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What Is the Best?

August 16, 1987

For some time now, we at UC have struggled with a fundamental problem--the problem of entitlement versus eligibility. Since the late '60s, the university has tried to balance both, with some success. The development of the Educational Opportunity Program and Student Affirmative Action Program has set us on a journey of access, which at best is tenuous. If you look at the progression of events, you will find that as the university pushed Affirmative Action, the number of majority students increasingly used Berkeley and UCLA as "safety schools," as Ms. Mathews puts it. As Asian-American students pushed the academic standards up, with Chicanos and blacks moving further away from the eligibility standards, we tried to compensate. The reality is that as a public institution, entitlement is critical. As the debate between entitlement and eligibility rages on, all of us will be victim to the results. I am not sure where we go from here, but all of us must participate in finding an equitable solution.

William S. Ponder

Assistant Director, Undergraduate

Admissions--Outreach

UC Riverside

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