Will Data Deception Damage Emory?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Emory University's reputation as one of the nation's most respected institutions has been jeopardized after its disclosure that the school misrepresented information used for college rankings, education specialists say.

"They did something blatantly dishonest," said Rita Kirshstein, director of the Delta Cost Project, a Washington-based group that studies higher education spending and affordability. "Their reputation is going to be hurt; it's not going to be destroyed."

The scent of scandal has descended on an institution that is known for its integrity and is often mentioned alongside Atlanta pillars such as Coca-Cola, the Carter Center and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Emory's reputation as one of the world's leading research universities is so strong that former President Jimmy Carter and the Dalai Lama have come to teach there.

It is a favorite recipient among Atlanta's most vaunted charities such as the Woodruff Foundation. Founded in 1836, Emory's legacy continued its climb in recent years by acquiring papers from notable scholars, such as Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker.

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