Report 2019-113 Recommendation 2 Responses
Report 2019-113: The University of California: Qualified Students Face an Inconsistent and Unfair Admissions System That Has Been Improperly Influenced by Relationships and Monetary Donations (Release Date: September 2020)
Recommendation #2 To: University of California
To protect the campuses' athletics admissions process from abuse, the Office of the President should require each campus to do the following by the fall 2021 admissions cycle:
- Have at least two reviewers verify the athletic talent of all prospective student athletes before their admittance. At least one of these reviewers should be from a department other than the athletics department. Each campus should develop standards for the level of talent that prospective student athletes for each of its teams must possess and then use those standards to verify the talent.
- Track student athletes' participation in the sport for which they were recruited. If a student does not participate in the sport for longer than one year, the campus should determine the reason why the athlete stopped participating and, if necessary, conduct a review of the circumstances that led to the student's admission to identify signs of inappropriate admissions activity.
- Review donations to athletic programs to determine whether those donations made before or after an athlete's admission may have influenced the athletic department's decision to request the athlete's admission.
6-Month Agency Response
The University president has required all campuses to implement this recommendation and to document the processes and procedures, via a letter sent in November 2020. Campuses have submitted documents that demonstrate a multi-review process, tracking prospective athletes' participation in said sport and pre-admit and post-admit review of program donors. The Office of the President has reviewed each campus's submissions to ensure the new processes and procedures will address the recommendation. All campuses have completed recommendation 2b and seven out of nine campuses have completed 2d. UCOP has assessed gaps in submitted information related to characteristics for defining standards in the level of talent. UCOP has requested additional documentation to confirm the standards or characteristics for verifying talent.
- Estimated Completion Date: June 2021
- Response Date: March 2021
California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending
The Office of the President acknowledged in its response that the UC has not fully implemented this recommendation with regard to requiring two reviews of athletic talent and the establishment of standard levels of talent for prospective student athletes.
However, the Office of the President incorrectly asserts that the UC has fully implemented the recommendation as it relates to tracking athlete participation in the sport for which they were recruited and investigating when athletes do not participate for at least one year. The Office of the President provided documentation to support the campuses' implementation of that recommendation, but our review of the documentation showed that the majority of the campuses have not adequately implemented it. For example, in accordance with our recommendation, UC Irvine's athletics policy states that its athletics compliance office will review the circumstances surrounding the admission of all student athletes who do not participate for at least one year to identify possible manipulation of admissions processes. However, several other campuses' policies simply state that they will determine whether the athlete has a valid reason for leaving the team, and do not describe any investigation of the circumstances of their admission. Additionally, the documentation that UCOP provided regarding UC San Diego's athletic policies contained no mention of a review following an athlete's early departure from the team.
We will conclude that this recommendation is implemented when the Office of the President provides sufficient evidence demonstrating that all campuses have implemented this recommendation.
60-Day Agency Response
The University president has issued a letter to the campus chancellors to implement this recommendation immediately and provide documentation of follow-through no later than January 15, 2021.
- Estimated Completion Date: March 2021
- Response Date: November 2020
California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending
The Office of the President provided the letter that it sent to the campus chancellors. We will conclude that this recommendation is implemented when the Office of the President formalizes those prohibitions.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.