Looking for Blame in Illinois Scandal

June 17, 2009

A special state commission examining the way the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign handled admissions involving politically connected applicants heard testimony Tuesday that these decisions were made at high administrative levels, ignoring admissions officers, the Chicago Tribune reported. Keith Marshall, the university's associate provost, told the panel that he had "disdain" for the process, and that decisions made in the admissions officer were overruled by Chancellor Richard Herman and others. Marshall answered several questions by saying "I take my instructions from Chancellor Herman." The Tribune exposed the "clout" admissions system for those with connections, and set off a major scandal, leading to the state probe. While university officials have repeatedly pledged to help authorities understand what happened, they have declined to release to the Tribune information about the test scores and grades of those admitted, even with names redacted. That stance prompted the Tribune to sue the university on Tuesday.

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