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The [Tuesday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

A loyal Beachwood reader writes:

"This has to be the most craven bit of writing I've seen from an
academic in a long time:

It would be nice if political coercion had no influence on admissions decisions and that only the merit of each individual candidate mattered. It would be nice, too, however, if all the factors (like geographic distribution of a class), or the accidental whims of fate that arbitrarily direct the attention of admission officials as they read files, also had no influence, because each of these too is unconnected to the merit of individual applicants. A rational and moral admissions policy is one that minimizes the influence of any of these merit-unrelated factors, without hoping to eliminate such influences entirely. When the numbers of cases so influenced by these merit-unrelated factors is small, the dereliction (if any) is itself small potatoes.

"It's from the letter the U of I law profs wrote to the Trib.

"I read this as the institutionalization of how outrage is muted. Everybody does it. It's only a few seats. No big deal. It would be nice if it were different, but that's not how the world works. In that paragraph, I'm paritcularly struck by how they shift, in the final two words, from a poly-syllabic ivory tower discourse to the homey-folksy 'small potatoes' as if acknowledging that their academic language can't contain the kind of BS they're putting over.

"This is how small things become big things. One of the most telling bits from this investigation was the e-mail from the lobbyist, berating the admissions office for telling a student they weren't getting in before the lobbyist could notify the state rep. As if the state rep has a right to know the student's admissions status!!!! And how did that get started? Everybody does it, it's only a few seats, no big deal. And then in a few years the U of I is just like Annapolis - gotta be sponsored by a legislator to get in, power gravitates from the professional staff to the public office holder.

"To hell with these guys. Seriously."

Amen.

*

Illinois Clout Lout Grilled.

*

Does it happen everywhere?

"Herman said he'd never encountered a similar system for dealing with clouted applicants at other universities where he worked."

*

Does it happen everywhere?

No, according to admissions review commission member Doris Lowry, appearing on Good Day Chicago this morning. Lowry cited the University of Wisconsin as just one example where outside influences are not allowed on the admissions process.

*

Does it happen everywhere?

"We have between us taught at many different universities in the United States," says a letter signed by 16 U of I law school professors sent to the Tribune. "The story the Tribune has 'discovered' about the University of Illinois could be written about every one of them."

Name those schools!

*

Funny, though, this story can no longer be written about the University of Illinois law school. New dean Bruce Smith has disavowed clout lists and admissions-peddling.

*

By the way, prospective U of I law students can check their application status through the school's website; no legislators or lobbyists needed.

Man in the Mirror
He didn't even write it. In Song of the Moment.

I Am A Security Guard
For a large, publicly held retail chain. In Life At Work.

The Cubs Make Their Move
It's right there for them. In SportsTuesday.

Homeless Still Here
Despite Daley's plan.

Ditka Backs Quinn
Calls him "good people."

Righteous Vodka
Get hammered, organically.

It Takes A Millennium
"A new contractor has been hired to finish the construction of the complex Zaha Hadid-designed pavilion in Millennium Park, and the opening of the already-delayed pavilion has been pushed back another two weeks to Aug. 1," the Tribune reports.

Here we go!

Inspector Gadget
You used to just call the leak desk to get city parts for side jobs.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Discover Wisconsin!




Permalink

Posted on July 7, 2009


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Cricket vs. Brexit.
POLITICS - Charter Schools Complicit With Segregation.
SPORTS - USA Gymnastics Bans Illinois Coach.

BOOKS - The Randomness Of Harvard Admissions.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Public Lands Matter.


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