Admissions Task Force puts a firewall around work of admissions staff

Interim Provost Robert Easter was pleased to announce that the Admissions Task Force has outlined how to implement the suggestions made by the Illinois Admissions Review Commission (ARC). The Admissions Task Force has put up a “firewall” around the admissions staff to prevent external pressures and influences by restricting any third party involvement.

The plan has been shared with President White, the Urbana Council of Deans, as well as the other two campuses. The Task Force recommendation states:

“With regard to undergraduate admissions, no third party, including Trustees, government officials, or university employees without admissions responsibilities, shall attempt to communicate with Office of Undergraduate Admissions staff members or employees with admissions responsibility regarding any applicant file. Any such communication is not permitted and would be logged for review by the Senate Admissions Committee. Only an applicant, an applicant’s parent or legal guardian, spouse or secondary high school guidance counselor may communicate with the admissions office regarding an individual file.

Third-party communications, typically in the form of letters of recommendation, are fundamental to the admissions procedures of most post-baccalaureate graduate and professional programs. Such communications are acceptable so long as the third party is an expert in a relevant academic or professional field or has other expertise that bears directly on the academic qualifications of an applicant. Other third-party communications are prohibited.”

Information cannot be shared concerning any applicant. The “firewall” prohibits any contact or information sharing of third parties to any person in a position with admissions responsibility.

Logs will be kept of any such information sharing and reviewed annually by the Senate Admissions Committee, and will allow for public scrutiny. Any university employee found in violation of the terms set down will be subject to discipline as well as termination.