U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
bjsesq
TLS Poet Laureate
Posts: 13383
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:02 am

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby bjsesq » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:26 am

YourCaptain wrote:I am genuinely surprised at the level of indignity people are expressing in defense of Dean Pless.

Sure, he was helpful with his posts relating to UIUC admissions - it is in his best interest to do so. His job is to entice applications and put the school in the best possible light - putting forth a public profile of the school with its admissions officer being a helpful and open individual will make most prospective applicants have a very favorable view of the school. His job is not to be your friend - his actions, helpful as they were, were motivated by self-interest, not out of altruism.

His culpability shouldn't just be assumed, but don't mistake his intentions for a defense of character.


He can be both a great salesman and a good person. I tend to trust Botwin on this one.

User avatar
Kilpatrick
Posts: 1073
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:06 am

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Kilpatrick » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:30 am

Pless is an awesome guy in real life and he was one of my favorite people at Illinois. But there's no way he made a simple spreadsheet mistake. He either lied or he's incompetent.

User avatar
Aberzombie1892
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:56 am

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:37 am

It seems as though the misreporting of medians was, more likely than not, an actual attempt to flat out lie to prospective students and media outlets about the medians of U of Illinois incoming class. As others have stated, the medians are checked almost daily, and I imagine that most law schools use software that allows them to easily determine their medians without much human input. Someone in that admissions office purposefully did something wrong and should be fired. I'm not saying that that person is Pless; who knows if it was him or not? However, if the investigators cannot determine who is specifically to blame for it, they will likely fire Pless.

Regardless of whether or not Pless is to blame this scandal, the issue now appears to be whether or not the medians have historically been inaccurate. If they have been, and they cannot determine who exactly is to blame, they will likely fire Pless.

I have never spoken with Pless, but from what everyone is saying on here, he seems like a good guy. I would hate for him to be terminated for something that he did not do himself, even though he would be the one to blame for the failures of those who work underneath him.

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:40 am

Aberzombie1892 wrote:It seems as though the misreporting of medians was, more likely than not, an actual attempt to flat out lie to prospective students and media outlets about the medians of U of Illinois incoming class. As others have stated, the medians are checked almost daily, and I imagine that most law schools use software that allows them to easily determine their medians without much human input. Someone in that admissions office purposefully did something wrong and should be fired. I'm not saying that that person is Pless; who knows if it was him or not? However, if the investigators cannot determine who is specifically to blame for it, they will likely fire Pless.

Regardless of whether or not Pless is to blame this scandal, the issue now appears to be whether or not the medians have historically been inaccurate. If they have been, and they cannot determine who exactly is to blame, they will likely fire Pless.

I have never spoken with Pless, but from what everyone is saying on here, he seems like a good guy. I would hate for him to be terminated for something that he did not do himself, even though he would be the one to blame for the failures of those who work underneath him.


I agree. I just find it hard to believe that the #1 man in charge at the admissions office didn't have a substantial hand in the calculation or overview of a couple of the most important numbers published by that office. If I was him, I wouldn't trust anybody else but myself to make sure those numbers were right, considering how much rides on them.

User avatar
bjsesq
TLS Poet Laureate
Posts: 13383
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:02 am

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby bjsesq » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:41 am

Aberzombie1892 wrote:It seems as though the misreporting of medians was, more likely than not, an actual attempt to flat out lie to prospective students and media outlets about the medians of U of Illinois incoming class. As others have stated, the medians are checked almost daily, and I imagine that most law schools use software that allows them to easily determine their medians without much human input. Someone in that admissions office purposefully did something wrong and should be fired. I'm not saying that that person is Pless; who knows if it was him or not? However, if the investigators cannot determine who is specifically to blame for it, they will likely fire Pless.

Regardless of whether or not Pless is to blame this scandal, the issue now appears to be whether or not the medians have historically been inaccurate. If they have been, and they cannot determine who exactly is to blame, they will likely fire Pless.

I have never spoken with Pless, but from what everyone is saying on here, he seems like a good guy. I would hate for him to be terminated for something that he did not do himself, even though he would be the one to blame for the failures of those who work underneath him.


His suspension is nothing if not a preemptive firing. We've crossed that bridge already, I think.

User avatar
NancyBotwin
Posts: 1085
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:43 pm

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby NancyBotwin » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:43 am

romothesavior wrote:
YourCaptain wrote:I am genuinely surprised at the level of indignity people are expressing in defense of Dean Pless.

Eh... I think it goes far beyond his TLS postings though. People ITT know him personally, they like him, and the respect him. The UIUC students all speak very highly of him, and they know him better than any of us. I only met him once, but I communicated with him a great deal and was very, very impressed by all of my interactions with him. I also know he was respected by some of his peers in law school administration. Until this incident, I hadn't really heard of anyone say anything negative about him. So that's why I hope this turns out well for him, and hope that he is not culpable. I imagine others feel the same.

Not just in the administration. The faculty all love him, too. My land use prof is just heartbroken over this whole thing, and she's seen ALL the scandals. It's sad.

User avatar
YourCaptain
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:26 pm

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby YourCaptain » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:53 am

NancyBotwin wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
YourCaptain wrote:I am genuinely surprised at the level of indignity people are expressing in defense of Dean Pless.

Eh... I think it goes far beyond his TLS postings though. People ITT know him personally, they like him, and the respect him. The UIUC students all speak very highly of him, and they know him better than any of us. I only met him once, but I communicated with him a great deal and was very, very impressed by all of my interactions with him. I also know he was respected by some of his peers in law school administration. Until this incident, I hadn't really heard of anyone say anything negative about him. So that's why I hope this turns out well for him, and hope that he is not culpable. I imagine others feel the same.

Not just in the administration. The faculty all love him, too. My land use prof is just heartbroken over this whole thing, and she's seen ALL the scandals. It's sad.


I get that - I am not trying to say people here are being ridiculous for defending him, I am just pointing out that he can be a genuinely nice person and still do something that we would look upon unfavorably. It is indeed sad though.

User avatar
Patriot1208
Posts: 7044
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 11:28 am

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Patriot1208 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:59 am

NancyBotwin wrote:
romothesavior wrote:When people say it could have been a simple data entry mistake, they just be suggesting that the mistake happened in the spring and it persisted alllllll summer long without anyone noticing. Deans are VERY conscious of their medians. It wasn't like Pless just looked at his spreadsheet one day in August and was like, "168? Neato!" and put it in the admissions materials. He knew his medians all summer long. Deans check that shit religiously. He must have known all along that he was way low this year. And how can a data entry mistake explain both medians being wrong?


Except this is suggesting that the mistake wasn't in the spreadsheet from the beginning. Formula error maybe? And one that applied to both the GPA and LSAT because of a copy/paste thing?

Formula error? You don't even need a formula in excel you just ask for the descriptive statistics and it gives you the q1, median, q3. It's also easy to sort and look at it yourself.

User avatar
Cornelius
Posts: 505
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 3:16 pm

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Cornelius » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:01 pm

NancyBotwin wrote:
Cornelius wrote:
NancyBotwin wrote:Quite a few people in my group of friends. Unless we've all somehow self-selected to hanging out with the only other people above 167, and there are no others in our class, then that would suggest that a large portion of the class is above 167.

The logic here with regard to statistics makes me weep.


Dude, I know it's anecdotal evidence and that the sample size is small. Doesn't make the facts any less true. Our class is not that much larger than my group of friends. What are the odds of me knowing that many people above 167 and yet the 167 median being completely off?

The facts are that you're using a small sample size and self-reported data to make sweeping generalizations about something for which you have no basis. If you're in a big group talking about LSAT scores, do you think there's no incentive or pressure for people to say they scored at least the median? How many people want to be the 163 guy?

That said, as I've posted earlier in this thread, it's certainly possible that the prior year's data is correct, but I would classify that as less than likely. Even if it is, you still have a massive 4 point drop that has an astronomically small chance of being an "honest" mistake. Odds are very good it was intentional or, less likely, gross incompetence - both in calculation and in the admission process in general to have such a big drop. Admissions staff eat, breath, and sleep their medians. Do you really want to try and convince people they didn't know what the medians actually were?

User avatar
DerrickRose
Posts: 1106
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:08 pm

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby DerrickRose » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:42 pm

Nightrunner wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:I forget how young most posters are on this website. I guess young law students tend to be a bit on the serious side.

It might have something to do with the serious nature of this particular topic (especially to Illinois students, and those who know them).


They can take my job prospects, but they'll never take my sarcasm

User avatar
birdlaw117
Posts: 2167
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:19 am

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby birdlaw117 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:59 pm

Cornelius wrote:
NancyBotwin wrote:
Cornelius wrote:
NancyBotwin wrote:Quite a few people in my group of friends. Unless we've all somehow self-selected to hanging out with the only other people above 167, and there are no others in our class, then that would suggest that a large portion of the class is above 167.

The logic here with regard to statistics makes me weep.


Dude, I know it's anecdotal evidence and that the sample size is small. Doesn't make the facts any less true. Our class is not that much larger than my group of friends. What are the odds of me knowing that many people above 167 and yet the 167 median being completely off?

The facts are that you're using a small sample size and self-reported data to make sweeping generalizations about something for which you have no basis. If you're in a big group talking about LSAT scores, do you think there's no incentive or pressure for people to say they scored at least the median? How many people want to be the 163 guy?

The better question is who the hell talks about their LSAT score? I haven't had that discussion with any of my classmates.

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:00 pm

birdlaw117 wrote:The better question is who the hell talks about their LSAT score? I haven't had that discussion with any of my classmates.


TITCR

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:05 pm

birdlaw117 wrote:The better question is who the hell talks about their LSAT score? I haven't had that discussion with any of my classmates.


Bro, did you seriously not screen the people wanting to be in your study group?

User avatar
birdlaw117
Posts: 2167
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:19 am

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby birdlaw117 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:07 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:The better question is who the hell talks about their LSAT score? I haven't had that discussion with any of my classmates.


Bro, did you seriously not screen the people wanting to be in your study group?

Not yet... I'm just a 1L. The application process for my study group will start Oct 1.

User avatar
Aberzombie1892
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:56 am

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:07 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:The better question is who the hell talks about their LSAT score? I haven't had that discussion with any of my classmates.


Bro, did you seriously not screen the people wanting to be in your study group?


+1 to both.

NancyBotwin wrote:Quite a few people in my group of friends. Unless we've all somehow self-selected to hanging out with the only other people above 167, and there are no others in our class, then that would suggest that a large portion of the class is above 167.


Really?

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:11 pm

birdlaw117 wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:The better question is who the hell talks about their LSAT score? I haven't had that discussion with any of my classmates.


Bro, did you seriously not screen the people wanting to be in your study group?

Not yet... I'm just a 1L. The application process for my study group will start Oct 1.


In all seriousness, I grew close to a number of people from 1L. We discussed everything from law school grades to exactly how our job search was going. I never learned what their LSAT was. I can't even imagine how that conversation would have started.

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:12 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:
NancyBotwin wrote:Quite a few people in my group of friends. Unless we've all somehow self-selected to hanging out with the only other people above 167, and there are no others in our class, then that would suggest that a large portion of the class is above 167.


Image

User avatar
DerrickRose
Posts: 1106
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:08 pm

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby DerrickRose » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:13 pm

birdlaw117 wrote:The better question is who the hell talks about their LSAT score? I haven't had that discussion with any of my classmates.


Talking about LSAT's and grades and jobs and all of that is super awkward, but IMO, not talking about it is even more awkward. The way I see it, we're all in the same boat.

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15525
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:14 pm

Helmholtz wrote:In all seriousness, I grew close to a number of people from 1L. We discussed everything from law school grades to exactly how our job search was going. I never learned what their LSAT was. I can't even imagine how that conversation would have started.


News of your school fudging LSAT medians might lead a conversation in that direction.

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:14 pm

DerrickRose wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:The better question is who the hell talks about their LSAT score? I haven't had that discussion with any of my classmates.


Talking about LSAT's and grades and jobs and all of that is super awkward, but IMO, not talking about it is even more awkward. The way I see it, we're all in the same boat.


I just bitch about everything. Seems to work fine.

User avatar
chrisbru
Posts: 4252
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:44 pm

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby chrisbru » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:14 pm

DerrickRose wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:The better question is who the hell talks about their LSAT score? I haven't had that discussion with any of my classmates.


Talking about LSAT's and grades and jobs and all of that is super awkward, but IMO, not talking about it is even more awkward. The way I see it, we're all in the same boat.



Yeah, we are, but I still don't know anyone's LSAT score except my roommates. How would that come up in group conversation?

User avatar
YourCaptain
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:26 pm

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby YourCaptain » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:15 pm

prezidentv8 wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:
NancyBotwin wrote:Quite a few people in my group of friends. Unless we've all somehow self-selected to hanging out with the only other people above 167, and there are no others in our class, then that would suggest that a large portion of the class is above 167.


wtf is this

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:17 pm

DerrickRose wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:The better question is who the hell talks about their LSAT score? I haven't had that discussion with any of my classmates.


Talking about LSAT's and grades and jobs and all of that is super awkward, but IMO, not talking about it is even more awkward. The way I see it, we're all in the same boat.


I never found talking about grades and jobs that awkward. Those are things that are relevant to how my friends are doing. An admissions test that got them into the same school as me? Not so much.

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby Helmholtz » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:20 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:In all seriousness, I grew close to a number of people from 1L. We discussed everything from law school grades to exactly how our job search was going. I never learned what their LSAT was. I can't even imagine how that conversation would have started.


News of your school fudging LSAT medians might lead a conversation in that direction.


I guess I just assumed that the LSAT conversations came up before all this. I still wouldn't talk about it even after the news came up though. Even if I felt comfortable talking to a couple dozen people about it (which I wouldn't be), it still wouldn't prove a thing.

User avatar
YourCaptain
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:26 pm

Re: U. of Illinois Law suspends Dean of Admissions

Postby YourCaptain » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:21 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
DerrickRose wrote:
birdlaw117 wrote:The better question is who the hell talks about their LSAT score? I haven't had that discussion with any of my classmates.


Talking about LSAT's and grades and jobs and all of that is super awkward, but IMO, not talking about it is even more awkward. The way I see it, we're all in the same boat.


I never found talking about grades and jobs that awkward. Those are things that are relevant to how my friends are doing. An admissions test that got them into the same school as me? Not so much.


It's come up before with my friends (while ago) when we were discussing how we made our school choices - e.g., "Well, I had a decent LSAT but my gpa was awful so I applied to X, Y, & Z"

No specific #s though, only in very general terms.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot], trooper10538 and 4 guests