Readers React: Memo to USC bashers: Other schools are involved in the admissions scandal too

A woman walks past a sign directing people toward the admission center at USC on Wednesday.
(Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: In case you are not aware, staff members at Stanford and UCLA have also been accused of wrongdoing in connection with the college admissions scandal. It’s not just USC, and USC isn’t at the epicenter of the scandal.

I am a USC staff member who works for the Viterbi School of Engineering. The majority of the students I interact with daily are community college transfer students, veterans, women, minorities and first-generation college students. Maybe it’s because I work for the school of engineering, but I’ve never even seen any of the students from wealthy and famous parents on campus.

Additionally, my son is a USC graduate and the recipient of a very generous merit scholarship and grants. He was admitted when we lived out of state. And no, I’m not a one-percenter, although I wouldn’t have paid bribes to get my son admitted if I was.

My son worked hard to earn his scholarship and admission so he could graduate with zero student debt.


Dan Cordova, Los Angeles


To the editor: During a half-century at USC and now in retirement, I’ve witnessed steady scholarly development, thanks to the faculty and generations of talented students. It is maddening when our credibility is undermined by one mortifying episode after another.

The rot is clearly deeper than we on the faculty or anyone in the administration has ever been willing to acknowledge. The fraudulent admissions scheme could only flourish in a negligent environment.


Firing the visible “perps” is a start, but how far up the chain of command did knowledge of the scheme go? And what will happen to the fraudulently admitted students? Some argue that they are clueless victims of parental overattention, but I would not assume that they will progress like real students, for example, by attending their own classes, taking their own tests, doing their own homework and so on.

As one of them has said, if things get rough academically, she will just talk to “my deans” and sort it out. Does she know more than we do?

Jon Miller, Altadena


To the editor: When I headed up university communications at USC in the late 1970s, our goal was to some day be mentioned in the same sentence with Stanford and Yale. It’s interesting how things work out sometimes.

Vance Peterson, Altadena


To the editor: As I read all the articles about the admissions scandal involving USC and other schools, I am reminded again of a line from an old Bob Dylan song: “Money doesn’t talk, it swears.”


Michael Barclay, Glendale

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