Columbia University drops SIXTEEN places in influential US News & World Report rankings – Daily Mail

By Stephen M. Lepore For Dailymail.Com
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One of the Ivy League’s finest has seen a big drop in the US News & World Report college rankings following a clash that involved a math professor accusing the university of messing with statistics used in the rankings.
Columbia University collapsed from second to 18th in the influential rankings released Monday and announced this past weekend they were withdrawing from them. 
The magazine said in a statement that it ‘requires a high-level academic official to attest to any data submitted by institutions directly.’  
Columbia had previously said it was looking into the allegations from Professor Dr. Michael Thaddeus, who accused the school of submitting bad data regarding class sizes and number of professors with advanced degrees. 
The university told the New York Times: ‘While many of Columbia’s undergraduate classes have long had under 20 students, the prior methodologies used resulted in over-reporting the number of classes with under 20 students and underreporting of classes with between 20 and 29 students.’
Columbia University collapsed from second to 18th in the influential rankings released Monday and announced this past weekend they were withdrawing from them
Columbia had previously said it was looking into the allegations from Professor Dr. Michael Thaddeus (pictured), who accused the school of submitting bad data regarding class sizes and number of professors with advanced degrees
On Friday, the university admitted they were using ‘outdated or incorrect methodologies.’ 
They have apologized for the poor data, saying ‘We deeply regret the deficiencies in our prior reporting and are committed to doing better.’
According to the Times, the magazine receives errors in data submitted by schools every year, but Columbia is perhaps the most prestigious to have the accusation levied against it. 
US News & World Report did not accuse the school of intentionally fudging their data and adds that it doesn’t have an independent auditor to check.  
Columbia argues that whether or not the errors were on purpose, the problem is what they call the ‘complexity’ of how the data is recorded and reported.  
According to the Times, the magazine receives errors in data submitted by schools every year, but Columbia is perhaps the most prestigious to have the accusation levied against it
Jed Macosko, a physics professor at Wake Forest and the head of a rival company trying to formulate an ‘objective’ ranking that can’t be gamed by the schools, bemoaned the power US News & World Report has
Thaddeus has criticized the rankings methodology in his accusations, saying it no longer relies enough on a survey of university presidents and now just deals in analytical data. 
He also believes it’s too easy to game the system, with US News & World Report admitting that it relies on the schools’ integrity. 
This year’s rankings saw Princeton, MIT, Harvard, Yale and Stanford in the top five. 
Jed Macosko, a physics professor at Wake Forest and the head of a rival company trying to formulate an ‘objective’ ranking that can’t be gamed by the schools, bemoaned the power US News & World Report has. 
Macosko said: ‘I wish that U.S. News weren’t so powerful because it makes for bad dynamics. So if the person in charge wants you to be No. 18, they can jiggle the U.S. News rankings until you are No. 18.’
US News & World Report told the times it is a customer service that operates with the ‘highest level of integrity’ and says because Columbia withdrew from this year’s rankings, they had to used data sets without any of their information. 
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