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Thursday, May 15, 2014

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Chancellor Cigarroa to lead system-wide review of admissions

AUSTIN - University of Texas System General Counsel ad interim Dan Sharphorn presented the findings of an inquiry into the admissions process at The University of Texas at Austin during a closed session of Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting, and the report was shared publicly by Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., in the open session that followed. 

The inquiry was launched following questions that had arisen about possible undue influence from legislators on the admissions process, particularly at the UT Austin School of Law. The review was expanded to include undergraduate admissions.

The inquiry did not uncover any evidence of a systematic or structured process of reviewing and admitting applicants recommended by influential individuals, nor did the limited inquiry reveal any evidence of a quid pro quo for admissions decisions or other wrongdoing. However, the data and information reviewed demonstrate sufficient reason for concern that certain current admissions practices will be reviewed and revised. Cigarroa shared draft recommendations on revising admission policies system-wide with the Board of Regents, but said he will seek input from UT institution presidents and admissions officers prior to finalizing the recommendations in the weeks ahead.

Cigarroa said he will work with presidents to ensure all UT institutions are using the best practices in admissions processes developed within the UT System and across the country. Cigarroa wants to ensure appropriate firewalls are in place and that the admissions process is fair and above reproach.

“In many cases, the first interaction students have with our campuses is through the admissions process,” Cigarroa said. “We must get the admissions process right.”

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