Emory scraps plans to recruit outside of Long Island

April 27, 2010
By Jackson Miller

Citing chronic bud­get woes, Emory University Dean of Admission Jean Jordan has announced an “indef­i­nite post­pone­ment” to an ambi­tious plan that would have increased the school’s recruit­ing efforts out­side of Long Island to just over 3%.

“Last week we made the dif­fi­cult deci­sion of tabling our dis­cus­sion of recruit­ing from the remain­ing 99.9999% of the United States,” said Dr. Jordan at a press con­fer­ence Monday.  “Due to sig­nif­i­cant invest­ments in biodegrad­able sil­ver­ware and financ­ing ter­ri­fy­ing stat­ues of Dooley, Emory cur­rently lacks the bud­get to accept or read appli­ca­tions from stu­dents liv­ing out­side of Nassau County, New York.”

Announced in late 2005, the plan involved sweep­ing changes to the way Emory recruits.

“Our cur­rent admis­sion process under-emphasizes the dif­fi­culty of grow­ing up in a non-Long Island house­hold,” Dr. Jordan told Torch over the phone.  “We wanted to really dig deeply into the appli­ca­tions of these ‘dis­ad­van­taged’ young peo­ple to see how they could be spe­cial with­out own­ing BMWs or grow­ing up ‘just out­side the city’.  We were even plan­ning to stop shred­ding their appli­ca­tions and scat­ter­ing them out­side for birds to use as nests.”


Officials from the University of Pennsylvania and New York University var­i­ously lauded the effort as “inno­v­a­tive”, “star­tling”, and “down­right ballsy”.

“We never con­sid­ered that stu­dents with house­hold incomes lower than $200,000 and zip codes that don’t begin with ‘11’ could be intel­li­gent, pro­duc­tive mem­bers of soci­ety,” explained Isaac Hamberg, Dean of Admissions at the University of Pennsylvania.  “We’re now start­ing to ask our­selves if there are meth­ods of com­mu­ni­ca­tion that would allow us to reach these ‘periph­eral’ students.”

Despite its sup­port in the aca­d­e­mic com­mu­nity, some observers, such as Emory senior Randi Nusbaum, are happy to see the ini­tia­tive fail.

“Emory is, like, super diverse already,” she explained.  “In my soror­ity, there are girls who wear, like, light-brown uggs and ones who wear dark-brown ones.  Oh!  And one girl wears uggs with tassles.  And don’t even get me started on how many dif­fer­ent col­ors our 3-series’ are.  It’s like… so. many. dif­fer­ent. col­ors.

For years, Emory Admissions has touted its com­mit­ment to diver­sity, going so far as to award itself the title of Most Diverse College.  Admissions rep­re­sen­ta­tives refused to explain how many schools were con­sid­ered when award­ing the title, or what cri­te­ria were used to deter­mine diver­sity.  An exten­sive Torch analy­sis con­cluded that Emory is, at least, Most Diverse College in Northeast Atlanta.

“Diversity can be such an ambigu­ous term,” wrote Emory President James Wagner in a 2008 newslet­ter.  “If being 32% Jewish, 24% Asian, and 4% Hispanic doesn’t fit someone’s def­i­n­i­tion of ‘diver­sity’, we’ll just have to invent a new definition.”

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