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New questions on UC regent’s ‘inappropriate’ help letter to get student admitted © (los angeles times) UC Regent Richard Blum, second from correct, wrote an "inappropriate letter of support" to assist a scholar applicant at UC Berkeley, based on a state audit. (la times) college of California Regent Richard Blum noted Saturday he didn’t intend to unfairly affect the UC admissions procedure when he wrote what a state audit referred to as an "inappropriate letter of assist" to get an uncompetitive student admitted to UC Berkeley. "It become never my intention to avert or unfairly influence the admissions system," Blum, a San Francisco financier and husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D-Calif.), stated in a statement. "I do not intend to put in writing letters of recommendation going forward.” Blum’s remark got here the morning after the California State Auditor’s office released documents displaying that the regent’s favored candidate turned into admitted from the waitlist after UC Berkeley’s fundraising and admissions workplace met to talk about which candidates from that checklist could be accepted. The places of work had bought Blum’s letter in regards to the prospective student, who had been denied preliminary admission after receiving ratings from software evaluators that indicated a 26% chance of acceptance, the audit observed. Blum’s intervention got here in one of 64 circumstances recognized in an 82-web page state audit on UC’s admissions guidelines by which applicants were granted slots using inappropriate factors, equivalent to connections to donors, staff and alumni. among them, 55 instances worried UC Berkeley, with four at UCLA, four at UC Santa Barbara and one at UC San Diego. Blum observed he respected the findings and considerations raised within the audit, however talked about he had not ever been told his letters of recommendation had been incorrect. He said he had written greater than a dozen such letters for UC candidates over the ultimate 18 years, submitting them to the chancellors’ workplaces. “On no event did I get hold of remarks that that changed into now not the appropriate protocol and that letters needed to be despatched to the Director of Admissions," he mentioned. “additionally, i was under no circumstances counseled about whether any of the applicants for whom I wrote letters had been later approved for admission and i not ever inquired about the most excellent decisions in these cases." The redacted files confirmed that Blum sent the letter to latest UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ. Blum advised Christ he desired to "express my guide" for an "incredible" applicant on the waitlist who "embodies all of the traits we seek in our students." "past faculty, i can see [the applicant] as a loyal alumnus who will greatly make contributions to the CAL community," Blum wrote. He asked Christ to provide the scholar "every consideration" as a "worthwhile addition" to the undergraduate category. The date of the letter became redacted, however the different documents released indicate Blum wrote it in spring or summer time of 2018, all through Christ’s first 12 months as chancellor and after average admissions selections for prospective learners are released in late March. UC Berkeley spokeswoman Janet Gilmore spoke of that the campus declined to touch upon Blum’s remark and the auditor emails since the be counted is beneath review by means of the UC workplace of the President’s ethics, compliance and audit capabilities office. She referred to the chancellor’s administrative group of workers "robotically directs correspondence it receives to different campus offices, as appropriate, for response and motion." Gilmore additionally said Berkeley officers had requested the auditor for the underlying documents that ended in the findings "for a number of months now" however haven’t yet at once got any material. Margarita Fernández, a spokeswoman for the state auditor’s workplace, noted Friday that the documents reveal that UC Berkeley authorized the Blum letter "contrary to its admissions manner and policy." A 1996 Board of Regents coverage allows contributors to ship letters of advice, when applicable, throughout the regular admissions procedure. however Blum sent his letter outside these bounds, after the applicant had been denied preliminary admission and positioned on the waitlist, the audit confirmed. UC policy enables letters of advice most effective if requested through admissions officers below selected instances that Fernández talked about didn’t practice in the Blum case. She stated the applicant had already submitted two other letters of recommendation — which is the optimum allowed beneath UC coverage. Berkeley isn’t imagined to accept or believe letters of recommendation as part of the waitlist determination procedure, she talked about. Yet the letter become not simplest authorised, it turned into also discussed with the aid of high-stage campus officers — medicine no longer afforded different candidates, Fernández talked about. based on the emails, Christ’s government assistant, Carolyn Koo, forwarded the letter from Blum — along with a letter from an unidentified regent emeritus advocating for a unique scholar — to MiHi Ahn, executive vice president of the UC Berkeley foundation, the university’s fundamental deepest fundraising arm. Koo asked Ahn to reply to Blum and the regent emeritus on behalf of Christ. Blum has been a vital contributor to Berkeley through the years. In 2006, he donated $15 million to launch the Blum center for developing Economies to address world poverty and subsequent contributions to expand that work. The regent emeritus, whose identify became redacted from the files, made a degree of bringing up a possible drawing close donation within the letter. "A small ps: my love for Berkeley lately led to my urging a…customer to donate" to Boalt hall, the previous name of the UC Berkeley legislations faculty. The redacted emails looked as if it would point out that the applicant changed into now not admitted. Ahn sent an e mail to Amy Jarich, then assistant vice chancellor and director of admissions, alerting her to both letters. "i’m going to draft a letter of response that in fact says, ‘there may be a vibrant line between us and admissions and we haven’t any impact, however we are able to ahead the letters to admissions.’ simply FYI…of course everybody right here knows the letters are not considered until requested," Ahn wrote. In a second email to Jarich forwarding the letters, Ahn reiterated that she deliberate to draft a response to Blum and the regent emeritus from Christ’s workplace announcing that "we don’t have any impact however we are able to go ahead and ahead the letter, (but of course we’re all smartly mindful that these letters elevate no weight). however we are able to simply say we forwarded them.’" sometime after the emails, Jarich mentioned which students to admit from the waitlist with Greg Dubrow, then director of research and policy evaluation within the workplace of Undergraduate Admissions. The emails reveal that Jarich modified Dubrow’s plan for prioritizing the waitlisted college students, inserting thoughts made through her and the team of workers on right. Ahn additionally provided a list of preferred college students — showing that the university’s fundraising arm communicated with admissions officers all through decision-making intervals. UC officers have time and again observed that donations do not have an effect on an applicant’s possibilities of acceptance. In annotated notes written in crimson on the emails, the auditor’s office referred to the exchanges showed that Jarich determined her preference approach after she received the letters from regents. "it’s for this reason doubtless that the applicant counseled by means of the Regent would were on Amy’s record that she positioned on the accurate of the priorities," the auditor’s notes noted. Fernández noted that additional emails showed that the administrators of admissions and construction met to focus on whom to accept from the waitlist after they bought copies of Blum’s letter. The day after the assembly, Fernández noted, Berkeley admitted the applicant. "These components led us to conclude that the letter appears to have influenced UCB’s determination to confess this student," Fernández wrote in an e mail to The instances. Jarich left her position as admissions director in October 2018, according to her LinkedIn profile. Dubrow additionally left the admissions workplace, in November 2018, his LinkedIn profile says, and he is at the moment director of assistance method and analytics on the Haas college of business building and Alumni family members. Berkeley has given that employed a new director of undergraduate admissions, Olufemi "Femi" Ogundele. Fernández talked about the verbal exchange between the Berkeley fundraising and admissions offices verified by using the emails underscored the pressing want for reform. "finally, it is the UC gadget’s accountability to be sure fairness in its admissions technique, which is why in line with what we found in the audit we counseled that all communications between Admissions and Fundraising about candidates or prospective candidates be strictly prohibited," Fernández stated. El Salvador’s subsequent US envoy met Trump at leave out Universe El Salvador’s next ambassador to Washington is someone President Donald Trump may remember from his days as a elegance pageant boss. a photo circulating on social media Friday confirmed a smiling Trump locking hands with Milena Mayorga and two other contestants – omit u . s . and omit Guatemala – on the sidelines of the 1996 leave out Universe pageant, where she turned into a exact 10 finalist. Trump on the time changed into owner of the pageant. Mayorga, 44, turned into appointed Thursday nighttime through President Nayib Bukele as El Salvador’s subsequent ambassador to the U.S. She’s a political neophyte without a outdated diplomatic adventure, having been elected to congress for the primary time in 2018. however she’s smartly normal to Salvadorans for years as a well-liked tv host. Mayorga garnered the president’s attention after denouncing corruption in her conservative area celebration, which because the dominant drive in congress has blocked Bukele’s agenda. She later quit the celebration. As ambassador, she’ll face an uphill fight attempting to repair deteriorating relations with Republicans and Democrats in Congress who have increasingly voiced challenge that Bukele, however extremely normal, is overstepping his authority and perilous checks and balances within the small primary American country. whereas Bukele has endeared himself to Trump by backing his hardline immigration policies, he is confronted criticism amongst human rights and professional-democracy activists for defying El Salvador’s supreme court docket and congress. On Thursday, six Republican congressmen led via David Royce of Ohio and Mario Diaz Balart of Miami wrote a letter to Bukele expressing difficulty about what they known as El Salvador’s “slow but certain departure from the rule of thumb of legislation and norms of democracy that our hemisphere has fought so hard to keep.” The letter provoked an angry response on country wide tv from Bukele, who brushed aside the letter – which adopted an identical complaints by Democrats – as the work of a small group of lawmakers that don’t characterize even three% of the complete U.S. Congress. “Getting congressmen to write down a letter is the easiest thing in the world,” Bukele noted. Criticism of Bukele stems from his repeated defiance of congress and the supreme court docket. In February, he sent heavily armed troopers to encompass the congress to drive lawmakers into approving a personal loan to fund a battle in opposition t gangs. Then in April, Bukele neglected a few rulings by using El Salvador’s supreme court docket impressive down strict measures that resulted in the detention in crowded quarantine centers of hundreds of individuals accused of breaking the coronavirus lockdown rules. He also lately attacked one in all important the united states’s most impartial investigative news retailers, El Faro, after it uncovered proof that the govt had been secretly negotiating with jailed members of MS-13, which is regarded a terrorist community in El Salvador. right through the disagreement, he is maintained potent guide from the Trump administration and U.S. Ambassador Ronald Johnson. Bukele remaining year signed a bilateral settlement that would allow the U.S. to ship asylum seekers from other nations to El Salvador. The policy had not been carried out before the pandemic. In August, his govt signed a $450,000 contrac t with a smartly-related Washington lobbyist, in accordance with U.S. department of Justice filings. Bukele claims to have annulled the contract with the Sonoran coverage community without needing disbursed any funds. Mayorga has generated controversy interior El Salvador for honoring on social media the deceased militia commander at the back of the 1981 raid on the village of El Mozote, a ugly low point all through the nation’s long civil conflict. almost 1,000 americans, together with farmers and children, have been killed by U.S.-trained counterinsurgency troops all over a hunt for leftist guerrillas. “Some people by no means die, they just convert into myths and legends,” she wrote in a 2018 tribute to military Col. Domingo Monterrosa on the anniversary of the commander’s delivery. Monterrosa became later killed when a guerrilla bomb destroyed the helicopter he turned into traveling in. Mayorga changed into a proper 10 finalist at the 1996 miss Universe received with the aid of Alicia Machado, a former leave out Venezuela who campaigned against Trump in the 2016 crusade. Machado accused Trump of labeling her with a sexist nickname — “pass over Piggy” — that caused her disgrace and humiliation after she become crowned omit Universe. Goodman stated from Medellin, Colombia. UC Regent Richard Blum wrote ‘inappropriate letter of aid’ to get student into Berkeley © (los angeles times) UC Regent Richard Blum, 2nd from correct, wrote an "inappropriate letter of assist" to aid a scholar get into UC Berkeley, in line with the California State Auditor’s office. (los angeles times) university of California Regent Richard Blum, a prosperous San Francisco financier, wrote an "inappropriate letter of help" to aid a pupil get into UC Berkeley despite the applicant’s uncompetitive scores by using tuition group of workers and an initial denial of admission, in accordance with the California state auditor’s office. The case became identified this week in an eighty two-page state audit on UC’s admission process, which discovered that four campuses had admitted at the least 64 students between educational years 2013-14 and 2018-19 using inappropriate elements to choose them, equivalent to connections to donors, team of workers or alumni. The audit file stated one "primarily complex" case involving an unnamed UC regent. The California State Auditor’s workplace has identified that adult to The instances as Blum, the husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and a Berkeley alumnus who has given his alma mater hundreds of thousands of bucks over the years. Blum, who has served as a regent given that 2002, declined to comment. Feinstein had no comment, spokesman Tom Mentzer noted. The audit gave no details about when the case took place. UC Berkeley has no details beyond what the audit includes and "will need more suggestions to assess what passed off earlier than we can weigh in on the be counted," campus spokeswoman Janet Gilmore referred to Thursday. Board of Regents Chairman John A. Pérez stated UC officials have "constrained details" concerning the case but are reviewing the assistance to examine even if the alleged behavior violates tuition policies and even if an additional UC assessment or investigation is warranted. "The UC Board of Regents takes these matters very seriously and any violations should be at once and as it should be addressed," Pérez talked about in a statement. "once the Board determines and punctiliously evaluates the records of the case, we are able to touch upon the result and should extra assessment if any adjustments in coverage are referred to as for." The state audit found that UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara had admitted at the least 64 applicants all through the six-12 months time length in query because of connections to donors, campus staff or alumni. In most of the circumstances, the audit discovered, the admitted college students had been rated no longer competitive for admission. the vast majority of them have been white and at least half had annual family incomes of $one hundred fifty,000 or more. UC Berkeley become the worst perpetrator, the audit referred to, with fifty five situations of inappropriate admissions. amongst them, 14 cases concerned students who have been denied admission in the course of the average technique and had been offered a spot on the waitlist. Blum’s letter got here in aid of one of those waitlisted students, the audit mentioned. however that scholar, just like the 13 others on the waitlist, had acquired "uncompetitive ratings from readers that gave them bad possibilities of being admitted," the audit mentioned. Blum wrote a letter of advocacy in regards to the scholar to the UC Berkeley chancellor, which was forwarded to the building office accountable for dealing with fundraising and members of the family with donors. Blum has been a longtime supporter of Berkeley, donating $15 million in 2006 to launch the Blum core for developing Economies to address global poverty and subsequent contributions to expand that work. The building office then forwarded the letter to the admissions office, the audit noted. both workplaces conferred on who may still be admitted from the waitlist. Blum’s appreciated applicant had only a 26% probability of acceptance according to ratings by using utility readers, the audit spoke of, but gained admission. The audit record noted that UC guidelines enable regents to put up letters of recommendation, when appropriate, all through the standard admissions procedure — but that Blum’s letter came outside these bounds after the student changed into denied initial acceptance and positioned on the waitlist. "Given the low probability of this applicant’s admission and the trendy and influential role that Regents have in the college, we conclude that the choice to admit this applicant turned into probably influenced via the Regent’s advocacy," the audit mentioned. It is not distinct for UC campus chancellors to acquire letters or calls of help from regents and donors about favored candidates. George Blumenthal, who served as UC Santa Cruz chancellor for 13 years before stepping down final yr, observed he would customarily receive a couple of such appeals a yr. He noted he would respond with a kind letter telling them he couldn’t do the rest to have an effect on the admissions technique and ahead the suggestions to admissions officers, making it clear they were no longer to let it have an impact on their selections. permitting benefactors of power and privilege to sway admission choices would be unethical, he stated. "we all comprehend it’s a huge no-no," Blumenthal talked about. He introduced that UC campuses are anticipated to use a finished review manner that evaluates all candidates fairly in accordance with 14 criteria — equivalent to grades, high school coursework, management and particular potential. "understanding a person effective isn’t probably the most 14 criteria," Blumenthal talked about..