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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Category I dies now, but will resurface like a zombie

The Chicago Tribune reports today that their investigation into clout at the University of Illinois has had this result:

 

“Following a Tribune investigation, University of Illinois officials say they're suspending the use of "Category I" -- an internal list of well-connected students who got preferential treatment during the admissions process, Stacy St. Clair and Jodi S. Cohen report.”

 

University officials will just find a way to hide the clout list more effectively. Clout won’t disappear; it will just arise again, like a zombie, to eat our brains.

 

For a better idea, let’s consider making the clout list public.  For military academies, you get appointed. Why not allow each state rep and senator to nominate X number of students to any state university? This could even have a certain amount of prestige associated with it.

 

The reason why this will not occur is that this would force politicians to make hard choices, rather than just reward their friends. Frankly, there seems to be little indication that Illinois politicians are capable of doing that.