Northwestern apologizes after leaked emails show admissions official mocking counselors, parents

In+this+screenshot+posted+earlier+this+week+on+admissions+message+board+College+Confidential%2C+Michael+Mills%2C+associate+provost+for+university+enrollment%2C+shows+off+a+fake+internal+database+that+groups+Northwestern+applicants+by+their+parents%27+and+guidance+counselors%27+complaints.+University+spokesman+Al+Cubbage+said+Wednesday+it+was+an+%22ill-advised+attempt+at+humor.%22
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Northwestern apologizes after leaked emails show admissions official mocking counselors, parents

In this screenshot posted earlier this week on admissions message board College Confidential, Michael Mills, associate provost for university enrollment, shows off a fake internal database that groups Northwestern applicants by their parents' and guidance counselors' complaints. University spokesman Al Cubbage said Wednesday it was an

In this screenshot posted earlier this week on admissions message board College Confidential, Michael Mills, associate provost for university enrollment, shows off a fake internal database that groups Northwestern applicants by their parents' and guidance counselors' complaints. University spokesman Al Cubbage said Wednesday it was an "ill-advised attempt at humor."

Source: College Confidential screenshot

In this screenshot posted earlier this week on admissions message board College Confidential, Michael Mills, associate provost for university enrollment, shows off a fake internal database that groups Northwestern applicants by their parents' and guidance counselors' complaints. University spokesman Al Cubbage said Wednesday it was an "ill-advised attempt at humor."

Source: College Confidential screenshot

Source: College Confidential screenshot

In this screenshot posted earlier this week on admissions message board College Confidential, Michael Mills, associate provost for university enrollment, shows off a fake internal database that groups Northwestern applicants by their parents' and guidance counselors' complaints. University spokesman Al Cubbage said Wednesday it was an "ill-advised attempt at humor."

Patrick Svitek, Managing Editor

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The University apologized this morning for a fake internal database that mocked parents and guidance counselors of Northwestern applicants.

Screenshots of the phony classification system and email correspondence about it were posted earlier this week on admissions message board College Confidential. The images show Michael Mills, associate provost for university enrollment, sharing with more than two dozen colleagues a made-up program in which NU applicants are sorted by their parents’ and guidance counselors’ apparent gripes about admissions decisions.

The categorizations include “Go to $%%!”, “I’ll call my %$^&ing Senator,” “Who’s your boss?” and “I know Pat Ryan!” — the NU trustee (Weinberg ’59) after which Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena are named.

“It was an ill-advised attempt at humor by a member of our staff,” University spokesman Al Cubbage said in a statement. “It was an internal email that misguidedly made fun of the abrasive and threatening calls and emails our admission office occasionally gets from irate parents and counselors about our admissions decisions. Northwestern strives to treat all our admission applicants respectfully and appropriately. This was an error and we apologize for it.”

In an April 26 email shown in the screenshots, Mills promoted the database to his coworkers, including Christopher Watson, dean of undergraduate admission.

“I’m taking suggestions for a new field I’ve created, called ‘Angry Calls from Counselors and Parents,'” Mills wrote. “Be sure to check out the Custom Values already there…”

As of 11 a.m. today, the screenshots were no longer on College Confidential.

Cubbage declined to comment further.

— Patrick Svitek

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