Temple appoints new online M.B.A. director
The move is the latest step in the upheaval at Fox since Temple announced this summer that the school had provided false information to U.S. News and World Report — in some cases knowingly — for the magazine's online M.B.A. rankings.
The man who had led Temple's now-beleaguered online M.B.A. program since it was launched in 2009 is out as its academic director.
Darin Kapanjie will be replaced by Bora Ozkan, an assistant professor of instruction in the department of finance, Fox School of Business' interim dean, Ronald Anderson, announced Thursday in an email to faculty.
The move is the latest step in the upheaval at Fox since Temple announced this summer that the school provided false information to U.S. News and World Report — in some cases knowingly — for the magazine's online M.B.A. rankings. Since then, the university has forced out Moshe Porat as Fox dean and revealed that misreporting also occurred in other Fox programs. In addition, the university found errors at Temple's education and medical schools, but no indication that those errors were intentional.
The Pennsylvania attorney general and the U.S. Department of Education are among outside agencies investigating, and some students have filed a lawsuit, claiming that they were defrauded and that the reputation of their degree had been harmed.
Anderson did not say in the email whether Kapanjie chose to step down, but thanked him for his service and "for building the Fox online and digital learning team. In his role, Dr. Kapanjie was instrumental to student success, academic excellence, and innovative curricular design."
Temple declined to elaborate on the terms of Kapanjie's departure from the position, but confirmed that he will remain a member of the faculty.
Kapanjie said it was a joint decision for him to leave the leadership position. "Given recent events, we felt it was best," he said.
He emphasized that his decision to leave does not implicate him in the reporting missteps at the school. "I did not have anything to do with the misreporting of data," he said.
Ozkan, who previously taught at Tulane and Southeastern Louisiana Universities, came to Fox in 2014. He previously had worked as director of international marketing at Alexander & Hamilton, a debt collection and credit company in New Orleans. He got his bachelor's degree from Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey, and two master's degrees and a doctorate from the University of New Orleans.
"Dr. Ozkan's background and approach to education, as well as his experience teaching in the online M.B.A. program, make him well-suited for this role," Anderson wrote.
Kapanjie joined Temple in 2003 as a faculty member in statistics and later led the online M.B.A. program.
Problems started in January when U.S. News dropped Temple's online M.B.A. from its rankings after the school reported that it had provided inaccurate data. The program had been ranked No. 1 for the previous four years, and the school had been touting that ranking. The university hired a law firm to investigate how the misreporting occurred.
In July, Temple released the firm's findings, including that the business school supplied false data — sometimes knowingly and over a period of years — to the magazine, and that the false reporting was not limited to the online M.B.A. program. A "rankings-focused" strategy led to some of the misreporting, the firm found.
Temple has rolled out a series of steps to ensure that such misreporting does not reoccur, including hiring an external auditor.