In keeping with the University of Illinois Board of Trustees resolution 9a, which was approved on September 10, 2009, UIS adheres to the following guiding principles for admission processes: fairness to applicants, transparency of process, and equality of access.*
Fairness to Applicants
UIS has not in the past and does not now use a “special” tracking system to identify applicants about whom third party inquiries have been made.
Transparency of Process
Admission criteria: General criteria for admission to UIS are listed on the UIS Admission website and in the UIS online catalog. The admission requirements for specific degree programs are found in the UIS online catalog. These admission standards are based on policies established by the faculty and are updated regularly from feedback provided by academic programs.
Appeals system: Freshmen and transfer students whose admission has been denied may, in certain circumstances, appeal the decision. Graduate departments vary in terms of whether they have appeals processes, and, if so, the specific process the department uses. Information about the appeals process is posted on the UIS Admission website.
Code of Conduct: The UIS Admission Office adheres to the University Code of Conduct and the University of Illinois Admissions Code of Conduct. Links to these system-wide policies are posted on the UIS Admission website.
Equality of Access
Third party inquiries: Sometimes, persons other than applicants or their parents/guardians, counselors, or appropriate academic personnel will inquire about the status of someone’s application for admission, or they will provide unsolicited letters of recommendation, or they will encourage the university to admit these students.
For purposes of this policy, UIS defines a “third party” as anyone, internal or external to the university, who does not have a direct role in the academic programs or the admission of students to the university.
The standard response to inquiries received by units outside of Admission is: “The Admission staff oversees admission matters at UIS. Regarding your inquiry, please contact the Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Retention Management by phone (217-206-8157) or email (email@example.com)." All third-party inquiries will be logged.
The standard response to third party inquiries received by Admission staff is: “Thank you for your inquiry. Our policy does not allow us to release information to a third-party. If you wish to discuss this further, you may contact the Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Retention Management by phone (217-206-8157) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please be aware that all third-party inquiries will be logged."
If there is a question about whether an inquiry regarding an applicant is a “third-party inquiry” or is a legitimate and appropriate communication, the inquiry should first be directed to the Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Retention Mangement, who will determine who should respond.
The Vice Chancellor's role after receiving such inquiries is to maintain the integrity of the admission process. The Vice Chancellor will inform all third parties that UIS has clear admission standards and policies and that the appropriate staff will follow the processes in place to admit students. The Vice Chancellor will not notify staff about any third-party inquiries.
Unsolicited letters of recommendation or other similar communications (e.g., phone calls or emails) that are not part of the admission process will not be considered by those responsible for making admission decisions, nor will they become part of a prospective student’s application for admission.
Third party inquiries must be forwarded to the Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Retention Management. Third parties will be informed by the Vice Chancellor that all inquiries will be documented in a log that would be a “public document” under FOIA. At the conclusion of each academic year, the log will be reviewed by the Chancellor and the Chair of the Campus Senate. Training on the UIS third party inquiry process will be overseen by the Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Retention Management.
Commitment to Diversity and Inclusiveness: UIS is committed to ensuring admission processes for students and hiring practices for staff, including admission officers, address diversity and inclusiveness.
*These guiding principles were adapted from the October 20, 2009, response to the AdmissionReform Recommendations Report of September 22, 2009. Review Dates: June 2, 2017, September 18, 2023.