U of I Chairman Tries to Deflect Clout Involvement

Niranjan Shah "embarrassed" by e-mails, records

The chairman of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees says he never pushed to admit any relatives to the school.

Niranjan Shah testified Tuesday before the state's Admissions Review Commissions. He says no public officials ever asked for his help in admitting an applicant to the university's flagship Champaign-Urbana campus.

University records indicate Shah made inquiries on behalf of university applicants.

Shah said he was "embarrassed" by the e-mails and records. He said he didn't mean to ask for any favors and blamed them on the secretery at his engineering firm.

Gov. Pat Quinn formed the commission after published reports the university tracked politically connected applicants through a list known as Category I. The newspaper said some underqualified members of the list were granted admission.

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