Equality of Access

  1. Third party inquiries. Sometimes, persons other than applicants or their parents/guardians, coaches, 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.
    1. 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.
    2. The standard response to inquiries received by units outside of Admission is: “The Admission staff handles undergraduate admission issues at UIS. Regarding your inquiry, please contact the Associate Provost for Enrollment Management, who oversees all Enrollment Management units at UIS, by phone 217.206.8157. That’s where all inquiries would stop Guiding Principles for Admission Processes 2 because undergraduate decisions are made in Admission. I want to make you aware that your inquiry will be logged.”
    3. 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, contact the Associate Provost for Enrollment Management at 217.206.6581. I want to make you aware that your inquiry will be logged.”
    4. If there is any question about whether an inquiry regarding an applicant is a “third-party inquiry” or a legitimate, appropriate communication, the inquiry first should be directed to the Associate Provost for Enrollment Management, who will determine who should respond. If an immediate response is warranted, the Associate Provost may request that the Associate Chancellor for Public Affairs speak directly with the third party if the Associate Provost for Enrollment Management is unavailable.
    5. The Associate Provost’s role after receiving such inquiries is to maintain the integrity of the admission process. The Associate Provost will inform all third parties that UIS has clear admission standards and policies and that the admission staff will follow the processes in place to admit students. The Associate Provost will not notify the admission staff about any third-party inquiries.
    6. 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.
    7. Third parties will be informed by the Associate Provost that any such inquiry will be documented in a log that would be a “public document” under FOIA. Third party inquiries that are logged by staff outside of the Associate Provost for Enrollment Management’s office will be forwarded to the Associate Provost for Enrollment Management’s office for compilation. 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 for Admission and Academic Affairs staff and faculty (deans, department chairs/heads, department admission committees, department support staff) will be conducted by the Associate Provost for Enrollment Management and the UIS Admission Office during October of each year.
  2. Commitment to diversity & 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 Admission Reform Recommendations Report of September 22, 2009. 6.2.17