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Letter to the Editor: UC approach to student code violations remains unfairly stagnant

By Velma Montoya

Sept. 18, 2019 1:19 a.m.

Dear Editor,

I am responding to the editorial published earlier this month titled “UCLA’s prosecution of conduct code violations can be arbitrary without oversight.”

Based in Washington, D.C. in the mid-1990s and a newly minted University of California Regent, I would often take UC student interns to lunch at a restaurant outside Dupont Circle. One day a UCLA student was crying – the vice chancellor for Student Affairs had accused her of plagiarism and was about to dismiss her from the university.

I asked the UC administration that the student be allowed a hearing. Then-UCLA Chancellor Charles Young let my regental colleagues know that this regent was overstepping her bounds. But I persisted.

The student hired a lawyer, the hearing exonerated her and the student went on to graduate from UCLA with straight A’s. Further, despite my advice that a law career treats women badly, the student graduated from a prominent local law school and is currently a successful Los Angeles lawyer.

I am disappointed to learn that UC procedures have not changed regarding alleged student code violations. It should not take a regent’s intervention to provide a hearing for an accused student.

Velma Montoya, Ph.D.

UC regent emerita

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