Former Federal Judge to chair Commission

Retired federal Judge Abner Mikva has been appointed as chair of Gov. Pat Quinn’s Admissions Review Commission announced Wednesday morning. The Commission, made up of seven members, will investigate claims that the University granted admittance to some applicants because of their political connections.

The biggest problem is the lack of transparency from admissions process and admitting students based on political clout, rather than their ability, Mikva said.

“I don’t want to underestimate the level of difficulty of this investigation,” Mikva said. “It isn’t the only school with a recommendation process; all can be tricky to defy and end, but I think we can do it.”

In addition to investigating claims of favorable treatment for some applicants, the Commission will review the university’s admissions procedures and make recommendations for necessary improvements.

“I hope that what it really means is the decoration of policy,” Mikva said. “This is the basis on which admissions will be treated for the future.”

Mikva said that he hopes the Commission will help end the unfair admissions practices of the University. Mikva said that he briefly spoke with University President B. Joseph White, who agreed to give full cooperation to the Commission.

“We all have a stake in the University of Illinois and this independent review will erase any questions and guarantee its reputation as a center of higher learning and achievement,” said Quinn in a statement provided to The Daily Illini.

“People are very proud to live in this state and anything that blemishes it is pretty dismaying,” Mikva said.

Mikva has served in all three branches of the federal government. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois from 1968-1979, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and a White House Counsel for the Clinton Administration. Additionally, Mikva was a professor at the University of Chicago Law School and served as editor-in-chief of the University of Chicago Law Review Board.