In the wake of the revelations of inflated rankings at the Fox School of Business at Temple University, let us offer the following observations.

First, to the distinguished faculty, students, and hundreds of thousands of proud Temple alumni throughout the region, including those from the Fox School, Temple offers you a heartfelt apology.  You had a right to expect that submissions to rankings organizations would be accurate and honest; this controversy should never have occurred.

Second, we need to do more than own the problem; we must fix it.  Temple must do all it can to ensure that there is no recurrence of this problem in the future; we are committed to doing so.

Third, our actions in responding to this controversy must be open and transparent, so that you can be assured that we will do all we can to safeguard the public trust that is essential for a public university.

This work already is well underway.  When we first learned that there were questions about the submissions, we made the decision to self-report the findings and take the necessary steps to correct any failings.  We retained the nationally respected Jones Day law firm to conduct an independent investigation and report back with the results.  Jones Day reviewed more than 15,000 documents and emails and interviewed nearly two dozen Fox faculty and staff over the course of its six-month review, and its findings left no doubt that the Fox School knowingly provided false information about its Online MBA program and other Fox MBA programs, too.

We made a very public change in the Fox School leadership, which was the right call given the Jones Day findings.  In addition, we are implementing a broad array of checks and balances to ensure that the data we submit are as accurate and verifiable as humanly possible.  Indeed, we have just completed a certification of the rankings data submitted to U.S. News and World Report for Temple University, and I am glad to report that there were no material issues with this submission, which included literally hundreds of data points.

Earlier this week, we made another important change, announcing that Dr. Ronald C. Anderson will serve as interim dean at Fox. Anderson, a respected member of the Fox faculty since 2012, brings great leadership skills and outstanding credentials to this task, and we are confident that he is the right person to help Fox re-emerge stronger than ever.

We made these decisions to protect the integrity that is at the heart of our educational mission.  The public must be able to trust what we say and do, and Temple must be counted upon to take the steps necessary to guarantee that trust.  For this reason, we will continue to insist on complete transparency and cooperation with any other agency or organization that undertakes its own review of these issues.

The good news is that these events cannot change the fact that the Fox School of Business is one of the premier business schools in the country, and one of Temple's premier schools.  Fox retains the same outstanding faculty, the same rigorous curriculum and quality of research, and, of course, the tremendous intellect and commitment of our student body.

For public institutions like Temple, trust is sacrosanct.  Having acted to protect our integrity and safeguard the public's trust, we are confident that the Fox School is on the right road to a future of continued growth and success.

Anyone with questions about this matter can email President Englert at officeofthepresident@temple.edu.

Richard Englert is president and JoAnne Epps is executive vice president and provost of Temple University