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Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024
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AU unable to send complete information to The Washington Post

AU declined to submit a comprehensive file on this year’s projected freshman class for two stories that The Washington Post published on Oct. 16 and 20.

The stories aimed to highlight D.C. universities’ diverse student body by looking at each school’s projected freshman class. In both stories, data is shown from seven of the eight universities in the District; however, the stories lack statistics from AU.

Nick Anderson, the reporter who wrote both pieces, makes note in one of his articles that AU officials declined to submit a complete file on its projected freshman class to The Post.

When contacting Anderson for further details on AU’s decision, he said in an e-mail that he had no further comments on the situation.

Despite Anderson’s claim that AU declined to send in a comprehensive file on its projected freshman class, the University did submit information for the stories, AU’s director of public relations Kelly Alexander said in an e-mail.

“It is important to note that AU is extremely proud to be such a diverse campus with such a diverse student population,” Alexander said in the e-mail. “We proudly share the story of what comprises AU as much as possible.”

Although the University wanted to show off its diverse student body, Anderson’s request for seven specific categories with an original deadline of July 16 proved problematic for AU’s goal, according to Alexander.

AU could only give information on five of the categories since AU had projections and not exact numbers on the incoming freshman class, according to Alexander.

“In two categories, number of freshmen by state and country, we were not able to share the projected numbers by the time of his deadline,” Alexander said in the e-mail.

Alexander said that University Communications explained to Anderson that the University couldn’t submit data for the two categories due to a degree of uncertainty experienced by University Communications at that time. In order to compensate for this lack of data, AU provided an alternative document that outlined the expected number of freshmen from the top 10 U.S. states (including D.C.) and the top 10 foreign countries, according to Alexander.

Failure to provide full information on both categories ultimately led Anderson to leave AU out of his polls.

Alexander said that Anderson contacted AU again, asking for complete information on the seven categories by Aug. 22, over a month after his original deadline. Even with this extension, AU still couldn’t provide a complete file on its freshman class.

Although Anderson gave AU the new deadline of Aug. 22 for its comprehensive submission, his stories didn’t run until mid-October.

With the delay in the stories’ publications, the University might have been able to submit the information to all seven categories requested by Anderson since his pieces went up during the academic year, a time when AU could have provided exact numbers, according to Alexander.

“A better question, from AU's point of view, is why the Post could not wait for us to provide accurate counts for this story after the semester began,” Alexander said in the e-mail.

frodriguez@theeagleonline.com


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