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As we noted, California State Auditor Elaine Howle has been riding herd on Caltrans for shoddy maintenance practices that promote waste, fraud and abuse. Now the auditor turns attention to the University of California in a new report charging that UC admissions and financial decisions have disadvantaged California’s own resident students. Over the past few years, the university has “undermined its commitment to resident students,” and “in response to reduced state funding, the university made substantial efforts to enroll nonresident students who pay significantly more tuition than residents.” By the auditor’s count, nonresident enrollment is up 82 percent and resident enrollment down 1 percent. The report helpfully charts the back story to the numbers.
The UC had previously demanded that nonresidents’ academic qualifications equal the upper half of residents’ qualifications. In 2011, however, the UC relaxed this admission standard and in the following three years, admitted “nearly 16,000 nonresidents whose scores fell below the median scores for admitted residents at the same campus on every academic test score and grade point average.” At the same time, “the university denied admission to an increasing proportion of qualified residents at the campus to which they applied.”
The University of California used to play fast and loose with academic standards to get the requisite number of minorities, and that too resulted in the denial of admission to many qualified students. Voters put a stop to racial and ethnic preferences in 1996 by passing Proposition 209, the California Civil Rights Initiative, but diversity dogma still dominates.
In response to reduced state funding, the University of California could opt to dramatically reduce bureaucracy, heavy with highly paid vice chancellors, assistant vice chancellors and such. Their preference has been to hike tuition, and when students have engaged in peaceful protest, campus police pepper-sprayed them. Fair to say that the UC also disadvantaged those students, and the ensuing crisis wasted more taxpayer dollars.