Statement from UC Board of Regents Chair John A. Pérez

September 28, 2020 | 5:30 p.m. PT

Following its recent report regarding UC admissions, the Office of the State Auditor released preliminary information about an alleged breach of process by Regent Richard Blum. As I have previously stated, the UC Board of Regents takes such matters very seriously, and any violations will be promptly and appropriately addressed.

Under Regents Policy 1112, there is a process in place for a two-stage independent review to be conducted in real time. I have initiated that process, with the expectation, outlined in the policy itself, that the investigation will be completed within 90 days.

First, the allegation will be reviewed by a Complaint Resolution Officer (CRO) retained by the Board, but operating independently. In accordance with Regents Policy 1112, the Complaint Resolution Officer has a straightforward preliminary assessment to make regarding the plausibility of the allegations, the likelihood of a violation if an allegation is substantiated, and a linkage to a Regent's official duties. If warranted following that initial assessment, the CRO will hire another independent investigator to pursue the allegation, after which, the CRO will make recommendations on actions, including potential sanctions.

While this process moves forward, my UC colleagues and I will work to address the overarching issues raised in the Auditor’s report, and we will continue to review our policies to ensure full and fair opportunity for all UC applicants. To maintain the independence of all stages of the ongoing review under Regents Policy 1112, the Board will reserve further comment pending the determinations of the CRO.


UC announces additional measures to bolster admissions process following completion of second self-initiated systemwide audit

February 14, 2020 | 10 a.m. PT

Today the University of California announced additional steps to strengthen and protect the integrity of its admissions practices and procedures systemwide, following the completion of a second self-initiated internal audit. Ethics, Compliance and Audit Services (ECAS), the independent audit and investigative arm of the University that reports directly to the Board of Regents, has been helping guide UC’s efforts to bolster admissions processes and controls at its nine undergraduate campuses.

The objective of the first audit (completed in June 2019) was to scan and quickly address potential issues and vulnerabilities, with campuses now implementing those recommendations. Building upon that initial foundation, as part of a two-audit plan by ECAS, the second audit commenced months later and focused on the effectiveness of admissions controls for the following areas: documentation procedures, application verification, Special Talent Admissions, Admissions by Exception (A by E), access to admissions IT systems, student-athlete participation, and admissions appeal processes.

“We are committed to ensuring a level playing field for all applicants,” said President Janet Napolitano, noting UC will accept all the recommendations. “This audit will redouble our commitment to an admissions process built on merit and fairness. The University’s dedication to excellence demands nothing less.”

Campus internal audit departments will initiate separate audit reports with a list of corrective actions by March 2020. ECAS will work closely with campuses and their respective admissions processes, per local Academic Senate policies and priorities, to ensure appropriate implementation of systemwide and local recommendations.

The audits and recommendations reflect UC’s efforts to strengthen its system of controls against attempts to inappropriately, illegally or unethically influence the admissions process. The University will stay proactive, transparent and accountable — and continue to keep the public apprised of UC’s ongoing efforts.

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University of California announces steps to strengthen its admissions process

June 20, 2019 | 10 a.m. PT

The University of California today announced a series of steps to bolster the policies and procedures governing its systemwide undergraduate admissions process. As the preeminent public higher education institution, UC holds itself to the highest standards, and intends for these actions to protect the integrity of admissions at all nine of its undergraduate campuses, now and in the future.

To help guide these efforts, UC’s Ethics, Compliance and Audit Services (ECAS) — the independent audit and investigative arm of UC that reports directly to the UC Board of Regents — recently completed a systemwide audit of UC admissions. The audit was initiated in response to federal authorities identifying a number of individuals who were trying to “game the system” of admissions at colleges and universities nationwide.

“UC is committed to a fair and transparent admissions process based on student merit and achievement — one that provides a fair and level playing field for every applicant,” said UC President Janet Napolitano.

“Even one instance of admissions fraud is one too many. While we believe the UC admissions process works well and has significant and effective controls in place, we accept all of the ECAS recommendations so we can continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards. We will implement the strongest tools and procedures  to identify and prevent fraud in our admissions practice. We will stay proactive, transparent and accountable as we look to build an even better UC for the future.”

President Napolitano has asked UC chancellors to develop campus-specific plans for immediately implementing recommendations. Per long-established UC Regents policy, UC forbids legacy admissions and does not grant preferential admission to the children of alumni or donors.

UC will remain steadfast in the pursuit of its goal of providing all qualified California residents with access to a top-tier college education and has thus far admitted millions of accomplished students and alumni who have helped maintain UC’s reputation as a preeminent public research institution.

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