Temple University has agreed to a settlement of $700,000 with the U.S. Department of Education for their role in falsifying data to bolster Temple's Fox School of Management’s standings in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program rankings. The falsified data was shared between 2014 and 2018. The inaccurate data resulted in the Fox School of Management having the highest ranked online MBA program in the country, holding the much coveted #1 ranking from 2014-2018. The school settled with current and former students through a class action lawsuit for $5.5 million. The students claimed that they were deceived into thinking they were entering a highly prestigious program and paying accordingly. Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos noted, "In this case, many students were presented with deliberately falsified information by Temple's Fox School."
In an effort to prevent future misconduct, Temple created an internal data-verification unit to evaluate and confirm the integrity and accuracy of all information submitted to ranking organizations and agencies. The University also fired the Dean of the Fox School in 2018. The former Dean, Moshe Porat, sued Temple in 2019 citing defamation of character as the cause. His case centered on him serving as a 'scapegoat' for others who engaged in the misconduct. Temple claims their decisions in his termination were supported by their internal investigation. Raymond Betzner, Associate Vice President of Communications, stated "Temple was entirely transparent and took swift actions to protect the interests of our students, donors, and the University."
Online MBA programs are increasingly popular with enrollment more than doubling since 2009 according to the national accreditation organization AACSB. As virtual engagement has become more popular and technology improvements and affordability have increased, this trend is expected to continue.