Illinois Governor Pat Quinn creates panel to investigate University of Illinois admissions process

This is a troubling situation. Admission to this great university should be based on merit, never on clout. This Commission is charged with investigating claims of such special treatment and making sure any and all problems are rooted out and corrected.”

— Governor Pat Quinn

Gov. Pat Quinn will appoint a panel Wednesday to investigate University of Illinois' admissions practices, stepping into the controversy nearly two weeks after the Tribune first reported the existence of a clout list for well-connected applicants.

Quinn's seven-member Admissions Review Commission, led by well-respected retired federal Judge Abner Mikva, will have 60 days to complete its work, according to an executive order expected to be signed by the governor. Quinn has scheduled a news conference at the U. of I.'s Chicago campus.

Panel Members:

--Chairman Abner Mikva, Chicago, former congressman, U.S. appeals court judge and White House counsel under President Bill Clinton.

--Ted Chung, Highland Park, general counsel to Gov. Pat Quinn

--Bernard Judge, Chicago, former editor and publisher of the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, previously held editing positions at the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.

--Charles Scholz, Quincy, Ill., private practice attorney and member of the board of directors, Bank of Quincy.

--Doris Lowry, Chicago, president, Aspen Pine Group Inc.

--Maribeth Vander Weele, Chicago, president of Vander Weele Group LLC, a corporate investigations firm. Previously was inspector general of Chicago Public Schools and an investigative reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times.

--Ricardo Estrada, Chicago, executive director, Erie Neighborhood House.

Governor Pat Quinn signed an Executive Order forming the Admissions Review Commission, an independent fact-finding group that will investigate claims the University of Illinois granted admittance to some college applicants because they were politically-connected.

“This is a troubling situation. Admission to this great university should be based on merit, never on clout,” said Governor Quinn. “This Commission is charged with investigating claims of such special treatment and making sure any and all problems are rooted out and corrected.”

The Admissions Review Commission consists of seven public-minded Illinois citizens with stellar professional reputations and diverse experiences in education, law, business, non-profit administration and government.

In addition to investigating claims of favorable treatment for some applicants, the Commission will review the university’s admissions procedures and make recommendations for necessary improvements. The Commission will complete its investigation in 60 days.

Commission members will be assisted by Theodore Chung (PDF), general counsel for the Quinn Administration and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

The University of Illinois is expected to fully cooperate with the Admissions Review Commission, said Governor Quinn.

“We all have a stake in the University of Illinois and this independent review will erase any questions and guarantee its reputation as a center of higher learning and achievement,” said Governor Quinn.

The Admissions Review Commission members:

* Abner Mikva (PDF)
* Bernard Judge (PDF)
* Charles Scholz (PDF)
* Doris Lowry (PDF)
* Maribeth Vander Weele (PDF)
* Ricardo Estrada (PDF)
* Zaldwaynaka Scott (PDF)

For more information, please visit admissionsreview.illinois.gov