees and reviewed more than 32,000 documents. It concluded that, over the past several years, “Fox provided U.S. News with inaccurate information across multiple data metrics that are part of the publication’s OMBA rankings methodology. And while Jones Day focused on information that Fox provided to U.S. News relating to the school’s OMBA program, the investigation revealed that Fox provided U.S. News with erroneous information relating to other programs as well. On certain occasions, Fox’s reporting of inaccurate information to U.S. News was done knowingly and intentionally for the purpose of improving or maintaining Fox’s standing in the relevant U.S. News rankings.
The investigation sent shockwaves throughout the entire B-school community as cheating had officially become a thing in business school rankings.
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