U of I Chancellor Details Clout Admissions

July 6, 2009

Download Story
Chancellor Richard Herman talks with members of the state commission investigating the admissions policy at the U of I Urbana-Champaign campus.
The head of the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus is saying that, in retrospect, he should not have helped politically connected students gain admission to the university.

Chancellor Richard Herman acknowledged Monday during hours of questioning before a state panel that he ordered an unqualified applicant to be admitted to the U of I's law school.

He said he was asked to do so by a trustee, who was passing on a request from then Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

HERMAN: Did I follow that directive? Yes. That was a rough 24-hour period for me personally, and I am apologetic about that.

Herman said he wanted to “compensate” the law school for taking the trustee's “dicey” student. So he asked the trustee to find five jobs for graduating law school students, but Herman denies any quid pro quo.

Herman admitted passing on about 40 undergraduate requests a year to the admissions office. He often had the final say in whether a student was admitted. Herman now says the university's clout list should be eliminated.

848: Education Expert Explains Unjust Practices Behind College Admissions
Related: U of I Chancellor Admitted Connected Students to Help University