Score changing scandal hits Flagler College

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Shocking details revealed in an investigative report of Flagler College's inflated admissions statistics. Former Vice President of Enrollment, Marc Williar was promoted for his performance while at the college, and he was even awarded the highest pay increase of any college employee for the year 2011. All while investigators say behind the scenes he cooked the books. Williar has admitted to changing scores dating back to 2010. But the report commissioned by the Flagler College Board of Trustees shows the manipulation of data dates back to 2004. And Williar's security clearance allowed him direct access to edit the SAT and ACT scores of incoming freshman at any time.

Related: Flagler College investigation reveals score altering dating back to 2004

"This has been an unpleasant chapter in the history of our institution," said Flagler College President William Abare.

He ordered an investigation of now former Vice President of Enrollment, Marc Williar for changing SAT and ACT test scores, high school grade point averages, and high school class ranks of entering freshman.

The investigation found a number of improprieties. A partially recovered message deleted from Williar's cell phone read "I falsified records" he texted, admitting that his emails could "seal {his} fate."

Williar worked at the college for more than 20 years. And during the last ten, according to the findings, he falsified student grades and college entrance exam scores presumably to make the college look better. The report shows that in 2012 and 2013 only one percent of the incoming freshman SAT and ACT scores Williar recorded was accurate. And not a single test score of the 1600 he logged in September of 2012 was supported by actual data.

"Fortunately we have in our administrative computer system the capability of seeing how far back it went," said Abare.

It went back to 2004. By 2011 the college broke into the top 10 rankings of U.S. News and World Report and made its way onto the prestigious Princeton Review. The report shows the school credited Williar for the impressively improved ratings. Williar told investigators he did it because he saw a drop in the school's academic profile in 2010. The report further shows that Williar continued inflating scores to maintain consistency over the years.

"Anytime there is a violation of trust a breach of trust there is a broken relationship," said Williar. "And so unfortunately that relationship is broken and I don't anticipate it being mended anytime soon."

Abare says there will be more oversight moving forward. No criminal charges have been filed against Williar. FCN reached out to Williar for comment on this report but as of yet have not heard back from him. Both the Princeton Review and U.S. News and World say they will make the necessary changes to Flagler College's ranking once the corrected data is sent to them. That is something the college is working on.


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