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U.S. News & World Report to require OU Board of Regents chair, president to certify university data reporting

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Evans Hall (copy)

Evans Hall's main entrance on University of Oklahoma's Norman campus May 25, 2017.

U.S. News & World Report will require OU to provide a letter from university administrators guaranteeing the accuracy of data submitted for the next three annual U.S. News Best Colleges rankings.

According to an article from U.S. News & World Report, the organization asked OU Board of Regents Chairman Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes and interim OU President Joseph Harroz to sign and submit the letter verifying data accuracy by July 20 in order to be included in the three Best Colleges rankings. 

The university told U.S. News & World Report during the tenure of former OU President James Gallogly it had been misreporting its alumni participation and donorship numbers since 1999. 

In its Tuesday article, U.S. News & World Report also said that as part of the misreporting, OU had previously included OU Health Sciences Center data with Norman campus data in communications to the organization.

Inside Higher Ed reported May 23 that U.S. News & World Report had stripped OU of its ranking in its annual Best Colleges rankings, as well as several others.

In a statement released at 8:18 p.m., a university spokesperson told The Daily Harroz said the university plans to follow U.S. News & World Report's request.

"We will follow the request for certification of future data by our Board of Regents and believe it represents a best practice that all universities should consider when reporting institutional data," Harroz said. "Our university has established expectations and protocols in order to ensure integrity in reporting, and we appreciate the opportunity U.S. News & World Report has provided for future reports."

This story was updated at 8:45 p.m. to include the statement from Harroz on the U.S. News & World Report letter.


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