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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA,
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Assemblyof the AcademicSenate,AcademicCotuu:il
Universityof California
IIII Fran/cIinStreet, 12thFloor
Oaldond,California 94607-5200
October27,2004
M.R.C. GREENWOOD, PROVOST AND SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT
ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
Re:
BOARS Position Statement on Admissions Selection Criterion #14 and
Geographical PreferencesBasedon Proximity to a Campus
DearM.R.C.:
The Board of Admissions and Relationswith Schools(BOARS) has been examiningthe
issues surrounding the use of geographicpreferencesin admissions, and specifically
whetherlocal geographicpreferencesare permissibleunder the University of California's
policies for undergraduateadmissions. There are campuseswhich have used geographic
preferencesbasedon proximity to a campusin the admissionsprocess.
BOARS focusedits examinationon DC's Guidelinesfor Implementationof UniversityPolicy
on UndergraduateAdmissions,which were approvedby the Academic Assembly in October
2001 and The Regentsin November 2001. Theseguidelinesprovide the framework within
which campusesestablishproceduresfor ComprehensiveReview and include a list of factors
campusesmay useto selecttheir admittedclass. BOARS is specifically chargedwithin these
guidelinesto "monitor campuspolicies and work with the faculty to continuouslyimprove the
processesandoutcomes."
During BOARS examinationof the geographicalpreferencesissues,it becameapparentthat
interpretationsof "Selection Criterion 14" might be problematic. This criterion allows
campusesto considerthe following factorswhen selectingstudentsfor admission:
14.
Location of the applicant's secondaryschool and residence.These
factors shall be considered in order to provide for geographic
diversity in the studentpopulation and also to accountfor the wide
variety of educationalenvironmentsexistingin California.
To clarify the intent of SelectionCriterion #14, BOARS has reaffinned the goal of providing
geographicdiversity among admitteeswhile explicitly excluding geographicalpreferences
basedon proximity to a campus. Towards that end, BOARS has fonnulated the enclosed
"Position Statementon Admissions SelectionCriterion #14 and GeographicalPreferences,"
which I forward with a requestthat BOARS position on SelectionCriterion # 14 be distributed
to the appropriateOffice of the Presidentandcampusadministrators
Best Regards,
~~
GeorgeBlumenthal,Chair
AcademicCouncil
Encl.:
Copy:
1
AcademicCouncil
DennisGalligani, AssociateVice President-Student
AcademicServices
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BOARD OF ADMISSIONS AND RELATIONS WITH SCHOOLS
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rosltlon ;:statementon AomlSSlons;:selecnon\;ntenon lfl4
and Geographical Preferences
October15,2004
MOTION: The Board of Admissions and Relationswith Schools(BOARS) affinns the goals of
Selection Criterion #14 of the Guidelines for Implementation of University Policy on
UndergraduateAdmissions:to "provide for geographicaldiversity in the studentpopulation" andto
supportthe inclusion of studentsfrom "a wide variety of educationalenvironments." The reference
in Criterion # 14 to geographic location should not be construed to pennit preferencesthat
advantagestudentson the basisof geographicproximity to a campus.
Statementon Geoszrat>hicalPreferences
BOARS recognizes that campuses have special relationships with the regions and communities in
which they are embedded. Those relationships should be nurtured and maintained and, for this
reason, BOARS underscores the need to support academic preparation programs that allow
campuses to reach out to schools in their local areas. In addition, BOARS recognizes that
geographical location can present challenges that should be considered in the evaluation that each
individual applicant receives as part of the campus comprehensive review process. For example,
the fact that one student may have to travel very far across an urban area to attend a magnet school,
that another lives in a neighborhood with high rates of poverty or crime that limit the opportunities
available to her, or that another may have circumstances that would effectively prohibit attending a
campus far away from home, are important contextual factors that campuses should consider in the
selection process. However, after careful consideration, BOARS concludes that local campus
policies with the intent to favor students from a specific geographic region, such as the campus's
immediate area, without regard to the principles of inclusion and diversity that are intended in this
criterion, raise basic fairness questions in that they disadvantage students of similar backgrounds
who are from other geographic areas. Policies having that intent are not consistent with Criterion
#14 and should be discontinued as quickly as possible.
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