URBANA — The University of Illinois posted inaccurate data about the grades and test scores of this semester's incoming first-year law school class on its website, but has now removed that data and put an administrator on leave.
"Somebody saw prior information for the incoming class and thought it wasn't accurate, that it did not accurately reflect LSAT scores and grades for the class," UI spokesman Tom Hardy said.
The UI Ethics Office received information that caused review about possible inaccuracies in student profile data on Aug. 26.
An assistant dean has been placed on administrative leave, but Hardy declined to name that person.
The data in question involve median law-school entrance test scores and grade point averages of the incoming Class of 2014 that may have been inaccurately reported on the College of Law's website and in promotional publications.
Hardy said the matter is being taken very seriously and the UI did not send erroneous information to the American Bar Association, which collects the material.
"We're investigating this thoroughly, swiftly and immediately," Hardy said.
The information being investigated may have been distributed in other places, and the UI is withdrawing any use of the material, he said.
Hardy would not comment on whether the information had been changed deliberately.
"We're conducting an inquiry into how this may have happened," he said.
The UI Ethics Office and Office of University Counsel are leading the review and have engaged the assistance of outside legal counsel familiar with the UI and its data-reporting requirements and processes.
Duff & Phelps, an independent advisory firm with expertise in data processing and forensic analysis, has been hired to work on the issue, along with Theodore Chung of the law firm Jones Day, who will conduct the review with the assistance of College of Law officials, Hardy said.
Chung has considerable experience with administrative investigations in Illinois and has handled cases involving accounting irregularities, among other matters. The UI intends to provide the accurate College of Law class profile information as soon as it is verified.
Hardy said College of Law members were informed of this issue Friday, the same day UI trustees held long closed sessions.
Only two years ago, the UI president, the Urbana chancellor and most of the trustees lost their jobs in the Category I admissions scandal.