Friday, a whistleblower from Rutgers Business School filed a lawsuit claiming that the college created fake jobs in order to boost graduate employment success rates. The administrator came forward in light of the fact that Rutgers publicizes that it is ranked #1 in Top Business Schools by Bloomberg Businessweek for 2021. This college whistleblower is Deidre White, the university’s human resources manager who claims that the school specifically used a temp agency to hire unemployed MBA students. This was carried out for the express purpose of placing them into false positions at the university and thus avoiding ranking restrictions.
The college whistleblower claims that the school spent more than $400,000 to pay the temp agency for these fake positions. The money is said to have come out of the school’s endowment fund. If true, Rutgers Business School will join a host of others who has been found guilty of fraud in recent times.
In 2021, a similar college whistleblower case occurred. the Dean of Temple University’s Richard J. Fox School of Business and Management was indicted on similar charges. He conspired to falsify rankings to deceive students, donors, and applicants. In 2018 alone, there were so many business school scandals that there was even a Top 10 List released by Forbes. This included a “scandal” where the IE Business School Was disqualified from “The Financial Times” rankings due to “irregularities.” These schools take their rankings so seriously that the IE Business School fired two staff members and forced another to resign. Whether Rutgers Business School committed fraud or not remains to be seen, but there are so many business schools that rankings are a serious issue that these colleges rely on. Even just being accused of tampering with the numbers may affect the school’s admissions, which makes the college whistleblower’s testimony ever more important.
White’s lawsuit claims that she went to college officials with concerns about the situation back in March, but instead of investigating the potential fraud, White was faced with retaliation. She stated that school officials attempted to force her into resigning before the lawsuit and that she has suffered working in a hostile environment rife with fraud. Being a college whistleblower, and remaining in her position, she is seeking damages and reinstatement of all benefits.
The school itself issued a statement which can be read on its website. They will not comment on the lawsuit in specific but described how “seriously” they take their “obligation to accurately report data and other information.” It is unclear how students will respond, but after last year’s student-led lawsuit against unlawful vaccination requirements, bad publicity doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. Colleges, in general, are facing enrollment drops as they struggle to meet students’ needs in an ever-changing economy and educational landscape. White admitted that taking on the college as a whistleblower isn’t just about restitution for her experiences, but that she also, “has an obligation to students and parents.”
Parents and students face more challenges than ever when deciding which universities to support. From questionable lessons to rising tuition rates, and now fraudulent rankings, trust between schools and those who support them is down. The pending lawsuit against Rutgers Business School and the allegations brought forth by the college whistleblower is one of many scandals that remains another sign of the times.