Yardley Research Group Announces Key Staff Additions

Higher Education Consulting Firm Also Announces New Corporate Partnership

August 2, 2004 (Yardley, Pennsylvania) - Yardley Research Group today announced the expansion of its practice through additional key hires and the development of a significant corporate partnership. As a strategic consulting firm for higher education, its principal interest is in increasing the competitiveness of its client institutions by helping them redefine the ways in which they interact with their chosen spheres of operation.

In cooperation with some of the nation's leading associations of educational professionals and with its institutional clients, the Yardley Research Group seeks to change the nature, extent, direction, and features of the national conversation on higher learning and its role in our national and international civic lives. "The general public is hardly aware of how universities shape the world," says Michael Ditchkofsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Yardley Research Group. "Most of what we see around us is construction built out of research, most of which originated in universities. Behind all of our work is a particular point of view, a preoccupation with the complex interactions between colleges and universities and the environments in which they operate. We see the university as an enterprise that shapes the world around it and forms the basis of human life as we know it in the present and as we will know it in the future. What we hope to do is help institutions choose their environments and consciously plan to affect them."

Research Universities Targeted

Though the Yardley Group's focus is on graduate education and research, it has also worked for other sectors on campus, including Admissions and Enrollment Management, the Office of the President, and Academic Affairs. Similarly, the Yardley Group works with no one "type" of institutional client. Its clients range from top-tier public research universities with hospitals, schools of medicine, and extensive biomedical research facilities to master's institutions that want to achieve doctoral/research intensive status. It does not work, however, with companies in the for-profit education sector, such as the University of Phoenix (NasdaqNM: UOPX) and Corinthian Colleges (Nasdaq: COCO). "Our cultures are incompatible," explains Ditchkofsky. "While we recognize the need for innovation in the distance learning market that is coming out of that sector, we see as part of our mission the support of traditional colleges and universities."

Just as it has no one type of client, the Yardley Research Group has no one product that it offers. "What we do has looked different everywhere we've done it," says Ditchkofsky. "We have a capacity to solve strategic problems related to research universities in particular and to institutions seeking improvement or change in stature in general."

Key Staff and Partnerships Provide Expertise and Experience

Among the Yardley Research Group's principals and staff, it has collectively more than 100 years of experience working in and around higher education. The staff represents expertise in graduate education; research - from proposal development to feasibility study to compliance auditing; international education; marketing, including web analytics and design; content management systems; and research-based planning.

The Group's newest member is Ronald D. Hedlund. Hedlund, a 37-year higher education professional, will shortly step down as Vice Provost for Research at Boston's Northeastern University. "Dr. Hedlund's joining our firm," says Ditchkofsky, "is a sign of a deliberate bias on our part. Our intention has been to bring together a group of professionals who will create solutions that will respect the cultures of our university clients and that are compatible with best practice in the field. We do not intend to propose solutions that are more appropriate for other spheres, such as business and industry."

The Yardley Group's partnerships have been formed out of the same bias. Of particular note is a new partnership with two leading firms in the field, Educational Directories Unlimited (EDU) and the Howard Design Group. The partnership will offer strategic branding services to colleges and universities. EDU has access to one of the widest audiences of potential graduate students in the world and has considerable experience in engineering graduate program web sites. Howard Design Group is a Princeton, New Jersey design firm with a focus on higher education that is owned and operated by former admission professionals. "The partnership's approach to strategic branding will be very different from what is currently the norm," says Ditchkofsky. "We will be far more likely to build brand identity through the further development of appropriate academic behaviors and attributes rather than through the redesign of graphics and media buying. Design and distribution will be subordinated to the university's strategic intent."

More About the Company and Its Partners

The Yardley Research Group is headquartered in Yardley, Pennsylvania. It is a sustaining member and corporate partner of the Council of Graduate Schools. More information about the company is available at its web site, www.yardleygroup.com.

Editorial Contact:
Louise Williamson (215) 369-9980
Vice President and Managing Principal
Yardley Research Group
P.O. Box 414
Yardley, PA 19067

Educational Directories Unlimited, Inc. (http://www.edudirectories.com) is a unique college-oriented marketing firm that achieves a dynamic blend of academic purpose and commerce. Among EDU's computer-based recruiting tools are several comprehensive directories: GradSchools.com, StudyAbroad.com, EducationforAdults.com, CollegeAbroad.com, Distance.GradSchools.com, Business.GradSchools.com, as well as innovative services such as Student Prospector and Student Prospector Administrator. The EDU system design provides a unique utility for prospective students, advisors, and educational administrators, bridging the three since its inception in 1995.

Howard Design Group (www.howarddesign.com) is a Princeton, NJ design firm specializing in communications services for higher education. Owned and operated by former admissions professionals and publishers, HDG produces advertising, annual reports, brochures, view books, capital campaign materials, catalogs, CD-ROMs, web sites, and photo books. Its clients include Quinnipiac University, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Rider University, and Educational Testing Service.