Admissions policy passes

The UC Board of Regents voted Nov. 15 to put a new admissions policy, comprehensive review, in pace for undergraduates at all UC campuses

The policy, which was approved 15 to 4 by the regents, is designed to allow applicants to be considered on a broad basis of academic and personal qualifications.

Comprehensive review will replace the old two-tier system of admissions, established by the SP-1 legislation, which required campuses to admit 50 to 75 percent of their applicants on academic factors alone.

The new policy, which requires more intensive evaluations of applications, will take effect for students applying for admission to the fall 2002 term.

Their applications are due Nov. 30.

The new admissions standards have come under fire by opponents, who cite the close proximity to the Nov. 30 deadline.

The measure was proposed by the Academic Senate, which represents faculty from all the UC campuses.

“”We believe this policy sends a strong signal that UC is looking for students who have achieved at high levels and, in doing so, have challenged themselves to the greatest extent possible,”” said UC President Richard C. Atkinson in a statement.

Regents John Davies, S. Sue Johnson, David S. Lee and John J. Moores voted against comprehensive review.

“”I really believe that by not having measurable objective criteria, [we] step away from academic rigor,”” Johnson told the UC Berkeley Daily Californian. “”Comprehensive review gives rise to doubt and confusion. It is overly ambiguous.””

She said she believes comprehensive review is not objective and will confuse applicants.

Lee also expressed his skepticism about the process.

“”If we only spend 20 minutes looking at an application, I don’t believe that is enough time to really get to know a student,”” Lee told the UCSB Daily Nexus. “”I believe whoever tells the best story, whether it is true or not, will get the advantage, and no one verifies the story.””

The proponents of the policy defend it on the basis that it will measure the real-life qualifications of applicants.

“”Academic performance is at the heart of the admissions process, and that fact will not change,”” stated Chand R. Viswanathan, chair of the systemwide Academic Council. “”We believe that a full review of the qualifications an applicant presents is truly our best means of admitting a high-achieving, highly motivated freshman class each year.””

A group of UCSD staff and faculty developed a plan following the guidelines of comprehensive review for undergraduate admissions.

Eleanor Roosevelt College junior Adam Meyers said the new policy is not going to be beneficial to the campus.

“”Comprehensive review is just as arbitrary as using raw scores,”” Meyers said. “”It doesn’t reflect on anybody’s ability. At least with scores, everybody is on an equal playing field.””

The A.S. Council has taken a stance in favor of comprehensive review.

“”We are excited about the passing of comprehensive review because it is one step toward acknowledging the inequalities of California schools and accepting qualified students who might not otherwise be accepted,”” said A.S. Vice President Internal Jenn Brown.

Critics statewide have called comprehensive review a policy of “”backdoor affirmative action.”” Meyers said he feels that this is one of the regents’ aims with the program.

“”They’re totally trying to skirt their inability to recruit minorities,”” Meyers said.

Brown said she believes the policy will bring the most qualified students to UCSD.

“”We’re finally going to be accepting students on who they are and what they can bring to UCSD, instead of just their grades and S.A.T. scores,”” she said.

The A.S. Council passed legislation supporting Atkinson’s call for admissions reform and rejection of the S.A.T. I as an accurate indicator of academic success in October.

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