In a communitywide email Friday evening, Yale President Peter Salovey announced that the University has taken a “number of actions” in response to what prosecutors are calling the largest admissions scandal that the Department of Justice has ever prosecuted.
Salovey called the criminal actions undertaken by former Yale women’s soccer coach, Rudy Meredith, in coordination with William “Rick” Singer and his for-profit college preparation business, “an affront to our community’s deeply held values of fairness, inclusion and honesty.”
“I am therefore initiating a number of actions to make sure we understand the full impact of this criminal scheme on our university and to protect our admissions processes in the future,” Salovey wrote in his email.
The FBI and the Department of Justice announced Tuesday that Meredith is accused of accepting a $400,000 bribe from Singer in exchange for using a recruitment space on the women’s soccer team for a student who did not play soccer. Meredith also allegedly attempted to receive a $450,000 bribe independent of Singer on another occasion. Meredith, who is charged with two accounts of wire fraud, is scheduled to appear in court for the first time on March 28.
According to the “Frequently Asked Questions Related to Admissions Fraud Scheme” page on the Office of the President’s website, the documents published by the Department of Justice suggest that Meredith provided “fraudulent athletic endorsements” to two applicants. One of the students was admitted and is attending Yale, while the other was denied admission despite the endorsement.
In regards to the students who were implicated in the scandal, Salovey said in his email that while he does “not comment on specific disciplinary actions taken with respect to an individual student, our withstanding policy is to rescind the admission of students who falsified their Yale College applications.”
According to the FAQs, Yale’s Office of the General Counsel learned of the allegations against Meredith when it received a federal grand jury subpoena requesting information about Meredith from the Boston U.S. Attorney’s Office on Nov. 16 — one day after Meredith resigned from his position as head coach. The University refrained from speaking publicly about the allegations because a non-disclosure order signed by a federal judge accompanied the subpoena. The University learned the full details of the allegations when the federal charges were unsealed on Tuesday.
In response to the allegations, Salovey wrote in his communitywide email that the University will be conducting its own independent review of the admissions system at Yale in response to the FBI investigation. External advisors will assist the administration in the University’s investigation. These external advisors will “be asked to recommend changes that will help [the University] detect and prevent efforts to defraud our admissions process,” according to Salovey.
The University will specifically look at the practices of commercial admissions consultants, “whose work is conducted out of the view of admissions officers,” according to the email.
The email also noted that Director of Yale Athletics, Vicky Chun, has been independently implementing new policies and actions regarding the oversight and assessment of Yale Athletics’ coaching staffs in order to “ensure that student-athletes receive an excellent education at Yale and to enhance the quality of [Yale’s] athletic programs.”
Chun will also conduct reviews of every coach’s roster of recruits before these rosters are sent to the admissions office. Salovey emphasized that situations in which a recruited athlete “fails to make a team will receive close scrutiny.”
Alongside Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan, Chun will “implement a code of conduct for athletic recruitment.” Furthermore, the two will implement “more robust training for all coaches to ensure they understand” Yale’s recruitment policies, according to the email.
Chun was unavailable for immediate comment on Friday.
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