Aug. 17, 2012
Dear Emory Community:
Since the end of the past academic year, the senior administration has become aware of a matter that concerns the way Emory discloses certain admissions-related information to the public, and in the interest of transparency and full disclosure, I am writing to call this matter to your attention.
As you know, Emory and other American colleges and universities annually report institutional data to various external audiences, including statistical reference sources and various third parties who use the information to arrive at institutional rankings.
In May, our new assistant vice provost for undergraduate enrollment and dean of admission, John Latting, discovered discrepancies in data that had been submitted previously to these organizations. Specifically, he discovered that reported SAT/ ACT scores were those for admitted undergraduate students, not the requested scores for enrolled students, which were somewhat lower. A similar misrepresentation was discovered in data for our entering students’ high school class rank.
When Dean Latting called this issue to the Provost’s attention, the administration immediately launched an internal investigation of the discrepancies, engaging a third party to ensure objectivity and independence. The investigation found that there had been in fact intentional errors in reporting standardized test scores and class rank dating at least to 2000. Through the Provost’s Office, appropriate personnel actions have been taken, and corrective steps are underway to ensure the future integrity of Emory’s data reporting. Additional information can be found at www.emory.edu/datareview.
I am grateful to Dean Latting for calling this matter to our attention. His coming forward with this concern reinforces the importance of reporting matters concerning integrity to one’s supervisor or through the Emory Trust Line in those instances when immediate supervisors seem unresponsive.
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. Indeed, anyone who cares about Emory’s reputation for excellence in all things must regret this news.
Emory is a great institution, with great faculty, staff, and students, and a strong alumni network. None of that changes with this news. I assure you that I and my colleagues on the cabinet are doing all that we can to see that nothing like this happens again, and that Emory lives up to its standards of excellence and integrity.
James W. Wagner
President, Emory University