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Benchmarking our benchmark schools

Benchmarking gives Emory a chance to learn from our peers, share good practices, and see how we stack up against similar universities. This process helps measure progress in creating a distinguished faculty, enrolling top students, and developing important strategies.

However, when the benchmarking list includes aspirational and actual peers, those measures can't help but be biased. To insure that Emory captures an accurate picture of itself, Provost Claire Sterk recently revised the university's benchmarking list with campus leaders, removing aspirational peers and including instead our most comparable peers.

To develop the new list, Sterk drew on her social science background to combine quantitative metrics and qualitative interviews. Working with John Latting in Admission and Melissa Bolyard in Institutional Research, she examined Common Application data to identify the schools where Emory applicants apply and ultimately enroll. (In general, Emory applicants apply to 11 schools and receive offers of admission from six.) She also honed in on the universities to which Emory loses faculty, looking at transfers by both school and discipline. To these data, Sterk added the perceptions of her provost colleagues nationally, noting the ones who perceive Emory as a peer.

Here are Emory's benchmark schools for 2014: Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University, Rice University, Washington University in St. Louis, University of Chicago, University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, University of Virginia, and Vanderbilt University.