ICYMI: Washington Times Op-Ed: Yale going out of its way to hide from accountability

In the Washington Times, Buckley Program Founder and Executive Director Lauren Noble talked about Yale’s most recent retreat from transparency:

While a Yale education reliably provides a good return on investment for the students, tuition-paying parents, alumni and faculty can fairly wonder where all of that money goes. Earlier this month, Yale made it much harder to find out.

Yale Law announced that it’s dropping out of the U.S. News and World Report rankings, quickly followed by Harvard and UC Berkeley.

While tests admittedly can’t provide a full picture of a potential Yale student, devaluing test scores as part of the application process makes the whole process unaccountable. Without some objective measure, applying undergraduates — whether privileged, underprivileged, White, minority, middle class or poor — can have little faith that being the best will actually get them into one of the nation’s top-tier educational institutions.

By hiding its admissions data from U.S. News, Yale Law is trying to have its cake and eat it too: Ride on its reputation as a top school while adopting admissions criteria that could put that status in doubt. If the average test score drops but no one can see it, is it really dropping?

Indeed, Yale’s peer assessment score, a measure of how administrators and tenured faculty at peer institutions perceive Yale, dropped in the most recent school rankings. After spending many years between 4.8 and 4.9 out of 5, “Yale’s peer assessment score dropped to 4.6” this year.

The Yale Daily News reported that the university decided not to release data to the Knight Foundation for a survey on “asset manager diversity.” While the university itself declined to comment, institutional asset expert Charles Skorina explained that if Yale released its own data, it “would be forced to explain that diverse-owned asset managers simply did not meet their ‘performance standards.’”

Left to its own devices, Yale makes questionable choices. In June 2016, Yale alum Lei Zhang joined the Yale Corporation. Mr. Zhang secured an internship with the Yale Investments Office in 2002 after graduating from the Yale School of Management and failing to find a job on Wall Street. Three years later, Yale gave him $20 million to manage on his own.

In Mr. Zhang’s five-year tenure as a Yale trustee, his company, Hillhouse Capital Management, reaped over $118 million in fees from the university, according to Yale’s 990s. While having oversight of Yale’s investments, the Yale Corporation included someone who benefited financially from those very same investments.

Read the full piece here.