PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Brown University is reviewing its policies and practices because of the nationwide college bribery scandal.
President Christina Paxson said in a letter distributed at the Ivy League campus in Providence on Tuesday that the scandal has spurred a discussion about equity in admissions at selective colleges and universities. Preferential treatment, real or suspected, for students based on wealth or privilege is corrosive, she added.
“Although we cannot eradicate all of the effects of living in an unequal world, colleges and universities should not and cannot be places where educational opportunities are shaped by wealth,” Paxson wrote.
Brown is reviewing its policies for admissions, alumni and donor relations, residential life, and academic matters to ensure all students are treated equitably.
The parents in the sweeping case are charged with paying an admissions consultant, Rick Singer, to cheat on their children’s college entrance exams and get their children admitted as athletic recruits at several schools, including Georgetown and Yale. The schools have not been accused of wrongdoing.
Paxson said none of the indicted families has children at Brown, none of the indicted athletics staff has worked at Brown and the university has not been contacted by federal agencies about the indictments.
Brown’s internal investigation of every recruited varsity athlete who enrolled there over the past four years found no illicit behavior in March. Another assessment will try to ascertain any exposure to risk from falsified admissions materials, Paxson said.
There have been reports this year of students allegedly given preferential treatment at Brown, for housing assignments, exclusive off-campus dinners and recommendation letters, Paxson said. A new committee on equity and integrity in admissions is charged with reporting back to Paxson in the fall.
Federal prosecutors in the national admissions case added money laundering to the list of accusations against actress Lori Loughlin, her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, and 14 other parents in the case Tuesday. Actress Felicity Huffman will appear in Boston’s federal court next month to plead guilty to paying an admissions consultant $15,000 to rig her daughter’s SAT score.
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