Reports on UT Admissions Process

Kroll UT report imageUniversity of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers is being criticized for admitting students based on their political or financial connections rather than on their merit. An investigation found that Powers overruled admissions advice for at least 73 students.

Kroll, a risk-management firm, produced a 107-page report to the chancellor of The University of Texas System, identifying "tensions between the Admissions Office and the President's Office." To explain his decisions, Powers said, "They are in the best interest-long-term interest-of the university."

A July 2014 report from the UT System, "Best Practices in Admissions Processes for Undergraduate and Professional Programs," acknowledges the "suspicion of a double standard that favors well-connected students." The report identifies the following strategies to ensure a fair admissions process: 

  • Ensure transparency throughout the admissions process.
  • Identify for students the criteria used in holistic review.
  • Promote consistency in holistic reviews.
  • Uphold the integrity of the admissions process by eliminating external influences and conflicts of interest.

(Download report.)

Discussion Starters:

  • What are your views about Powers' selection process?
  • Imagine that you're one of the 73 or so students who was admitted, presumably, with lower grades and fewer qualifications than other students. How would this news make you feel?
  • Read both reports: Kroll and the UT-System. Compare the organization, design, content, tone, and so on according to principles in Chapter 10. How could both reports be improved?