Officials at the UI College of Law accepted sanctions from the American Bar Association July 24 and announced plans to develop internal rules to prevent future performance-reporting abuses.
"We look forward to sharing with our peers the details of our institutional compliance plan," said law school dean Bruce P. Smith. "It's designed to be the most rigorous and comprehensive in the nation."
The UI College of Law, an ABA-accredited law school since 1923, was censured by the ABA for intentionally providing false student Law School Aptitude Test and grade-point information for the entering classes of 2005 and 2007-11.
A UI investigation determined that former admissions dean Paul Pless acted alone in fixing the scores.
The law school was fined $250,000 and ordered to adhere to the following requirements:
- Issue a public corrective statement and post it on its website for two years.
- Hire a compliance monitor, who will report to the ABA's accreditation committee on admissions procedures for the next two years.
- Eliminate its early admissions program.
"The censure explains that the monetary penalty addresses the harm to the reputation and standing of legal education and the profession resulting from the law school's violation of the standards," said an ABA statement.
Robin Kaler, the associate chancellor for public affairs, said UI officials are disappointed with the sanctions considering the university was the first to discover, investigate and report the inconsistencies to the ABA.
"When the university learned of data irregularities in the College of Law class profile, it immediately reported them to the ABA, initiated an effort to investigate and correct the inaccuracies, and fully cooperated with an ABA review," she said. "The College of Law has remedied the violations giving rise to this action, is currently in full compliance with applicable ABA standards, and has taken corrective action intended to prevent such issues in the future."
Smith said corrective actions already being undertaken would allow law school faculty and staff members and students to move forward.
"With this chapter behind us we will emerge with our core institutional qualities even stronger," he said.