Clout Goes To College - UPDATE

Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Here's an update on this blog post ("Clout Goes to College") from last week.

Chicago Tribune (6/10/2009): "University of Illinois shields data on clouted students"
The University of Illinois has refused a request by the Chicago Tribune for test scores and grade-point averages of applicants who appeared on its admissions clout lists, saying the release would violate privacy rights even if the students are not named.

Open records experts scoffed at [the] reason for withholding the information, saying the data do not identify the student and as such cannot be an invasion of privacy.

Experts point to a 2002 decision in which the
University of Wisconsin was forced to turn over test scores, grade-point averages and class rankings. In that case, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that when a request does not seek personally identifiable information, there is no overriding public-policy interest in keeping records confidential.

Chicago Tribune (6/10/2009): "Gov. Pat Quinn to create panel to probe U. of I. admissions"

Gov. Pat Quinn will appoint a panel Wednesday to investigate University of Illinois' admissions practices, stepping into the controversy nearly two weeks after the Tribune first reported the existence of a clout list for well-connected applicants.

Quinn's seven-member Admissions Review Commission, led by well-respected retired federal Judge Abner Mikva, will have 60 days to complete its work, according to an executive order expected to be signed by the governor.