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.


* Economic trouble ahead?
* Chicago loses another great
* Today's quotable
* Question of the day
* *** UPDATED x1 *** A curious little e-mail survey
* Ploy or not, Chicago has to administer exams
* The master of understatement strikes again
* AG Madigan's "top 10" list
* The battle for Willie Wilson
* Motorcycle safety spending up while mass transit, Amtrak and DNR cut
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Cancer screening cuts decried
* Rookie mistakes
* Today's number: 2
* Two more problems for Aaron Schock
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* 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

          
        * Google submits plans for moveable, “futuristic” new digs
        * Google Play Store birthday sale offers ten-cent apps, media deals
        * Blackphone 2 and Blackphone+ tablet debut at MWC 2015
        * Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet vs Apple iPad Air 2: head-to-head (Video)
        * Qualcomm brings fingerprint sensor, teases next gen Snapdragon
        * BBM update: customizable PIN, Android Wear support
        * Asus Republic Of Gamers G751 Review: Portable Gaming, Emphasis On The ‘Gaming’

        * ‘Ship to Cuba’ Option Shows Up on Amazon Amid Diplomatic Talks
        * Diversity in Video Game College Programs: Not as Awful as the Rest of Tech
        * Unreal Engine 4 Is Now Free for All Budding Game Developers
        * The New Not-Normal (Comic)
        * Updated: Snowden documentary pulled from site (but here’s where you can still pay to watch it)
        * Tinder’s Premium Version Is Here — And Pricier for Older Users
        * Mary Lou Jepsen, formerly of Google X, takes job at Oculus

        * Rodon prefers to let his game do the talking
        * Outfield prospect Hawkins not rushing his progress
        * Podcast: Good bye, Mr. White Sox
        * Minnie Miñoso an all-time great, all of the time
        * No one meant more to White Sox than Minoso
        * Beckham getting work around infield
        * Beloved Minnie was a Chicago treasure

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


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

        Archives
        March 2015
        February 2015
        January 2015
        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


        * Governor whom Christie helped elect says N.J. i.....
        * Rauner targets unions in Lake County speech in .....
        * Former Gov. Quinn earning $11,396 monthly pension..
        * The battle for Willie Wilson..
        * Rookie mistakes..


        * Cubs expect `dusty' year amid Wrigley Field renovations
        * Heavy snow hits Arizona, hail turns California beach white
        * Illinois lawmakers propose measure to battle heroin abuse
        * Eastern Illinois U. names Bradley provost new president
        * PharmaCann to accept its 2nd marijuana grow permit
        * Former Gov. Quinn earning $11,396 monthly pension
        * Federal study: Foster kids struggle to get health screenings
        * Consumer debt, identity theft top Illinois consumer gripes
        * Slick freeway leads to Champaign-area interstate crashes
        * US Paralympians share tips at track clinic in Vernon Hills

        * Hunters, outdoorsmen hope for ally in Rauner
        * Tim Butler, congressional staffer, selected to fill former Rep. Rich Brauer's seat
        * Schock reimburses costs for lavish 'Downton Abbey' office decor
        * Brauer replacement could be chosen as early as Saturday
        * Quinn advocates consumer rights, blasts Rauner's budget
        * Rauner says he's 'staying out' of Chicago mayor's race
        * Quinn advocates consumer rights in Loyola speech
        * Judge won't delay sentencing for former state lawmaker Farnham
        * Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti says GOP should court women, Latinos
        * Explore salary information for the state of Illinois

        * Wintrust restarts Illinois deals engine with Glen Ellyn acquisition
        * Latest Aaron Schock money probe: Taxpayers footed $14,000 bill for private planes
        * Layoffs hit Crate & Barrel
        * Lincoln Park home built in 2008 fetches $3.1 million
        * CPS caves to $1.4 billion federal threat over Common Core test


          * Rep. Schock reimburses taxpayers for private plane to Bears game
          * Tone Grant, convicted in financial scandal, dies in prison
          * Cook County offering free measles vaccinations in Palatine
          * Grateful Dead tickets going for as much as $15K for 3-day run in Chicago
          * Man pulled out of the Chicago River in the Loop
          * Jimmy Carter, Condoleezza Rice to speak at tribute for Hesburgh
          * CPS reverses course, will administer controversial test
          * More delays for Wrigley Field bleachers, bathrooms
          * Police: Man punches pregnant girlfriend at Brookfield Zoo
          * Bulls' Jimmy Butler to miss 3-6 weeks


          * Houston Shredded: Springfield Mayor Loses Primary
          * Foundations Help Fill School Funding Gaps
          * Ex-Gov. Quinn Begins Collecting $137,000 Pension
          * Ex-Gov. Quinn Begins Collecting Six-Figure Pension
          * WUIS / SJ-R Business Report - Sprucing Up Springfield; Karpman Furs Closing
          * Will Rauner Get Tough On Getting Tough On Crime?
          * AP: Lawmaker Aaron Schock billed private planes, concerts to taxpayers
          * White Sox icon Minnie Minoso dies
          * Chronic Mismanagement Drove State Into Its Fiscal Mess
          * People


          * Jorge Chapa: Illinois' majority-minority future and the age-race shift
          * Quote of the Day: Monday, March 2, 2015
          * Hunters, outdoorsmen hope for ally in Rauner
          * Our Opinion: Looking for the leaders among Springfield's candidates
          * Statehouse Insider: That's not a nice thing to say
          * Rep. Rodney Davis and Rep. Mike Bost: Strong financial markets benefit Illinois
          * Quote of the Day: Sunday, March 1, 2015
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Report talk of Houston fundraiser just 'secondhand' info
          * Scott Zeramby: Consider the environment as marijuana industry emerges in Illinois
          * Tim Butler, congressional staffer, selected to fill former Rep. Rich Brauer's seat


          * Southern Illinois Children's Choir to perform at Carnegie Hall
          * Shoplifters arrested after foot chase at St. Clair Square
          * U.S. Bank robbers charged for Fairview hit
          * Lawmaker reimburses private plane expenses for football game
          * Woman hurt in wreck on I-57
          * PODCAST: Mina Girgis - The Nile Project (Club Krannert)
          * Central Illinois Daily Life: March 2015
          * Tim's Big List: Waka/Jawaka
          * Ice, rain and, yes, cold on the way
          * No excuse needed for absentee, early voting in April 7 election


          * Rauner targets unions in Lake County speech in Mundelein
          * Mayors: Really 3 things in Rauner budget hurt suburbs
          * To tag or not to tag an NFL quandary
          * No franchise tag for Detroit's Suh as deadline passes
          * Avalanche trade forward Maxime Talbot to Bruins

          * Mark Kirk's prepping for a barnburner — an...
          * Why are Democrats suddenly cheering in Ohi...
          * Mark Kirk's prepping for a barnburner — an...
          * Combined Insurance Honored as Top Military...
          * Jewish disability activists lobby Congress
          * Tough vote on override
          * Duckworth returns to Washington; Will she ...
          * Rep. Robin Kelly sponsors Congressional Ar...
          * Congressional art contest for students set
          * Combined Insurance Honored as Top Military...

          * Barbara Mikulski Helped Lead the Pantsuit ......

          * Sen. Kirk: Chicago could end up like Detro......
          * Sen. Kirk: Chicago could end up like Detro......

          * Still crazy after all these years.
          * EXTRA: Shadow of blue dress mean-spirited, but hidden detail not unique
          * The Dick and Deb Mell Show.
          * The Dick Mell Magic Show.
          * Ralph Martire on the millionaire tax.
          * Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss.
          * Uptown Underground's Grand Opening Month Begins Tonight
          * State's outdated driver's licenses could keep Illinoisans from flying
          * Rahm Emanuel and Jesus Garcia ‘dead even’ in Chicago mayor runoff
          * FYI: Bennett Elementary Parent Advisory Council Meeting


          * IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather - Tornadoes, floods and severe storms can happen any time of year
          * IDHS helps more than 5,000 individuals with disabilities find jobs - Program offers necessary tools to earn a living wage and become more independent
          * 24th Anniversary Desert Storm Remembrance Ceremony
          * Illinois Department of Human Rights Announces 2015 Spring Training Schedule
          * Snow and Freezing Rain to Impact Travel in Illinois - IDOT Crews Prepared to Battle Winter Weather this Weekend




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