University of California Regent Richard Blum, a wealthy San Francisco financier, wrote an “inappropriate letter of support” to help a student get into UC Berkeley despite the applicant’s uncompetitive ratings by university staff and an initial denial of admission, according to the California state auditor’s office.
The case was identified this week in an 82-page state audit on UC’s admission process, which found that four campuses had admitted at least 64 students between academic years 2013-14 and 2018-19 using inappropriate factors to select them, such as connections to donors, staff or alumni.
The audit report referred to one “particularly problematic” case involving an unnamed UC regent. The California State Auditor’s office has identified that person to The Times as Blum, the husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and a Berkeley alumnus who has given his alma mater millions of dollars over the years.
Blum, who has served as a regent since 2002, declined to comment. Feinstein had no comment, spokesman Tom Mentzer said.
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