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UCI Welcomes Transfers, Strives for Diversity

August 16, 1992

I am writing to alleviate the fears of community college students and their parents who read the Aug. 5 Commentary, "UC Irvine Bars to Transfer Students Should be Lifted," and called UCI worried that their offers of admission are now invalid. UCI has not and will not adopt a policy that bars transfer students from admission.

California's longstanding Master Plan for Education includes two important principles relative to transfer students. First, that the University of California enrollment be approximately 40% lower division students--freshmen and sophomores--and 60% upper division--juniors and seniors. The only way to achieve this goal is to admit both freshmen and transfer applicants. The university has long recognized that a lower division education at a community college is as valid as one at a university and is preferred by some students for various reasons.

In his opinion piece, Mr. Hugh Glenn asks, "Why is it that in 1991 UCI had 1,000 transfer slots, but in 1992 it has zero?" In fact, one in four students admitted to UCI is a transfer student, and the 2,108 offers of admission to transfer students for fall 1992 reflect an increase of 17% over 1991. These include offers of admission to 110 transfer students who have attended Irvine Valley College, where Mr. Glenn is employed.

The second relevant principle is that the student body of the University of California should reflect the diverse geographic, economic, racial and cultural backgrounds of California's residents. We agree with Mr. Glenn that academic ability should be the most important factor in university admission, and it is.

However, we are not performing quality assurance tests on car parts. We are using various criteria to assess the potential of individual human beings, all of whom are qualified for admission to the university, some whose grades and test scores may have been affected by illness, poverty or physical challenge, and whose great talents or contributions to their community may not be fully reflected in numerical measures alone.

UCI will enroll many new freshmen and transfer students this fall. Due to unprecedented budget cuts, we are closed to most midyear applicants in order to maintain the quality of education provided to students who enroll. Applications will be accepted from "special program" students, such as disabled students and veterans, virtually all of whom will be transfer students.

Admitting transfer students from California community colleges is among the University of California's highest priorities. One of California's greatest challenges, however, is our ability to continue providing quality educational opportunities to an expanding student population with budget cuts so severe they will inevitably lead to enrollment limits.

MANUEL N. GOMEZ, Associate Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, UC Irvine

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