On April 10 the campus issued a summary of inquiries into the status of specific student admission applications tracked over the last four years that it has received from state legislators, UC Regents, donors and other UC or public officials.
The information comes in response to California Public Records Act requests filed by several news organizations. Chancellor Tien said the records show that the admission of only a very small number of undergraduate students has been affected by such special reviews. No special review exists at the graduate level.
"All institutions of higher education need some flexibility to take actions and make decisions that benefit the university as a whole," said Tien. "And Berkeley uses its discretion in this area sparingly and responsibly."
The summary shows that Berkeley reviewed an average of 60 such inquiries annually over the last four years. Roughly one-third of the inquiries involved students whose records were so strong that they were already slated for admission.
Of the remaining two-thirds reviewed, three students were admitted in 1995-96, five in 1994-95 and nine in 1993-94. This number is about one-twentieth of 1 percent (0.05 percent) of the more than 32,000 students who were admitted to Berkeley in that period. Decisions for fall 1996-97 are not yet complete.
Inquiries into the student applications are handled by Berkeley's administrative review committee. This committee is chaired by Associate Vice Chancellor for Admissions and Enrollment Patrick Hayashi and includes representatives from the faculty, the development office and the chancellor's office.
"The committee monitors the status of applications to make sure they are carefully reviewed," said Hayashi. "The committee has a set of criteria it uses for those rare cases in which it takes any action."
Additional information will be forthcoming in the weeks to come. University officials explained that much of the information--including student names--is protected by federal privacy laws and must be redacted before it can be released.