SACRAMENTO — Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath (D-Encinitas) issued the following statement responding to the release of the California State Auditor’s report on University of California admissions, an audit she requested in May of 2019:
“The State Audit released today on the UC Admission process unfortunately reveals much of what we suspected – that our UC admissions process is far too vulnerable to manipulation by well-connected individuals. These practices undermine the equality of opportunity in the UC system and the State of California and are especially troublesome given that these are prestigious taxpayer-supported public institutions.
As a UC Berkeley alumna, this is personal for me. I know that my admission to Cal set me on a path to success tat I would not have had otherwise. As a legislator, I’m committed to ensuring that our public higher educational institutions guarantee a fair process for all California students.
The results of this audit uncovered previously unknown issues separate from the back-door exceptions we’ve been learning about ever since the FBI released its “Varsity Blues” investigations more than a year ago. In addition to 64 questionable admissions decisions flagged by the State Auditor, the report also concluded that some campuses have major inconsistencies amongst application reviewers and lack basic criteria to support their admissions decisions.
This report is about more than just the affluent and powerful buying their way into our public universities. It is also about the stifled dreams of high-achieving students, sometimes from difficult circumstances who are denied their opportunity because of the inequity of access. We must end these practices and ensure that the admission offices and reviewers implement best practices that are transparent and accountable to the public.
With AB 1383 (McCarty) we took some initial steps towards improving this system, and the results of this state audit reveal there is more work to do. My colleagues and I will be meeting with stakeholders to ensure the State Auditor’s recommendations are implemented in full. The students, businesses, and taxpayers of California deserve no less.”