Archive for Thursday, August 24, 2006

KU provost suggests ‘holistic admission’

August 24, 2006

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— Kansas University should look to more than just test scores, grades and high school class rank when deciding which students are ready for college, new Provost Richard Lariviere said Wednesday.

Lariviere introduced his idea for a "holistic admissions" process to the Kansas Board of Regents at the board's annual retreat.

"We want kids who are going to succeed from day one," he said.

KU administrators have tossed around new admissions standards in recent years. Former Provost David Shulenburger saw KU's raising the bar as a way to keep the state's best students in Kansas and as an economic booster. But, so far, KU has not taken a specific plan to the Regents.

Chancellor Robert Hemenway said admissions standards were an issue that stirred emotions and KU was moving cautiously on how it might seek to change them.

"We don't have a definite timeline on this," he said. "We're just in the process of studying it."

Currently, admissions standards at the Regents institutions are set by state law.

Incoming freshmen from Kansas schools need an ACT score of at least 21 or an SAT score of at least 980, a 2.0 grade point average, and rank in the top one-third of the high school class.

In a holistic admissions process, KU would look beyond those standards to a student's entire file, Lariviere said. And the university would look to see whether a student could actually succeed at KU, he said. He also said KU would look for a "rich mixture" of students in terms of geography, life experiences, race, gender and socioeconomic levels.

The board also discussed its plans to try to persuade legislators to pay for a backlog of maintenance needed at the state universities.

The board's proposal for tax increases and bonds to address the problem didn't move in the last legislative session.

Regents staff are researching the updated cost of the maintenance problem as well as looking at the needs of technical schools, community colleges and Washburn University.

Regents President Reginald Robinson said lawmakers asked the Regents to look at the entire scope of the maintenance issue. Robinson said adding the other schools' needs to the list may help by broadening political support for a solution. But it also may increase the size of the problem, making it tougher to get addressed.

Regents staff members are expected to bring their reports to the board in November.

Comments

crono 8 years, 11 months ago

And we're wanting to climb in the rankings as a university???

prioress 8 years, 11 months ago

ACT and SAT scores are a tiny slice of a student's potential. High college examination scores do a pretty good job or predicting the first semester grades in college. Past that, they are of value mainly to stockholders in ETS. I like this approach.

Rhoen 8 years, 11 months ago

We're going to miss "former Provost Shulenberger" ...

Kansas and Missouri have a strong community college and vocational-technical school system in place for students whose academic history doesn't match the current admissions requirements. Even now, KU's admissions requirements don't describe an especially strong student!

This Lariviere plan sounds like a way to boost ENROLLMENT INCOME, not rankings - and certainly not academic standards and rigor. In Texas, there was LOTS of money from student tuition to pay those administrator salaries. Not so much here.

Possibly KU has seen the writing on the wall in the recent past and given up on a justified ascent in the rankings. The shortfall of cancelled grant money, for example, needs to be made up somewhere.

The salary for the Lariviere coterie alone will suck up the annual tuition of at least 150 poorly qualified in-state young people.

At the end of their college careers, they would undoubtely march down the Hill with extraordinary student loan debt and few more marketable skills than they came in with. But KU administrators would have more equity in their elaborate homes and a fatter retirement fund.

It would be a shame to see more and more gigantic empty houses (such as those described in another article today as being for sale on Dub's Court all summer) for sale forever in new west Lawrence.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 11 months ago

I thought KU already had "holistic" admissions, i.e. anyone who has graduated from a Kansas high school with a C average could attend.

Ken Miller 8 years, 11 months ago

"In a holistic admissions process, KU would look beyond those standards to a student's entire file, Lariviere said."

OK, what exactly does that mean? Will they check to see if the kid is a convicted felon? Played Little League Baseball? Ran a lemonade stand? What exactly is in this "file" that isn't already used (i.e., test scores, grades, classes taken, etc.) to determine how fit a kid is to come to KU? And how much more effort will be required to make subjective determinations as to whether the kid is "holistically" proper to attend KU.

Sounds like change for change's sake.

chzypoof1 8 years, 11 months ago

"He also said KU would look for a "rich mixture" of students in terms of geography, life experiences, race, gender and socioeconomic levels."

Sounds like BS Affirmative action crap to me. "oh, we don't have the right equation of minorities here, so let's let some more in, and keep out the other kids. They are doing this at Michigan, and it's racism at it's finest.

Godot 8 years, 11 months ago

""He also said KU would look for a "rich mixture" of students in terms of geography, life experiences, race, gender and socioeconomic levels."

That means they will be looking to recruit students from other states and countries, because that certainly does not sound like a cross section of Kansas high school students.

Looks like Lariviere does not like what Kansas produces in the way of high school grads, so he is going to bend the rules to bring in the kind of students he prefers.

I wonder if this will result in the top tier of Kansas students being denied entry at KU because they are not from the correct race or socioieconomic status.

Sigmund 8 years, 11 months ago

I think KU dumped, or is dumping, the every graduate from a Kansas high school admission policy. If it is true then I think it is a shame that some kids who have graduated from high school and whose parents have paid taxes to fund KU now no longer will be given the opportunity to succeed or fail at KU.

prioress 8 years, 11 months ago

Under Kansas law, a graduate of an accredited Kansas high school is entitled to admission to a State Board of Regents' Institution if the student has completed the pre-college curriculum prescribed by the State Board of Regents with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. * This law applies to students who graduate in the year 2001 or later.

Take notice that the pre-college curriculum consists of:

¢ four units of English; ¢ three units of mathematics; ¢ three units of social studies; ¢ three units of natural science; and ¢ one unit in the field of computer technology.

*The law also specifies that a graduate is eligible for admission if he or she has a composite ACT score of not less than 21 points or ranks in the top 1/3 of his or her high school class upon completion of seven or eight semesters of study.

Sigmund 8 years, 11 months ago

At the risk of appearing to make a double entendre, how does a "unit" translate into college hours or number of classes? What is a "unit", a full semester HS class , or are the several "units" in one HS class?

Im regretting the question already....

Confrontation 8 years, 11 months ago

Sigmund-One unit is one full year (two semesters). So, four years of english, etc.

I think this is just another way to bring in more athletes. Just imagine how good the football team would be if we could completely ignore gpa requirements....

Redzilla 8 years, 11 months ago

I don't approve of anyone who wants students "who are going to succeed from day one." Come on! Doesn't everyone have to have that first bad semester, the one that ends with a 1.125 GPA? I graduated cum laude with both my undergraduate and graduate degrees, but I was definitely not a success from "day one."

middleoftheroad 8 years, 11 months ago

After visiting KU admissions website, students are guaranteed admission if they have one of the following:

  1. ACT/SAT test score minimum
  2. class rank minimum
  3. GPA minimum (as mentioned in a previous post)

It seems like holistic means that a student's involvement, classes taken, etc. will be used when making a decision. Apparently none of this has been used in the past...therefore, KU would look at the whole student. I think this makes perfect sense as the ACT/SAT is very ambiguous and some high schools don't rank their classes and a GPA at one school could be very different at another. As an alum, I'm very excited to see this happen...it will definitely add to the value of our degrees! As far as the tax payers, public institutions with admission requirements is not a new concept, Kansas is actually "behind the times".

Sigmund 8 years, 11 months ago

I prefer the old time philoshopy of allow a student a chance to succeed or fail based upon performance at KU, not based upon scores, ranks, GPA's. I just hate to prejudge anyone without giving them a chance. We do way too much of that in our society already.

If they graduated from a accredited Kansas High School, they shoulod be given a chance. Sure it is behind the times, I like the idea that a student who didn't do great in HS to be able to redeem themself by working hard and graduate from college.

Swampfox 8 years, 11 months ago

I suggest that the following standards be adopted for admission:

(1) Astrological Sign.

(2) Number of books read on Witchcraft.

(3) Belief in a set number of conspiracies.

(4) Results of the various political persuasion tests available online.

(5) Number of joints smoked in the preceeding year.

(6) Number of radical socialist organizations joined.

(7) Number and amounts of contributions to Move On.

(8) Membership in Anarchist groups.

(9) Membership in The Merc.

(10) Provable record of online complaining coupled with failure to register to vote.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 11 months ago

I agree with Sigmund et al. that Kansas taxpayers do help support KU and therefore Kansas students deserve a chance to succeed of fail at KU. I would point out, however, that Kansas taxpayers also support a system of community colleges designed in part to be a bridge between high school and university. In effect, every student has a chance at KU, its just that those who did not perform well in high school must prove themselves at a community college before coming to KU.

I would also point out that money from the State of Kansas accounts for only about a quarter of all expenditures at KU, with equal amounts coming from tuition, research overhead, and private sources.

The state is less and less interested in supporting KU, as evidenced by deferred maintenance and flat funding levels. Therefore, one must ask at what point does KU stop being beholden to the students of the state?

Godot 8 years, 11 months ago

"The state is less and less interested in supporting KU, as evidenced by deferred maintenance and flat funding levels. "

KU has had the money for maintenance all along - the administration chose to waste it on other projects. It is not the taxpayers' responsibility to bail out a university with the resources it is sitting on. The endowment association could easily pick up the tab - it just will not, because fixing a roof is not nearly as sexy as building a gaudy entrance way and having the donor's name spread across it.

middleoftheroad 8 years, 11 months ago

So my question is...who is going to get the blame for low graduation and retention rates when KU admits any student with a pulse?? I can't imagine the student being blamed...it will once again land on KU.

Who wants to pay tuition for the student to fail? What student wants to spend an entire semester struggling to get by? If this was the way to do it, there would be a national trend. However, this isn't the case.

Furthermore, the Endowment is limited by the restraints put on the dollars donated. The gateways and what not were built with money that was donated for that particular purpose. If they could find donors who gave money for maintenance, we'd all win...but who wants to give $6 million to fix roofs? That doesn't get the recognition that an entranceway does. Unless any of us are paying the bills, we really can't say if money is "wasted".

Swampfox 8 years, 11 months ago

Just another way of dumbing down the population.

Godot 8 years, 11 months ago

"Furthermore, the Endowment is limited by the restraints put on the dollars donated. The gateways and what not were built with money that was donated for that particular purpose. If they could find donors who gave money for maintenance, we'd all win...but who wants to give $6 million to fix roofs? That doesn't get the recognition that an entranceway does. Unless any of us are paying the bills, we really can't say if money is "wasted".:

We need a chacellor who is so committed to the future of the success of KU (not the future of his own career) that he will challenge the Endowment Association to commit the growth of its assets each year (not new contributions, just return on investment) toward the maintenance of the buildings that the endowment association has built. It is that simple.

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