Report makes fair assessment

On Thursday, the Admissions Review Commission issued a report recommending the resignations of all members of the Board of Trustees and urging a new board to decide whether or not President B. Joseph White and Chancellor Richard Herman should resign. We applaud their decision and strongly encourage current board members to take note.

The board needs to step aside in order to restore credibility to the University and the admissions process. The Board of Trustees was heavily involved in placing candidates on the Category I list. All of the current board members except for the recently appointed Edward McMillan submitted inquiries on behalf of applicants to the University and were involved in placing over 100 applicants on a ‘clout list’ over the last three years.

Two of the most extensively involved board members, Lawrence Eppley and Chairman Niranjan Shah, have already resigned. We believe all others should follow suit. After the current members resign, the governor can make a decision on which board members, if any should be reappointed.

Regardless of whether White and Herman were at fault in the admissions controversy, leaving the decision on their status to new board is a responsible one. The extensive involvement of current board members in the controversy would make them poor evaluators of the administration’s performance. A newly-appointed Board of Trustees will have the confidence of the state and will be well-suited to making a decision.

The commission’s recommendations should be the start of reforming the admissions process, but not the end.

Admissions officials needs to implement a fair policy on how to handle outside recommendations and inform applicants about the appeals process.

Changing who’s in charge will help not only the culture of the University, but will also help incite credible and permanent change in the process. To make this happen, we need to reform the nuts and bolts of the system.

The fact that it’s summer doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t stay aware of the controversy. The admissions scandal affects the image employers and other institutions have of the University and the value they attach to a degree from the University.

We can restore confidence and pride in the University of Illinois name, but the task requires serious effort.

You can count on us to continue covering developments into the fall. We need to count on you to hold the University administration and Board of Trustees accountable.