Well, that didn’t work out perfectly, did it? Despite all our cautious statements and careful work, we still ended up with applicants unhappy over the way decisions were released. I’m sorry that it didn’t go more smoothly.
First, I want to say that we still don’t know why the system crashed today. Laurie and I have talked, and Roxana and I have emailed, and Roxana has emailed the IT team, and Laurie and Roxana have talked, and the best guess out there is that too many people were trying to access the system at one time. We haven’t encountered that problem in the past, and I’m sorry we didn’t anticipate it. Greater minds than mine will study the problem in the coming week.
I also want to try to shed a bit of light on what happened on Friday. Early in the day, the full staff started to review the paper versions of the decision letters (which we use to double check that everything has been entered correctly into the system). Once all the paper was in an envelope, Laurie and Roxana sat together to post the decisions online. At 9:00 p.m., they felt too tired to continue. Laurie said they actually rechecked the blog to be sure I had left them a little wriggle room, and they went home. So, not everything went out at once. In years gone by, this wouldn’t have mattered. There were no online forums on which to compare your results. Now, YIKES! Theories abound.
You may wonder why we don’t just click A for admit, D for deny, W for Wait List and then press Enter. If only it could be that easy! Sometimes, even as I try to use the blog to provide a little window into the process, I leave out all the boring detail. Here comes some of that minutiae: On the admit side, there is a different letter for each of these situations: admit with a scholarship, admit for someone who didn’t request a scholarship, admit conditional on English study with scholarship, admit conditional on English study with no scholarship, admit conditional on foreign language study with scholarship, admit conditional on foreign language study with no scholarship, and so on. Multiplied by five programs. And this is how it was possible for many, but not all, admitted or denied students to have been notified. The posting actually happens in small batches, based on the fine details of the decision.
At this point, all I can say is that we’re especially sorry that applicants might question if we were being forthright. I had wanted to give an accurate timeline, but I didn’t anticipate the systems problems. Even without the blog, though, the online forums would have made it clear we were having problems.
Once again, thanks for your patience, and sorry about all the glitches. We’ll still have everything out on Monday — just not as smoothly as we had hoped.
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