Tuesday, June 15, 2021

As SCOTUS Asks Govt To Ponder Harvard Admissions, University of California seems to be having new round after new round of Varsity Blues type admissions scandals unaddressed?

 here's an update with some UC response now in IHE

"An Extra Edge for Wealthy Chinese?
Two University of California campuses accused of going too far to recruit Chinese applicants."
https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2021/06/17/two-u-california-campuses-accused-going-too-far-recruit-chinese
it includes:
"According to minutes of the board meeting of the Val Verde Unified School District, in California, Superintendent Michael McCormick described the relationship this way: "Essentially what this means is that UCR and Pegasus will have an agreement to exchange professors and students. What UCR has agreed is that every student that graduates from Pegasus will have admission to UCR."

Tom Vasich, a spokesman for Irvine, told Inside Higher Ed, "Obviously, some people involved with Pegasus embellished their association with UCI."

"Any arrangements or interactions UCI has had with the Pegasus California School are no different than those available to other high schools," he added. "We never have had any special arrangements with them, and we never guaranteed admission to any its students who applied (nor would we ever)."

Vasich said UC Irvine does have a “summer program tailored for Pegasus students.” He added, "That’s true. But the Insider reporter did not include that this was part of a continuing education effort to provide custom programs to international schools as part of its international programs effort. Pegasus is among the institutions that have paid for this custom programming."

John Warren, a spokesman for Riverside, said, "It’s difficult to control the promises and misrepresentations made by third parties in admissions matters. No admissions promises were made by UCR to Pegasus California School, which is evident in Insider’s reporting."

Some observers of student recruitment abroad expressed concern about what Insider reported.

"Assuming all this is true, it is pretty shocking, and given it is UC campuses, a bit surprising," said Philip G. Altbach, a research professor and distinguished fellow at the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College. "As you know, agents and recruiters are common and very active in China. This seems to be a direct relationship between one school and those UC campuses."

_______

Earlier:

- and the UC problems in policies and procedures remain unaddressed? What happened with the CSA audit findings and implementation of recommendations of last year and the UC Regents own internal review of what happened?

First, some coverage about:
"Justices request government’s views on Harvard affirmative-action dispute"
https://www.scotusblog.com/2021/06/justices-request-governments-views-on-harvard-affirmative-action-dispute/

yet on UC, well

We mentioned earlier that last week there was a piece of legislation from CA Leg to address some of the actions revealed in the Varsity Blues College admissions scandal :
AB 251 admission by exception and Varsity Blues history comes up at the 38 minute mark in the vid link provided in this recent post
here: https://cloudminder.blogspot.com/2021/06/former-gov-jerry-brown-called-into.html

Now, here is a new round of Varsity Blues type issues claimed and this time it involves UC Irvine, UC Riverside, and  former staffers at UCOP who are now UC contractors and consultants as they interact with UC leadership, see :

"These two University of California campuses gave special perks to students at a private high school in China"
https://www.insider.com/university-of-california-gave-special-perks-students-chinese-high-school-2021-6
From Insider (formerly known as Business Insider):
   " An Insider investigation has found that California's highest-ranking education official and leading public universities worked closely with a swaggering entrepreneur to give special accommodations to students at a private high school for elite families in China.
    UC Irvine offered summer school programs specially arranged for students at the private academy in Qingdao, China, dispatched admissions staffers to its campus to talk to students and their parents, and reported on the students' progress through the admissions cycle.
    At UC Riverside, the ties were even closer: The university pledged to work with the school's students to help them become competitive applicants and offered them special permission to submit applications even after the deadline had passed.
    The superintendent of a Southern California school district that worked with the Chinese school publicly proclaimed that UC Riverside guaranteed admission to all of its graduates, according to the minutes of a public-school board meeting."

..."One former California education official told Insider such an arrangement, if true, would be "appalling.""...

   ..."Ma worked with some of the state's highest-ranking current and former education officials — Tom Torlakson, who at the time served as the state's superintendent of public instruction, and David Long, who previously served as state secretary of education before becoming the principal at Pegasus. With Torlakson and Long's help, Ma forged critical relationships with leading California universities and school districts to legitimize his operation"

"Ma worked to establish what he called a "favorable relationship" with UC Irvine and UC Riverside, both of which embraced the Chinese high school. That included paying a retired UC staffer who continued to work for UC Irvine as a contractor. Daniel Aldrich, a retired staffer for the UC Office of the President (as well as the son of UC Irvine's founding chancellor) worked for both UC Irvine and for Pegasus, Insider has learned." 
 
"Records show that Aldrich contacted UC campuses on behalf of Pegasus, and he also supplied UC Irvine officials with a list of Pegasus students interested in attending the university, so those staffers could monitor the students' progress through the admissions cycle. One senior admissions staffer specifically told Aldrich that the students looked like competitive applicants for UCI. Aldrich communicated with UC personnel about Pegasus using his active University of California email address. "

..."Long told Insider that Pegasus paid Aldrich as a consultant. "Especially with international students and parents, it's helpful to have someone that has had or is connected with, previously or currently [with the University of California]. We try to stay away from the current, but he's a consultant so it's not that big of a [deal]," Long added.

Aldrich confirmed to Insider that he was paid to consult for both UC Irvine and Pegasus, and that the high school also paid for him to travel to China. He said he never did anything improper in his work for Pegasus, which "produced quality students, and we look for quality students in the University of California."...

..."And in an interview, a former Pegasus headmaster told Insider that Long said that UC Irvine pledged to accept at least some Pegasus graduates."
..."Dave Long always spoke about his connections with UC Irvine and with the president there," Allen Riedel, the former headmaster, told Insider. "[He] told us...if they wanted to, they could go directly to UC Irvine no problem." When asked to clarify, Riedel said: "Dave Long reported that to me that they wouldn't take all of our students but they would take some of them."

Long denied that he ever made that statement. "I don't even know the president," he said. "And about a statement to say if you just come from Pegasus you can get in automatically, that's not correct. You have to reach the minimums to even be considered."

Yet, in an August 2018 email obtained by Insider, Riedel explicitly invoked "Dr. Long's connections" ...

--see the article and its links to more in full at : https://www.insider.com/university-of-california-gave-special-perks-students-chinese-high-school-2021-6

--this latest 2021 round is a reminder that we still have not heard the UC regents final conclusions on a 'post Varsity Blues in 2019' other UC 2020 round last year of admissions scandal that also included letters a UC Regent wrote to campus leadership that was said to be against UC policies and Regents procedures and also involved certain UC Berkeley staffers actions.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/education/article/UC-Regent-Richard-Blum-named-in-admissions-15594754.php

https://theaggie.org/2020/10/28/uc-allegedly-admitted-64-students-due-to-connections-with-staff-or-donors-audit-asserts/

https://www.dailycal.org/2020/09/25/uc-must-undergo-essential-reform-in-wake-of-admissions-scandal/

then, there was some of this attitude on it in certain quarters at that time:
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-09-25/64-wrongful-uc-admissions-out-of-many-thousands-are-not-a-scandal

 The UC Regents were supposed to conduct a review of all that when those findings came out in a CA state auditor report, the UC response to the CSA recommendations etc are all under the oversight of the JLAC committee in Sacramento but it seems to be crickets on all of it at UC and, aside from the new legislation proposed last week, mentioned here:
https://cloudminder.blogspot.com/2021/06/former-gov-jerry-brown-called-into.html
 -crickets in Sacto specifically on the CSA findings and status of recommendations for UC and if any implementation.

UCOP president Drake visited UC Irvine last week cuz they named a part of a street after him there- the UC public relations put out content on it over and over. In fact, Drake is going to be hiring another high comp UCOP VP for public relations, to replace UCOP VP Holmes, at the Regents meeting on June 23rd that agenda item is mentioned below in: https://cloudminder.blogspot.com/2021/06/university-of-california-regents.html- but did he discuss any of the above details with UC Irvine at that time? And will he discuss it with regents at the upcoming meeting on June 23 or in July or at all?

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