UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman announced Wednesday that the university would move to reinstate the admission of 290 incoming freshmen who were previously accepted, but later rejected for a variety of reasons.
Part of the push to reject the students came from the university’s mistake in accepting too many freshmen for the fall quarter, officials have said.
“The stories of our students whose college dreams were rushed by our decision to withdraw admissions to hundreds of students are heartbreaking. And unacceptable,” Gillman said in a prepared statement.
Gillman said the university’s admission process “is not working. We are a university recognized for advancing the American dream, not impeding it.”
The eruption of criticism from students who felt wrongly rejected is “rocking us to our core because it is fundamentally misaligned with our values,” he added.
Gillman said all of the students who received “provisional acceptances” into the university will be fully admitted, “except those whose transcripts clearly indicate that they did not meet our academic standards.”
The standards are that students receive no Ds or Fs in their last year of high school. Also, the students must maintain at least a grade-point average of at least 3.0.
“Even for students whose transcripts show that these requirements were not met, we will establish an expedited process to allow students to make the case for extenuating circumstances, and otherwise will work with students to identify other possible pathways into the university,” Gillman said.
UCI officials are trying to figure out how they underestimated the number of students who planned to attend classes this fall, he said.
“We’re also trying to understand why we chose to notify students in an insensitive way or couldn’t answer their telephone calls adequately,” Gillman said. “I intend to find out so this will never happen again.”
An internal auditor will review UCI’s admissions process and recommend reforms, Gillman said, adding he expects a preliminary report within two months.
He offered his “personal, sincerest apology” to the affected students and their families.
“We should not have treated you this way over a missed deadline,” Gillman said.