Bucknell apologizes for inflated SAT scores

Posted: January 29, 2013

Bucknell University has apologized for reporting inflated average SAT scores of its incoming freshmen to U.S. News & World Report for its annual rankings and to other outlets.

The false scores were reported between 2006 and 2012 under former enrollment management leadership, university president John C. Bravman said in a statement Friday to Bucknell's board of trustees that also was sent to 55,000 alumni, faculty, and others. The math and reading scores for 13 to 47 students were omitted for those years, he said.

"The outcome of all these errors was that our SAT scores across each of the seven years were reported to various organizations, most notably this board, as being higher than they actually were," Bravman said. "These numerical omissions, as relatively small as they were, violated the trust of every student, faculty member, staff member, and Bucknellian they reached."

As a result of the omissions, the combined scores were seven to 25 points higher than they were supposed to be on a 1600-point scale, Bravman said.

Bravman blamed the mistake on former "enrollment management leadership."

The mistake was discovered, he said, by Bill Conley, who became vice president for enrollment management on Aug. 1.

University spokesman Peter Mackey declined to name the "leadership" responsible for the error.

He confirmed that the university's former vice president for enrollment management was Kurt Thiede, who left the Lewisburg-based university after nine years to start a nonprofit. Thiede could not be reached for comment Monday.

Bucknell, Mackey said, has no plans to take action against the leadership responsible for the error, noting that no laws were violated.

The university is taking steps to clear the record.

"We are correcting the historical mistakes to all institutions that received errant information," Bravman said.

In the past year, Claremont McKenna College, George Washington and Emory Universities, and Tulane University's business school have acknowledged misreporting data U.S. News.

Contact Susan Snyder at 215-854-4693 or ssnyder@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @ssnyderinq.

This article contains information from the Associated Press.

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