A Florida State University criminology professor abruptly left his $190,000-a-year position following allegations that he fudged data on racism studies during his 16-year tenure.
Eric Stewart, who had six of his studies retracted, has been absent from the college since mid-March after a new investigation over his work renewed scrutiny over claims that he fabricated data by altering sample sizes to make the results appear more racist, the Florida Standard reports.
Stewart was first accused of falsifying data by Justin Pickett, a University of Albany criminology professor who co-authored a report on race and crime with Stewart in 2011.
In the study, the criminologists were looking to test whether the public was increasingly demanding longer sentences for black and Hispanic criminals as those minority populations grew.
In his 2019 complaint, Pickett said their findings showed no relationship between the growth of minority groups and the severity of criminal sentences handed to them.
Despite the result, the paper was published with “altered” data to claim there was a correlation, with Pickett noting that many of the changes appeared to have been tacked on just before publication.
The biggest change Pickett pointed out was their sample size growing to 1,184 respondents even though they only had 500, and that the study’s conclusion came from handpicking the data from 91 counties instead of the full list of 326.