Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste: UNC BOG Hastily Enacts New Admissions Policy

CHAPEL HILL – The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal is one of the rare institutions among ‘higher learning’ academia whose frame of reference is not anchored to a Leftist political agenda. To the contrary, this non-profit dedicates itself to the notion of ‘university’ in its truest sense, and employs a ‘watchdog’ approach to help keep our expansive university system accountable.

The watchdog is barking loudly, and for good reason, at the UNC Board of Governors taking advantage of the current pandemic panic to change admissions standards to match a ‘woker’ agenda. ‘Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste‘ reads the title of Shannon Watkins’ spotlight on the shady move by the BOG. There seems to be a lot of that opportunistic sentiment going around.

From the James G. Martin Center:

“It is a common saying that one should “never let a crisis go to waste.” Last week, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors exemplified this principle when they met last-minute to discuss changing admissions standards.

For months, members of the UNC Board of Governors have been contemplating a drastic change for admissions—one that would grow its possible number of applicants for UNC schools by 20,000.

Currently, in order to be eligible to apply to any UNC system institution, applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 (a “C” average) and an SAT score of 880 (or ACT score of 17). The proposed revisions, approved by the Committee on Educational Planning, Policies, and Programming, would make it so that applicants would have to have a minimum GPA of 2.5 or an SAT score of 1010 (or ACT score of 19).

The full board was set to vote on the proposed admissions changes on March 20, but the vote was tabled due to urgent matters surrounding the coronavirus. Given that in-person meetings have been canceled for the foreseeable future, it seemed that an important decision regarding minimum admissions standards would also be delayed.

That was not the case. On March 30, the board met by conference call to discuss and vote on the minimum admission requirements (MAR) policy. Board members were notified of the meeting four days before it occurred.

The purpose of the meeting, however, wasn’t simply to address overflow items from the March meeting. On the contrary, board leadership specifically wanted to vote on the admissions policy because testing for the SAT and ACT has been canceled or postponed due to the pandemic. In response to the cancellations, colleges across the country, including the University of California (UC) system, have decided to temporarily not require applicants to submit SAT and ACT scores for fall 2021. Such exceptions in light of a global crisis seem reasonable; the unavailability of testing is out of students’ control. As such, it would also be reasonable for the UNC system to consider similar temporary measures.

But, unlike the UC system, the UNC system is not looking to make SAT or ACT scores temporarily optional. Instead, system leaders urged the board to pass and immediately implement the MAR policy proposal for the current admissions cycle—which is concerning for several reasons.

For one, it’s entirely unreasonable—even opportunistic—for board leaders who have long voiced support for the MAR proposal to take advantage of a national emergency to attempt to slip through a permanent policy change. [CONTINUE READING]

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