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UC Admissions

Your July 19 editorial (“UC Regents’ Many Faces”) leaves readers with the impression that at its meeting earlier this month the University of California’s Board of Regents endorsed the use of political or financial considerations in decisions about who is admitted to UC. This is not the case. The regents reaffirmed the university’s traditional admission criteria--academic achievement, special talents and life experience--and established a policy that financial and political considerations will play no part in admission to UC.

No policy can cover every conceivable future circumstance, however, and to allow for a limited measure of flexibility, as the regents did, is not hypocrisy but common sense. A disabled student’s ability to attend the university, for example, might depend on help from a close high school friend, who, though fully eligible for UC, was not accepted at the same campus. In such a case the campus might decide to make an exception and admit the friend. We assume an exception like this, or indeed any exception, will be extremely rare, and under the board’s policy we require that the Academic Senate be consulted and the decision reported to the president and the chairman of the board.

RICHARD C. ATKINSON

President, University of California Oakland

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