SAT I scrutinized; Cal alum joins the board

20 March 2002 | Last week’s meeting in San Francisco of the UC regents included a lively discussion of the pros and cons of dropping the SAT I test, as well as the appointment of a new regent.

The regents held a three-and-a-half-hour special open session on the SAT I test, which is used along with other aptitude tests in the undergraduate admission process. At issue is its validity as an indicator of academic achievement and promise.

Dropping the SAT I from the UC undergraduate admission process was first suggested by UC President Richard Atkinson in February 2001. He asked UC to reexamine the usefulness of the SAT I and to consider devising a new set of tests that would more closely follow what students are learning in high school and evaluate them on their mastery of that material.

Dorothy Perry, chair of the UC Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools, presented highlights of a new report addressing Atkinson’s request. The board recommends a new testing array, which would include a mandatory examination covering mastery of the fundamental disciplines needed for university-level work. Those disciplines would include language arts (reading and writing, including a writing sample) and mathematics.

The recommendations were met with skepticism from several regents, including Ward Con-nerly, George Marcus and Monica Lozano. The Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools was asked to present answers to a wide range of questions at the May meeting, to be held at UCLA.

The board also announced the appointment of a new regent, Richard Blum. The 66-year old Berkeley alum, a prominent financier and husband to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairs Blum Capital Partners, a large financial investment partnership in San Francisco. He is also co-chair of the Newbridge Capital investing firm.

“Dick Blum is one of those quintessential Bay Area figures that manages to bridge the divide between, business, politics, education and even religion,” said Orville Schell, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism and a friend of Blum’s. “He is also someone who is deeply involved in the global world. These traits position him well to be a staunch and effective advocate in the state legislature, the U.S. Congress, among private philanthropists and in the world at large for higher education.”

Blum fills one of two vacancies on the Board of Regents left by Sue Johnson and William Bagley, whose terms expired March 1.

Blum earned his bachelor of arts and MBA degrees from Berkeley and received the Haas School of Business Alumnus of the Year Award in 1994. He continues to serve on the business school’s advisory board.


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Copyright 2002, The Regents of the University of California.
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