USC will pull its Rossier School of Education from U.S. News & World Report’s next annual ranking of best graduate schools, officials said Wednesday, after discovering “a history of inaccuracies” in data reported by the school going back at least five years.
Charles Zukoski, USC’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, addressed the decision in a letter sent to the graduate school community, noting that officials “asked U.S. News not to include the Rossier School in its graduate school rankings for 2023 while we seek to understand the situation further.”
USC officials have informed the U.S. Department of Education and accreditors of the situation, he wrote.
Kyle Henley, a USC spokesperson, said he was not able to provide further details about the data inaccuracies.
The Rossier School was No. 11 in the most recent ranking of best education schools, which is based on opinions from administrators and top faculty members at peer institutions as well as statistical surveys about the schools’ students, faculty and research, according to the methodology published by U.S. News & World Report.
“Please know that this decision has no bearing on the quality or value of a Rossier education,” Zukoski wrote. “Rather, it reflects our responsibility, which we take very seriously, to adhere to the specific reporting requirements of the ranking organization when we submit our data.”
USC has hired Jones Day, an independent law firm, to investigate the Rossier School’s past submissions to U.S. News & World Report, he wrote.
“The investigation is well underway,” Zukoski wrote. “We will share their findings when they are complete sometime within the next two weeks.”
Rossier Dean Pedro Noguera addressed the university’s decision in an email sent to members of the graduate school’s community Wednesday.
“I support the university’s decision to conduct an independent investigation and appreciate that everyone who has been asked has participated fully,” Noguera wrote. “We are working to develop processes at Rossier so this does not happen again.”
The school remains strong, he wrote, highlighting the work of faculty, staff and students to “further the Rossier mission through excellent teaching, research and service.”
“We continue to be proud of our school’s impact on the field,” Noguera wrote.
Further information about the data inaccuracies and ongoing investigation was not available Wednesday.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.