SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
More details emerge

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

* So, the U of I “formalized” its alleged clout-driven admissions process in 2002, just before Rod Blagojevich became governor and took full advantage. Unlike Jim Thompson’s request, I’ll bet Blagojevich’s touts weren’t summarily rejected

The University of Illinois formalized its system for tracking clouted applicants after an unqualified student with ties to ex- Gov. Jim Thompson was rejected, angering a top administrator who reversed the decision, a former admissions worker testified Monday.

Thompson said he had no recollection at all about the denied admission request and claimed he has written “scores” of letters on behalf of university applicants over the years.

* It also appears that there weren’t all that many “mopes” being pushed for the U of I…

He said the number of such cases grew in the last seven years from about 110 applicants per year to about 160. He said most came from affluent suburban schools, and that those students’ appeals were much more likely to be successful than ones coming from the general applicant pool.

But there were some…

[Former U of I admissions worker Abel Montoya] said there were between a dozen and 20 applicants a year who received the lowest possible admissions ranking, yet had denial decisions reversed after pressure from above.

* This is a clue to what was going on…

…Montoya said he chafed at e-mails and meetings that directed him to give special consideration to the students from high schools like Marist and New Trier who sometimes didn’t have qualifications as good as those of other students.

Those schools are known for parents who are almost fanatical about making sure their kids get into the best schools possible. Those parents are also more sophisticated than the average bear, and were probably more likely to call their legislators in a panic.

Montoya apparently was upset about the Category 1 admissions because he was working to recruit economically disadvantaged students

[Montoya] said it was a priority to enroll students from Chicago public schools, many of whom were at an economic disadvantage to students from the suburbs, in order to create “a talented, diverse freshman class.”

“We tried everything we could to get more students to apply” from public schools, he said. Montoya said he had complained to Marshall about the Category I admissions but was overruled by administrators.

* And a U of I lobbyist at the center of the controversy, Richard Schoell, denied laws had been broken and said there was never a quid pro quo with legislators…

Asked whether there was quid pro quo with legislators, he said “that would be totally inappropriate.”

More from Schoell

During testimony Monday, Richard Schoell, executive director of the university’s Office of Governmental Relations, said his office kept a log of between 150 and 200 requests made each year by lawmakers on behalf of students. Schoell said his office forwarded requests to the appropriate university department and some of those students made the “Category I” list, some labeled “important” or “very important.”

He said receiving input from public officials is important and students have the right to appeal to a legislator if they believe a wrong decision was made. But if a student was admitted “purely because of clout, it shouldn’t have happened,” he testified.

Schoell suggested that instead of lawmakers contacting his office directly, the school hire an ombudsman or create a panel to field those inquiries.

* This, I’d love to see

[Admissions Review Commission Chairman Abner Mikva] also said he’d like to hear from some legislators, including House Speaker Michael Madigan, who sponsored at least 40 applicants in five years, more than any other lawmaker. “I would like to hear his explanation,” Mikva said.

I’d also like to see all commission members reveal in public whether they had ever written a letter of recommendation or made a phone call about a prospective college or law school student.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


9 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 11:37 am:

    Unless you’ve experienced it, you can’t imagine the fury of a New Trier parent whose child has been turned down by a university.


  2. - DuPage Moderate - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 11:44 am:

    This is so unbelievably stupid and a total waste of time and money. Rich, your last comment hit the nail right on the head….I’m sure the “honorable” Mikva has made plenty of calls. In fact, I would bet on it.

    And, does anyone else see the irony in Montoya’s comments that he was upset with Category 1 because he wanted to economically “disadvantaged” students to apply. I assume he meant economically “disadvantaged” that met all of the requirements for admission notwithstanding economic condition, race, etc…..because what would be treating the more “qualified” students unfairly.

    What the hell has this State come to.


  3. - Ghost - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 12:06 pm:

    And to think Meeks dared suggest that new Trier students were treated better then inner city chicago students and such inequalities should be fixed.


  4. - anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 12:07 pm:

    Maybe Mikva could explain this while he’s at it
    http://thecapitolfaxblog.com/2006/06/13/tollway-allegations/


  5. - shore - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 12:09 pm:

    On the north shore you start doing sat prep in 3rd grade and if by 6th grade you aren’t on honors track, 1st chair oboe and trilingual(at least one language must be non romantic/germanic), your life is over and you are going to indiana, or god forbid a school not ranked in top 50usnwr. All kidding aside this is a vast galaxy that needs exploring, who got the scholarships? What were the political connections? This thing deserves to be explored to the fullest (and spare no republicans lauzen and roskam were on there) if only because education corruption is a new kind of corruption (what’s next?) and much more sensational than the mayors buddy getting some deal!


  6. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 12:10 pm:

    LOL. I forgot about that


  7. - sal-says - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 1:04 pm:

    Ex-gov/Big Jim/Rutan Thompson: “I don’t have any clout or influence at any school.”

    Ha Ha. Being a ‘former gov.’ and ‘Big Jim’ doesn’t give him ANY clout. He probly’ said that with a straight face too, being an attorney.


  8. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 1:48 pm:

    {because education corruption is a new kind of corruption (what’s next?)

    Well considering Blago & Co. cornered the market on health care corruption, and jobs for $$$$$, it’s hartd to imagine just what other new form of corruption might evelove her in Illinois, but I do have faith that it has not only already been concocted, but it is actually being executed as we speak.

    We just haven’t hear about it yet.


  9. - Lynn S - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 11:19 pm:

    Amen, QTS, amen!!


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* No pension bump for Stermer, MJM still not persuaded on special session
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - More comptroller stuff
* 1:30 comptroller announcement expected - Stermer appointed, says he will resign January 12th
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Comptroller stuff
* Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Bears open thread
* More adventures in misgovernance
* Question of the day - Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Petulance all around
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Announcement timing is everything
        * Galaxy Note Edge Review
        * Oppo R5 vs HTC One M8: Thin vs. Powerful
        * Bring Back the Old School with the NES30 Bluetooth Controller [DEALS]
        * OnePlus One mini, BlackBerry Classic, Windows Phone ups & downs | Pocketnow Weekly 127
        * Get off the fence and go get a smartwatch
        * Apple Watch retail, Android Wear Lollipop, Nexus 6 comments & more – Pocketnow Daily Recap

        * You Will Get to See “The Interview,” Sony Lawyer Says
        * Amazon Web Services adds to its enterprise war chest
        * 9 Amazing Gifts for the Hearthstone Addict
        * Obama Says Sony Hack Is Not an Act of War
        * BackBeat Fit wireless headphones: Made for exercising to music
        * Five Best iPad Cases
        * Dr. Evil Invades SNL to Blast North Korea and Sony (Video)

        * The year in injuries: White Sox have been better, could've been worse
        * Williams: Make protesting voices heard through vote
        * Williams: Make protesting voices heard through vote
        * White Sox also had a December to remember 100 years ago
        * Terrerobytes: Future of Cuban baseball complicated on both sides
        * White Sox sign George Kottaras to a minor league deal
        * Kottaras to join White Sox with Minor League deal

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        December 2014
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Public Pensions Are America's Greece..
        * Republicans On Special Session..
        * Havenstein to New Hampshire Supporters: 'You In.....
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Rauner talks of dogs, housi.....
        * Mother speaks at slain Chicago teen's funeral..


        * Report: Illinois treasurer OK'd raises for dozens
        * 1 dead, many injured in shooting at suburban party
        * Milestone in osprey program as birds migrate
        * Raising juror pay, reducing juries gets mixed reviews
        * Police looking for suspect in Effingham shooting
        * Firefighters battle grain bin fire for 9 hours
        * 1 dead, many injured in shooting at suburban party
        * Mother speaks at slain Chicago teen's funeral
        * Chicago mayor's teenage son mugged near home
        * 2 dozen injured in southern Indiana bus crash

        * State treasurer employees get raises, stipends as Rutherford’s term comes to end
        * Springfield-based U.S. attorney’s investigations nab 13; race questions raised
        * 2nd Illinois prison with possible chickenpox
        * Quinn signs bill increasing juror pay
        * Quinn names longtime aide Jerry Stermer comptroller until Jan. 12
        * Quinn signs law to nix deadline for asbestos lawsuits
        * Quinn to name comptroller replacement this afternoon
        * Madigan says T-Mobile settlement shields consumers
        * Quinn calls legislature back to Springfield to approve special election to replace Topinka
        * Audit: DCFS loses track of runaways

        * Can Garcia's run for mayor fire up independents?
        * Chicago's newest workout (and personal statement) options
        * A photo shop for photographers
        * The Life of Patrick Ryan: Act II, Scene 2
        * Office conversions kick small firms to the curb


        * Lakeview pot dispensary on hold; Tunney opposes Halsted location
        * Despite community pleas, CPS puts Dyett HS out for proposals
        * Quinn to appoint new Illinois Comptroller today
        * Gov. Quinn appoints longtime aide as Illinois comptroller
        * Watch: President Obama's year-end press conference
        * Rewriting the Sony cyberattack script
        * time for new course in Cuba
        * Are Rahm's numbers creeping up? New internals show him near 50
        * Obama guidance, press schedule, Dec. 19, 2014. Press conference
        * A whole lot of nothing from the City Council


        * Boy, 17, wounded in Far South Side shooting
        * South Loop crash leaves two dead, one hospitalized
        * One killed, as many as 10 more shot at south suburban house party
        * At least 5 wounded in shootings since Saturday evening
        * FBI: 'Play-Along Bandit' hits 6th bank
        * Emanuel's son robbed near family's North Side home
        * Man dies day after Albany Park shooting
        * Demario Bailey funeral: 'The kids are the world. It starts with them'
        * DNA leads to murder charges in 1994 stabbing
        * 1 dead, 16 injured in separate shootings


        * Listen to State Week - December 19, 2014
        * Quinn Picks Budget Chief To Be Temporary Comptroller
        * 'Uber-gentrification' a force in Chicago's West Loop
        * Durbin leaving Congressional roommates behind
        * Worries rise in Russia as ruble falls
        * Improviser finds purpose in Chicago police mental health crisis trainings
        * Chicago 'petcoke' handler says it'll enclose piles
        * Waukegan woman seeks to trademark 'I can't breathe'
        * Obama re-establishing US relations with Cuba
        * Teaching hospitals hit hardest by medicare fines for patient safety


        * Quote of the day: Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Rauner talks of dogs, housing and the work ahead as governor
        * State treasurer employees get raises, stipends as Rutherford’s term comes to end
        * Cathy Becker: Because it’s the right thing to do
        * T. Ray McJunkins: Justice, righteousness descend to fulfill dream
        * Springfield-based U.S. attorney’s investigations nab 13; race questions raised
        * 2nd Illinois prison with possible chickenpox
        * Sen. Dick Durbin: Clean water access bill honors Simon
        * Charles Krauthammer: How to fight the lone wolf
        * Quote of the day: Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014


        * Fishel 50th
        * I Can Read! of Southern Illinois celebrates student achievement
        * Off the beat: Two dead in head-on collision on I-55
        * Williamson County commissioners frustrated over lack of changes
        * Be smart: Keep your home safe during holidays
        * Neighborhood watch: Crimes of the week
        * Communities show support for family of Lux Brymer
        * Man killed in accident near Heyworth
        * Historic Route 66 goes electric; charging stations to be added between metro-east and Chicago
        * Ready for a road trip? Historic Route 66 goes electric


        * Bears' Long inactive for Lions game with hip injury
        * West side of A&M's Kyle Field imploded
        * Memphis, BYU meet in inaugural Miami Beach Bowl
        * Mixed reviews for raising juror pay, reducing juries
        * Congresswoman speaks at Bradley graduation

        * Schock touts ABLE Act to help parents, chi...
        * Schock on Cuba Relations - WICS-TV
        * Schock Discusses New Able Act - WICS-TV
        * Caterpillar, farm group welcome Cuba polic...
        * Those with disabilities can better plan fo...
        * US Representative hosting conferences to d...
        * New Philadelphia site now closer to Nation...
        * Mr. President, sign the Water for the Worl...
        * Congressman Schock on 2015 Spending Bill -...
        * Schock says bill will fund billions in upg...

        * U.S. Senator Calling For Better Prosthetic......

        * GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski Supports Gay Marriage...
        * Second GOP Senator Backs Gay Marriage...

        * Rubio.
        * Sunday reads.
        * Mayor Emanuel continues getting cash from firms managing Chicago's pension money
        * Islamic State Mocks US With Photoshopped Santa Held Hostage
        * Islamic State Mocks U.S. With Photoshopped Santa Held Hostage
        * Politically Connected Profit From United Center Parking Scam
        * Ready Aim Fire
        * Havana memories.
        * Walter Esler: “My brother walked from an empty room into a room full of people.”
        * Illinois Policy staff threatened with arrest at union-lead trainings


        * Governor Quinn Appoints Jerry Stermer as Illinois Comptroller
        * Governor Quinn Calls Legislative Special Session - Governor Urges Legislature to Set Up 2016 Special Election for Comptroller
        * Governor Quinn Announces Illinois’ Unemployment Rate Hits New Low - Illinois’ Economic Comeback Continues; Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Level in More than Six Years
        * Illinois Ranks #1 in Volunteer Rate Among the Country’s 8 Largest States - 2.57 Million Illinoisans Give $7.2 Billion in Service
        * Law Enforcement, IDOT Make Final Push to Save Lives in 2014, Roadside Safety Checks Planned Over Holidays - New Episode of “The Driving Dead” Premieres Friday as Holiday Travelers are Reminded to Drive Sober and Buckle Up




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller