U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

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ScrabbleChamp
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:55 pm

MrAnon wrote:Its an environment of "make up whatever numbers you want." The schools wallow in it like Scrooge McDuck swimming in his money.


Prove it. All you are doing is making blanket statements based upon two isolated incidents.

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vanwinkle
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:00 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:
MrAnon wrote:Its an environment of "make up whatever numbers you want." The schools wallow in it like Scrooge McDuck swimming in his money.

Prove it. All you are doing is making blanket statements based upon two isolated incidents.

Two isolated incidents that involved a heavy hammer dropping once caught. There's obviously a real incentive for schools not to do this.

This isn't at all like the legal employment reporting problem, where every school gets away with reporting misleading numbers because there are no consequences for not giving more accurate information. The information being reported there isn't fabricated, it's just omitting critical parts. Everyone knows those omissions are there, it's transparent, so that's a whole different type of problem. It's more of a moral issue (students have a right to more detailed information) and less of an ethical/legal issue (there are clear legal consequences for reporting detailed but intentionally inaccurate information).

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dresden doll
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby dresden doll » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:01 pm

MrAnon wrote:
Someone else knew! there was a tip! remember? Pless didn't come forward on this, right? Lets all bury our heads in the sand.


Yes, it couldn't be that someone initiated investigation based on pure suspicion. It must be that someone KNEW FOR A FACT.

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NancyBotwin
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby NancyBotwin » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:10 pm

Chupavida wrote:
bjsesq wrote:
Chupavida wrote:In order to verify the data Pless was giving to Smith and the rest of the administration, one would need to have access to LSAC (something very few people had) and compare numbers for every student. Everyone trusted Pless, based on his well-deserved (acknowledged even by the investigators) reputation for doing a good job. Fraud or no fraud, he was good at his job. Accordingly, everyone was comfortable with his position as the sole middleman with access to all the data coming in and going out.

Another point people seem to be missing is that one response to the 2009 scandal was to create a firewall between admissions and the rest of the administration in order to avoid improper influence on individual admissions decisions. This had the perverse effect of leaving Pless with even less oversight than he otherwise would have had.

Jones Day and the data forensics firm were hired by the university ethics office, and as independent investigators, they had no interest whatsoever in protecting the law school administration. In response to a student question, the lead attorney explained that the "how deep does the rabbit hole go" question was a primary focus of the investigation. While they couldn't completely rule out any misconduct by persons other than Pless, they found no evidence of such misconduct after reviewing some ungodly number of documents and emails.

None of this means that I think the administration doesn't bear some responsibility for his actions. An unhealthy focus on numbers and rankings gamesmanship, institutional pressure to perform in the form of ever-rising goals, crazy financial rewards for "success," and zero accountability all contributed to an environment where Pless, an arrogant, greedy little bastard, could thrive.


With all the pontificating and people claiming "facts" about shit they couldn't possibly know, this post was not appreciated enough.

+1, dude.

It doesn't have enough LOUD NOISES to catch the attention of all the people claiming to know what went down.


I also agree that this was a great post, but apparently I'm an "apologizer" because I trusted Pless when this first came out, so anything I say needs to be taken with a grain of salt.




:lol:

CanadianWolf
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:15 pm

Or they could have checked the applications submitted to Illinois Law. My understanding is that Pless altered his own worksheets which were used to compute medians & 25%/75% of matriculated students. I do not believe that he altered student files as submitted by the student & by LSAC. If he did alter those files, then state bar C&Fs might have filed inquiries eventually.

In short, check the in-house originals as submitted by applicants & LSAC to verify Pless' work product.

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ScrabbleChamp
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:19 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Or they could have checked the applications submitted to Illinois Law. My understanding is that Pless altered his own worksheets which were used to compute medians & 25%/75% of matriculated students. I do not believe that he altered student files as submitted by the student & by LSAC. If he did alter those files, then state bar C&Fs might have filed inquiries eventually.

In short, check the in-house originals as submitted by applicants & LSAC to verify Pless' work product.


According to the report, Pless and his 4 employees were the only ones with access to the LSAC apps. So, even if someone wanted to check the apps with the info reported by Pless, they'd need Pless to grant them access to the LSAC apps.

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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:26 pm

Obviously an employee or employees did check & report the discrepencies. Not sure how much of a wall existed between admissions & the dean of the law school. Certainly the law school dean could have viewed those files. Any wall, however, could also have been used to insulate the dean in a "hear no evil, see no evil" "What I don't know can't hurt me" type of environment. Regardless, if there was/is a wall of separation between Illinois Law admissions & the administration of Illinois Law, it is a foolish practice inviting the type of activity that occurred this past cycle. Maybe that's why Pless suddenly became so bold--because he felt that his work was free from any scrutiny by higher ups.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MrAnon
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby MrAnon » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:27 pm

dresden doll wrote:
MrAnon wrote:
Someone else knew! there was a tip! remember? Pless didn't come forward on this, right? Lets all bury our heads in the sand.


Yes, it couldn't be that someone initiated investigation based on pure suspicion. It must be that someone KNEW FOR A FACT.


A couple posts ago you were saying I needed a smoking gun to even allege that these schools lie by the truckload and will do anything to raise their numbers and tuition and administrator salaries.

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dresden doll
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby dresden doll » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:28 pm

MrAnon wrote:
dresden doll wrote:
MrAnon wrote:
Someone else knew! there was a tip! remember? Pless didn't come forward on this, right? Lets all bury our heads in the sand.


Yes, it couldn't be that someone initiated investigation based on pure suspicion. It must be that someone KNEW FOR A FACT.


A couple posts ago you were saying I needed a smoking gun to even allege that these schools lie by the truckload and will do anything to raise their numbers and tuition and administrator salaries.


I think you got me confused with someone else, bro.

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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby MrAnon » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:31 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:
MrAnon wrote:Its an environment of "make up whatever numbers you want." The schools wallow in it like Scrooge McDuck swimming in his money.


Prove it. All you are doing is making blanket statements based upon two isolated incidents.


It can't be any more clear. It is well known that all schools manipulate employment data to make it as favorable looking as possible. Any school could take a moral stand and come clean if it wanted to. Why don't they? Because deans would be fired after the school tanks in the rankings. When administrator jobs and salaries are so sensitive to data like this then wiggle room develops to fudge things.

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JoeFish
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby JoeFish » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:56 pm

As a current 1L at UIUC, the only way I could've possibly felt worse was if I hadn't been one of the "lucky 42" that didn't get their numbers changed at all.
That is, of course, a wry, sad joke, because which students had there numbers changed doesn't effing matter at all.

We are all somewhere between saddened and furious, or both. The iLeapers must feel awful because of what Pless said about them, people with awful numbers are going to feel like they're embarrassments, people with good numbers feel like they made a huge effing mistake, and everyone feels really, terribly hurt and betrayed.

A few thoughts:
The school has completely blamed Pless. Is it completely his fault? No way. I think probably a lot of people looked the other way, didn't follow things up like they should've, put faith in the wrong places, and approved of both specific actions an an overall culture that contributed to this really unfortunate happening. Pless was definitely the orchestrator of the whole thing, though. Everyone in the administration is assigning sole blame to him for obvious, selfish reasons, and everyone else is just too disheartened to not accept it. It's so much easier to lay everything at his feet.

Day-to-day life at the school hasn't changed, except that we spend hours discussing this.

Potential employers seem uniformly to be bringing this whole issue up during interviews with the current 2L class. Not looking forward to that discussion. It'll be fun trying to spin it positively. Or only a tiny bit negatively.

This has nothing to do with employment numbers. I definitely think that, of course, the way every school reports them is misleading, but I don't think there's any similar impropriety going on in that office. The official report did indeed conclude that, of the latest employment data, according to (the misleading) ABA standards of reporting, only 3 employment statuses were suspect, and not definitively flawed.

There are two things I'm really scared about:
1) Employment. Obviously. I don't think it's going to matter for the top 40% or bottom 40%. But somewhere in the middle, some ramifications, either in the form of hostility or cessation of interviews, are going to trickle down.
2) Who the hell's going to apply for the class of 2015? Sigh.

So: TL;DR: Current 1Ls feel exasperated, angry, and hopeless. In fact, every student and professor at the university feels that way. To relieve a little bit of that feeling, I've rambled, trying to maybe contribute something and definitely vent a little.

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vanwinkle
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:00 pm

MrAnon wrote:It can't be any more clear. It is well known that all schools manipulate employment data to make it as favorable looking as possible. Any school could take a moral stand and come clean if it wanted to. Why don't they? Because deans would be fired after the school tanks in the rankings. When administrator jobs and salaries are so sensitive to data like this then wiggle room develops to fudge things.

The difference here is that the "manipulation" of employment stats is based on the lax reporting requirements in place. Schools are not required to report more detailed data than what they currently provide, and while this data is often misleading because it omits important information, this is nowhere near the same level of wrongdoing as what happened here.

Again, you're comparing an industry-accepted lack of detailed reporting, to individual willful reporting of knowingly inaccurate data. They're two entirely different things and have nothing to do with each other. This has been pointed out about 37 times in the last few pages, but you keep ignoring it.

CanadianWolf
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:04 pm

JoeFish: Interesting post. Are you thinking of transferring ? Do your classmates openly discuss transferring ?

Regarding employment prospects, I suspect that the top 20%, not top 40% as you speculated, will be unaffected.

lsatcrazy
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby lsatcrazy » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:08 pm

Are any students suing? A class action (literally) seems like the obvious move...then again, I'm a 0L...

MrAnon
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby MrAnon » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:08 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
MrAnon wrote:It can't be any more clear. It is well known that all schools manipulate employment data to make it as favorable looking as possible. Any school could take a moral stand and come clean if it wanted to. Why don't they? Because deans would be fired after the school tanks in the rankings. When administrator jobs and salaries are so sensitive to data like this then wiggle room develops to fudge things.

The difference here is that the "manipulation" of employment stats is based on the lax reporting requirements in place. Schools are not required to report more detailed data than what they currently provide, and while this data is often misleading because it omits important information, this is nowhere near the same level of wrongdoing as what happened here.

Again, you're comparing an industry-accepted lack of detailed reporting, to individual willful reporting of knowingly inaccurate data. They're two entirely different things and have nothing to do with each other. This has been pointed out about 37 times in the last few pages, but you keep ignoring it.


If the industry didn't accept that manipulation and lax standards were the norm, if they were open and vetted by the top people at each school in conjunction with one another, then there is a chance that your admissions stats are not trifled with. Instead everyone gets to go off to their secret office and emerge with the best numbers possible, any way they can.

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blurbz
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby blurbz » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:10 pm

Every 1L I've talked to has said that if they have the opportunity to transfer, they will---Even laterally to a place where they may have to pay more because they're worried about an additional stigma coming from one of the "fraud classes."

I don't know how upset professors are. So far, as far as I know, only one professor has brought it up and given us a chance to talk about it in class. I think it's a shame that the others haven't made an effort to hear what we're thinking.

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blurbz
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby blurbz » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:12 pm

lsatcrazy wrote:Are any students suing? A class action (literally) seems like the obvious move...then again, I'm a 0L...



I've heard groups of 1Ls talking about it, but I really doubt it'll happen. If it does, I really doubt it'll be successful. They'd have to demonstrate some sort of damage that they've suffered to some degree of certainty and that'll be really, really hard to quantify.

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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby JoeFish » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:14 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:JoeFish: Interesting post. Are you thinking of transferring ? Do your classmates openly discuss transferring ?

Regarding employment prospects, I suspect that the top 20%, not top 40% as you wrote, will be unaffected.

Hmm... perhaps. I don't know enough about either the true employment prospects of people in that range or employers' feelings about this whole thing to accurately judge past a certain point.
As to transferring, yeah, people are discussing it. I'm pretty sure a few will try to lateral because of this whole thing, although I don't think that's fiscally prudent or desirable. I mean, transferring is in the back of my mind, maybe a tiny bit more than it was at any point, but the circumstances in which I'd transfer (which are pretty damn restrictive... probably only to HY, maybe a few other T8s, and even if I got the grades to do that, I'd have to think long and hard about whether it would be worth it and if being 5 hours from home instead of 11 is really that important to me) haven't changed. I think a lot of students with different values or beliefs have changed the circumstances in which they'd transfer, though. I get the feeling it's mostly talk, but we'll see...

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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:22 pm

What percentage of your class is receiving scholarship money ? lawschoolnumbers.com shows most accepted were offered sizable scholarships.

If employers are asking about the altered numbers, then the class of 2014 may suffer the most since their numbers were adjusted substantially for much of the class. Whether or not employers skepticism remains, it may be too much of a risk to stay if one is able to transfer up.

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vanwinkle
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:24 pm

MrAnon wrote: If the industry didn't accept that manipulation and lax standards were the norm, if they were open and vetted by the top people at each school in conjunction with one another, then there is a chance that your admissions stats are not trifled with. Instead everyone gets to go off to their secret office and emerge with the best numbers possible, any way they can.

Congrats on missing the point again. That's like, 17 times in a row. You're like the 1972 Miami Dolphins of being wrong.

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Samara
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Samara » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:25 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
MrAnon wrote: If the industry didn't accept that manipulation and lax standards were the norm, if they were open and vetted by the top people at each school in conjunction with one another, then there is a chance that your admissions stats are not trifled with. Instead everyone gets to go off to their secret office and emerge with the best numbers possible, any way they can.

Congrats on missing the point again. That's like, 17 times in a row. You're like the 1972 Miami Dolphins of being wrong.

I lol'd.

ETA: Can you use your mod powers to change his username to Larry Csonka?

Wart
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Wart » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:27 pm

.
Last edited by Wart on Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bjsesq
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby bjsesq » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:27 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
MrAnon wrote: If the industry didn't accept that manipulation and lax standards were the norm, if they were open and vetted by the top people at each school in conjunction with one another, then there is a chance that your admissions stats are not trifled with. Instead everyone gets to go off to their secret office and emerge with the best numbers possible, any way they can.

Congrats on missing the point again. That's like, 17 times in a row. You're like the 1972 Miami Dolphins of being wrong.


Your patience with this goddamn herp derp is admirable.

Wart
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Wart » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:29 pm

vanwinkle wrote:Congrats on missing the point again. That's like, 17 times in a row. You're like the 1972 Miami Dolphins 2011 Green Bay Packers of being wrong.

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JoeFish
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Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby JoeFish » Tue Nov 08, 2011 6:29 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:What percentage of your class is receiving scholarship money ?

100%. Everyone got at least 5K. I think the average was 20k or so. Plus, there's the whole "tuition-lock" thing, which is nice.

Edit: The official report does note that the COL went over this year's scholarship budget by a little over 200k.




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