According to Robert J. Morse, director of data research for U.S. News, "U.S. News accepted Baylor's LSAT and GPA, despite their indicating that the data was only for the fall entering class." As I'd suspected, USN&WR evidently did use the median LSAT and GPA of students Baylor matriculated in the fall of 2005, only, even though it intended to rank Baylor based on all the median LSAT and GPA of all students the school matriculated in 2005. How USN&WR ended up using the wrong numbers remains a bit unclear; Morse didn't say. He did say, however, "We have tightened up our data collection procedures so it doesn't happen again."
The inquiry I sent to Baylor received a prompt and polite response from its Associate Dean, Leah Jackson. Although she promised I'd receive a complete response, together with supporting documentation, by the end of this week, she briefly noted, "[W]e have never misrepresented our LSAT and GPA data. If anything, we over-report our data to try to avoid any misrepresentation." She added that, "[W]e have been completely and thoroughly honest in reporting our information to U.S. News." I hope to offer more about Baylor's side of the story, soon.
Earlier posts about the 2007 USN&WR law school rankings:
- Change to U.S. News Law School Rankings Methodology
- "Financial Aid" Revised in U.S. News Methodology
- How USN&WR Counts Faculty for Rankings
- Whence Come the LSATs and GPAs Used in the Rankings?
- Gains and Losses Due to USN&WR's Use of Reported Median LSATs and GPAs
- How to Model USN&WR's Law School Rankings
- Why to Model USN&WR's Law School Rankings
- The ABA and USN&WR's Law School Rankings
- Accuracy of the Model of USN&WR's Law School Rankings
- Z-Scores in Model of USN&WR's Law School Rankings
- Further Tinkering with Model of USN&WR Law School Rankings
- Baylor's Score in the USN&WR Law School Rankings
- What USN&WR Asks About Law Schools' LSATs and GPAs