University should stop admitting ‘cheaters’

I am writing this letter to express my anger and embarrassment because high ranking UIUC administration officials pressured the admissions staff to accept unqualified students, at the expense of students who actually earned the admission to the University.

Some of the e-mails posted on (the Chicago Tribune Web site) document the process of admitting a sub-par but well-connected student.

The University has well-established policy on cheating: cheaters are punished because cheating devalues the hard work of honest students. However, it appears that devaluing the work of honest incoming students is acceptable if the cheater has a sponsor in a position to benefit the University either financially or politically.

Apparently our yearly mandatory state ethics training did not cover this particular situation.

Chancellor Herman, in a mass e-mail to staff and students, wrote that our admissions process ‘produces an incoming class that ranks among the best academically in the nation’. This may be true, but the quality of our student body is high despite such sordid business and not because of it. Instead of reading how admissions staff ‘mostly get it right’, it would be nice to know what specific actions are being taken to ensure that the people responsible for student admissions are not influenced by those responsible for the financial and political well-being of the University.

Arthur Kantor

graduate student