LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The University of California system failed to prevent student admissions based on improper influences and inappropriate factors, a state audit released on Tuesday has revealed.
More than five dozen applicants were unfairly admitted to four UC campuses, including UCLA.
The audit examined admissions between the academic years of 2013-14 to 2018-19 and found that UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara admitted 64 applicants “based on their personal or family connections to donors and university staff.”
The majority of allegations were directed toward UC Berkeley, where California State Auditor Elaine M. Howle said that 42 students were admitted based on their families’ connections to the school, “even though their records did not demonstrate competitive qualifications for admission.”
The other 22 students were admitted to the four schools as athletes, despite them not having the necessary athletic requirements, according to the audit. Four of those students were admitted to UCLA.
The audit states that the 22 students did not substantially participate on the school teams they were recruited for. Also, donations — or potential donations — and familial influences played a role in designating them as student athletes.
The state auditor’s office said the 64 students referenced in the audit are separate from any students involved in the admissions bribery scandal that led to a host of federal prosecutions against parents and staff of various universities, including USC.
UCLA said it is reviewing the audit and is “committed to a transparent admissions process that is fair, consistent and equitable.”
Howle said that the UC system has failed to ensure prospective students are fairly evaluated, adding that staff who review applicants are not properly trained or monitored and that admissions were “unduly dependent” on the individual staff member who reviewed the applications.
The school system conducted an internal review last year following the admissions scandal involving UCLA and UC Berkeley, but Howle said that the review “relied heavily on campuses to review themselves and did not attempt to identify inappropriate admissions activity.”
The audit recommends stronger standards and oversight in order to ensure a fair admissions process and prevent similar unfair practices in the future.
“The Office of the President has allowed the weaknesses in these practices to persist because it has not conducted adequate oversight of campuses’ admissions processes,” Howle said.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)