A former dean of Temple University’s Fox School of Business is filing a $25 million lawsuit against the school and its president, Richard M. Englert, for maligning his image in a national rankings scandal.
Moshe Porat, who was terminated by the university last year following his refusal to resign, filed the suit in Pennsylvania Civil Court on Thursday. He is seeking health and reputational damages stemming from statements made by the university after the to U.S. News & World Report ranking scandal, The Wall Street Journal reported.
In January 2017, the university engaged a law firm, Jones Day, to conduct a comprehensive review of rankings data and processes after it found out that the business school had submitted inaccurate data regarding the percentage of incoming MBA students who had provided GMAT and GRE scores as part of the enrollment process.
During its investigation, the firm established Porat’s role in providing false data for the ranking.
Later that year, President Englert acknowledged that school had overstated the average undergraduate GPA, and there were inaccuracies in the number of admission offers as well as in the degree of student indebtedness.
“Out of loyalty to the University, I have been publicly silent for 10 long months. That ends today,” Porat said in a statement released on Clare Locke law firm website.
“The administration at Temple took away the job I loved, damaged my health, and destroyed my reputation and the legacy of my life’s work I spent decades building. They did this with a false narrative invented for its expediency in public relations – and to deflect attention from the University’s own role in all of this.”
Porat maintained that he has been made a scapegoat in the whole episode and alleges university of turning facts into fiction.
“Contrary to the University’s statements, there was never a direction from me – or to my knowledge from anyone in the leadership of the Fox School – to manipulate rankings data or to dismantle oversight,” he wrote.
He claimed that he had given written orders to the business school staff to ensure honest submission of data for rankings and even alerted U.S. News and Temple officials after Fox employees brought to his attention the possible data fraud.
“The University disregarded in its rush to scapegoat me and my senior staff,” he added.
Meanwhile, the university has shrugged off the allegations and said that its decision to terminate Porat was based on the findings of the law firm.
“The Jones Day findings are compelling and the university continues to stand by its decision. Dr. Porat’s allegations are meritless,” university spokesperson wrote in a statement to The Temple News.
“Going forward, we will carefully review his statements made public today to determine any legal remedies the university may pursue,” the spokesperson added.