Emory Announces Findings in Data Review

August 17, 2012

Emory University today released the results of a three-month investigation into how admissions-related data were misreported to various external audiences, including standard reference sources and third parties who rank colleges and universities. 

In May, 2012, Emory’s new assistant vice provost for undergraduate enrollment and dean of admissions, John Latting, discovered discrepancies in some data that had been previously submitted to these organizations, and brought them to the attention of Provost Earl Lewis. Emory conducted an internal investigation of the discrepancies, engaging the Jones Day law firm to ensure objectivity and independence.

Upon learning of the results of the investigation, Emory President James Wagner stated, “As an institution that challenges itself, in the words of our vision statement, to be ‘ethically engaged,’ Emory has not been well served by representatives of the university in this history of  misreporting. I am deeply disappointed.”

The investigation focused on three key areas: whether incorrect data were submitted; if incorrect data were submitted, who was responsible; and if incorrect data were submitted, how and why did that practice begin.  The central findings of the investigation were that there had been intentional misreporting over more than a decade, and that leadership in the Office of Admission and Institutional Research was aware of and participated in the misreporting.  The investigation was not able to determine how the practice began.

The investigation revealed that both the University’s Office of Admission serving Emory College, and the University’s Office of Institutional Research, annually reported admitted students’ SAT/ACT scores to external surveys as enrolled student scores, since at least the year 2000. This had the effect of overstating Emory’s reported test scores. The report found that class rankings were also overstated, although the methodology used to produce the data was not clear.

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Additional Information

Questions and Answers About Data Reporting

Letter From President James W. Wagner

Corrective Action Plan for Data Collection and Reporting