President Ruscio's Statement on Washington Post Article Regarding Admissions Data
The Washington Post published an article on Sunday (Sept. 22, 2013) about how colleges and universities report the number of applicants. Our admissions office was forthcoming with the Post reporter about our policies and procedures, and the article itself suggested that our reported data are clearly within the guidelines of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) or the Common Data Set (CDS). However, the article left an impression that W&L and others inflate data to their own advantage.
I believe that we are acting in accordance with the applicable guidelines and in a manner consistent with how other colleges and universities approach this process. Nevertheless, if there are questions about our policy, we will address them forthrightly and transparently. Our credibility is fundamental to everything that we do.
In this spirit, I have asked a group to examine the various issues outlined in the article. Sidney Evans, vice president for student affairs, will chair the group. She will be joined by Beau Dudley '74, '79, executive director of alumni affairs, and Marc Conner, associate provost and the James Ballengee Professor of English. They will work with the admissions office and report to me by October 15.
It is important to assure the community that we have examined our procedures carefully and, if appropriate, made adjustments.