Illinois Admissions Scandal Follows Provost to California

June 16, 2009

The scandal over admissions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign -- in which the politically connected received preference, many times over the objections of admissions officials -- is following its provost to California. Linda Katehi, the provost, was recently named the next chancellor of the University of California at Davis, and now legislators want to know what role -- if any -- she played in admissions, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. Katehi declined to comment to a California reporter on the situation last week, leading to a demand from one lawmaker that she respond to "corruption charges." While the legislator was not aware of it at the time, Katehi had distributed a note to some at Davis indicating that she was not involved in the scandal. "I want to be clear to you and others at UC Davis that I was not involved in the admissions decisions," she wrote. "The so-called 'Category I' admissions process was not part of the regular admissions system and was handled at a higher level in the institution," she wrote, adding that she supported "transparent" admissions systems. State Sen. Leland Yee, who is pushing for more state oversight of the University of California, was not impressed with her answer, and told the newspaper: "It's interesting that she says, 'It's above my pay grade,' and that's that.... Is she going to continue this 'see no evil, hear no evil,' approach, and just cover up what may be going on?"

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