Admissions Practices at Boalt Hall
(University of California, Berkeley, Law School)

AS-2393-97/AA - November 6-7, 1997

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University request that the Boalt Hall (the law school of the University of California, Berkeley) admissions office reconsider its current practice of automatically adding to or subtracting from the GPA of individual applicants based on the aggregate LSAT scores of all applicants from the individual's institution because it is unfair to some students; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU direct its executive committee to undertake discussions with the Boalt Hall admissions office to determine the outcome of this request for a reconsideration of the current Boalt Hall admissions practice of automatically adding to or subtracting from the GPA of individual prospective applicants based on the aggregate LSAT scores of all applicants from the individual's institution; and be it further

RESOLVED: That, in the event there is no change in the Boalt Hall admissions procedure, the Academic Senate CSU request the Chancellor of the California State University to undertake discussions with the chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley in an effort to bring an end to the current Boalt Hall admissions practice of automatically adding to or subtracting from the GPA of individual prospective applicants based on the aggregate LSAT scores of all applicants from the individual's institution; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU request the Chancellor, CSU, to determine if practices exist elsewhere in the UC that are similar to the current Boalt Hall admissions practice of automatically adding to or subtracting from the GPA of individual prospective applicants based on the aggregate LSAT scores of all applicants from the individual's institution and to report to the Academic Senate if such are found.

RATIONALE: Boalt Hall (the law school of the University of California, Berkeley) uses an admission procedure (see attached) that automatically adds to or subtracts from the GPA of applicants for admission based on the average relationship between the GPA of all applicants from that institution and the LSAT scores of all applicants from that institution. This process distorts the individual’s GPA and penalizes students from institutions with a wide range of abilities among their students. Both the GPA and the LSAT score are measures of individual accomplishment. This process thus unfairly penalizes individual students who come from a those institutions whose students’ GPA is reduced even though the individual may have taken highly demanding courses or have taken a major in which grades are significantly lower than the institution's average. It also gives an unfair advantage to individual students who come from those institutions whose students’ GPA is increased even though the individual may have sought out the easiest courses or have taken a major in which grades are significantly higher than the institution's average. Nearly all applicants from CSU campuses are subject to a reduction of their GPA, and many applicants from out-of-state, private, highly competitive institutions are given an increase in their GPAs. This procedure may, therefore, work a serious disadvantage to California residents even though Boalt Hall is a state-supported institution. This resolution requests Boalt Hall to reconsider this practice, and failing that, requests the Chancellor of the CSU to meet with the Chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley with the object of ending this practice. Finally, the resolution seeks to determine if similar practices exist elsewhere in the UC system.

WITHDRAWN – January 22-23, 1998



 
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