At Some Point, It’s Just Dishonesty
by Silence Dogood

President Potter has repeatedly praised the Data Analytics Workgroup for the accuracy of their enrollment projections. Does his praise actually match with the facts? The figure below is reproduced from the website for the Office of Strategy, Planning and Research:

In following the enrollment for Spring semester, each day I looked at the enrollment report available through SAMS2. On January 3, 2015, I took a screen shot of one of the enrollment tabs:

Interestingly, this particular link has subsequently been removed. However, note that the FYE Projections in the two tables do not match. For Summer 2014 (918 vs. 903); for Fall 2014 (5,806 vs. 5,799); and for Spring 2015 (5,074 vs. 5,033). In each case, the projection that was supposedly “generated on May 6, 2014” has been made smaller. The total difference is only 63 FYE out of 12,381 FYE, which corresponds to an error of only 0.51%. So, the number is almost insignificant. However, this is clear proof that the projections have changed!

Can projections change? Absolutely. However, it’s simply dishonest if you change them and then say that they were the projections all along.

It is also interesting to note that last table in both figures shows the comparison of the FYE Projection vs. the Previous Year Final FYE. In the first table, the enrollment is down -646 FYE. Out of an enrollment of 12,381, the decline is -5.2%. In the second table, the enrollment is down -583 out of an enrollment of 12,381 is also down -5.2%. I guess you can tell what they wanted the projection to show. However, unless this is an example of ‘new math,’ the math simply doesn’t work out correctly. It should have been down -4.7%, which would more closely match the administration’s prediction in the Fall of being down in the range of 4-5%.

Changing the enrollment projections and passing them off as the original numbers is dishonest. If this type of deception had been committed by an SCSU student, it might have triggered a review under SCSU’s new Academic Dishonesty Policy. As it is, it will likely go unchallenged and attributed to the ravings of a few disgruntled faculty.

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