UI to Suspend ‘Category I’ List, Appoint Admissions Task Force

June 01, 2009

The University of Illinois will suspend the use of its list of applicants for admission whose names were submitted through political connections.

While the 'Category I' list is suspended, a task force of U of I personnel will spend the summer reviewing the process by which many applicants were the subject of such inquiries. This announcement comes three days after the Chicago Tribune reported the existence of what it called a 'clout list' of people who may have been accepted to the university ahead of those with better qualifications. Spokeswoman Robin Kaler says the article raised some red flags, and it's time for the task force to make sure all students are admitted based on merit.

"The Category I system has raised a number of legitimate questions, and we simply want to create a process that can ensure the integrity of admissions," says Kaler.

The list consisted of the names of about 160 Urbana campus applicants on behalf whom admissions inquiries were made by public officials, alumni, and others with political influence. The task force is expected to have about six members, and include one or more faculty representatives. Its full makeup and timetable will be announced shortly, but Kaler says the group is expected to complete its work before the next admissions cycle begins in September. President Joseph White and chancellors of the three university campuses met Monday to discuss admissions issues.

Story source: AP

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