UI issues statements on College of Law sanctions

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- The University of Illinois and the UI College of Law both released statements regarding the ABA sanctions. The American Bar Association handed down five sanctions on the University of Illinois College of Law after an investigation found it altered incoming students' test scores and GPA's.

The college issued a statement through Melissa Englund, Director of Communications at U of I College of Law.

"Earlier today, the Council of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar issued a final resolution relating to the past misreporting of admissions-related data at the College of Law. Consistent with the principal factual findings of the University of Illinois investigation concluded in fall 2011, the ABA has determined: (1) that a single former employee of the College - acting on his own initiative and contrary to institutional culture - was responsible for the misreporting at issue; and (2) that the College lacked sufficient controls to deter or detect this individual's misconduct.

The ABA credited the College for self-reporting the matter and taking immediate remedial action, including the adoption of an institutional compliance plan designed to ensure the integrity of the College's data going forward. And the ABA has confirmed that the College is in full compliance with all applicable ABA Standards.

The Council imposed the following sanctions on the College of Law: (1) a public censure; (2) the requirement that the College issue a corrective statement to ABA-approved law schools sharing details of its institutional compliance plan; (3) independent compliance monitoring for a period of at least two years; (4) a $250,000 fine, dedicated to the enhancement of monitoring and compliance at all ABA-approved law schools; and (5) the early termination, effective fall 2013, of a five-year variance granted by the ABA to the College of Law in 2009 in association with its iLEAP admissions program, through which select undergraduates from the Urbana campus can matriculate at the College of Law without taking the LSAT.

We are disappointed by the sanctions imposed by the Council. The University of Illinois College of Law has been an ABA-accredited law school since 1923 and respects that historic relationship. We look forward to sharing with our peers the details of our institutional compliance plan -- designed to be the most rigorous and comprehensive in the nation. With this chapter behind us, we will emerge with our core institutional qualities -- a world-class faculty, outstanding students, superb staff, innovative programs, and accomplished alumni -- even stronger than before."

The UI Public Affairs office issued the following statement.

"The University just received notification of the ABA's actions today and is reviewing the decision so that we may take appropriate measures to comply and move forward. When the University learned of data irregularities in the College of Law class profile, it immediately reported them to the ABA, initiated an effort to investigate and correct the inaccuracies, and fully cooperated with an ABA review.

The College of Law has remedied the violations giving rise to this action, is currently in full compliance with applicable ABA standards, and has taken corrective action intended to prevent such issues in the future. We are disappointed by the sanctions imposed by the Council but relieved to put this difficult chapter behind us. The University of Illinois College of Law remains one of the premiere law schools in the nation, providing our students a world-class legal education."

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