Report 2019-113 Recommendation 7 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 #7 To: University of California
To ensure that the university maintains a fair and unbiased admissions process, the Office of the President should require each campus to take the following actions:
- By March 2021, establish acceptable levels of application reader proficiency and maintain training and monitoring programs that ensure that its readers attain and sustain those levels. In addition, it should report annually to BOARS on those efforts and on reader consistency levels, including the frequency with which reader ratings align with campus guidelines for
- Beginning with the academic year 2021-22 admissions cycle, require each campus that does not admit all eligible transfer applicants to ensure that two readers review all transfer
- Beginning with the academic year 2021-22 admissions cycle, ensure that the second readers cannot see the ratings of first readers for both freshman and transfer applications.
6-Month Agency Response
For UC campuses that employ application readers (UCR uses a scoring system), each location has successfully met requirements 7a and 7c, and have provided documentation outlining the reader training on proficiency and standards and how these programs are monitored.
For 7b, eight out of the nine campuses either have a two-reader process in place for transfer students or if a campus doesn't have a 2-reader process and anticipates not admitting all eligible transfers, will develop a random sampling process for a 2nd reader. The random sample is an effective statistical tool that allows campuses to ensure that transfer applications are appropriately evaluated.
- Estimated Completion Date: March 2022
- Response Date: March 2021
California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending
Although the Office of the President acknowledges that the UC has not fully implemented the recommendation, it overstates the progress that campuses have made. Half of the campuses have not articulated specific expectations for the proficiency that their readers must maintain throughout the reading process. Additionally, none of the campuses have described with specificity the processes it will use to monitor their readers to ensure they maintain that level of proficiency. For other portions of its response, we cannot substantiate the progress because the Office of the President did not provide sufficient documentation. For example, we cannot validate that each campus's second reader cannot view the first reader's score because the Office of the President did not provide documentation related to this issue for each campus.
Further, the documentation the Office of the President did submit shows it does not plan to require campuses to ensure two reads of each transfer application as we recommended. Rather it plans to allow for a random sampling of applications to be read a second time. This approach does not fully implement the 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.
For 7b, the University offers an alternative implementation as follows due to resource constraints: By the fall 2022 admissions cycle, campuses that anticipate not being able to admit all eligible transfer applicants and do not have a two reader review process must develop a process to have a second read of a random sample of transfer applicants, excluding applicants guaranteed admission.
- 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 it sent to the campus chancellors. We will consider this recommendation fully implemented when the Office of the President adopts formal requirements that campuses take these actions. Because conducting a second read for only a sample of transfer applicants would not afford all transfer applicants two independent reads, which could affect the fairness of the evaluation of their application, we stand by our recommendation that campuses that do not admit all eligible transfer students conduct two reads of applications from all eligible transfer students.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.