UC Regents to vote on admissions overhaul

The Committee on Educational Policy of the UC Board of Regents voted Wednesday 13-2 to adopt a comprehensive review process in undergraduate admissions systemwide, sending the proposal to a vote by the entire UC Board of Regents.

Comprehensive review would replace the old system of admissions, and require campuses to create a new system that takes into account factors other than just test scores and grade point averages for all applicants.

The entire board, consisting of 26 regents, will vote Thursday on whether to adopt the policy. If passed, the change will be in effect for Fall 2002 applicants.

The Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools, which developed the proposal, defines comprehensive review as “”the process by which students applying to UC campuses are evaluated for admission using multiple measures of achievement and promise while considering the context in which each student has demonstrated academic achievement.””

The Assembly of the Academic Senate, a UC-wide body consisting of faculty and staff from the nine campuses, adopted the proposal by B.O.A.R.S. unanimously in October.

If passed by the regents, the proposal will eliminate the criteria established by 1995’s SP-1, which mandates that 50 to 75 percent of each admitted class must be accepted solely on the basis of academic achievement.

UCSD’s Director of Admissions and Relations with Schools Mae Brown said UCSD is prepared for the implication of comprehensive review, and that she believes the policy will pass in Thursday’s regents meeting.

“”The preliminary vote today does in fact indicate that the board supports the comprehensive review policy,”” Brown said on Wednesday afternoon.

A.S. Vice President External Dylan de Kervor said she feels that comprehensive review is a better process for undergraduate admissions.

“”It’s going to be a more holistic approach,”” de Kervor said. “”It really takes into consideration where [applicants] are coming from.””

President Richard C. Atkinson recommended that the Committee on Educational Policy recommend the change to the regents.

The B.O.A.R.S. proposal would create a systemwide “”rough outline,”” but the different campuses will develop their own adaptations for their admissions policies, de Kervor said.

Comprehensive review is the Academic Senate’s proposal to uphold the recently passed RE-28 measure in admissions. RE-28 states that “”the university shall seek out and enroll, on each of its campuses, a student body that demonstrates high academic achievement or exceptional talent, and that encompasses the broad diversity of backgrounds characteristic of California.””

The policy was not designed to exhibit racial preferences of any kind, according to B.O.A.R.S.

“”Comprehensive review was not designed to change the ethnic diversity of campuses,”” Brown said.

The 2001-2002 state budget allocated $750,000 for the implementation of comprehensive review at the UC campuses. The new policy will see some cost increases, including wages for an increased number of application readers.

At UCSD specifically, the new admissions procedure will be a three-phase process, replacing the old two-tier method, according to Brown.

A large difference will be in what is considered in the first tier, Brown said. In the current system, the first 50 percent of students are admitted solely on academic criteria, such as GPA and test scores. In the new system, Brown said additional factors will be considered initially.

“”We’re adding family income, first-generation college, and students who are identified as attending schools that don’t send many students to UCs and CSUs,”” she said.

About one-third of the students will be admitted under this plan, Brown said. The remaining students will go through an extensive “”comprehensive review.””

De Kervor led a postcard campaign, asking the regents to approve comprehensive review. Over 400 postcards signed by students were taken by a Graduate Student Association representative to the Nov. 14 and Nov. 15 regents meetings.

Brown said that UCSD faculty emphasized in meetings over the summer that academic factors still be heavily weighted in the new admissions policy.

“”We’re still looking for students who achieve,”” Brown said. “”Academic achievement is a critical component of the old and the new admissions policies. The primary goal of comprehensive review is to admit the type of students to UCSD who will do well at UCSD.””

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