Provost Albert Carnesale yesterday issued the University's strongest and most extensive defense yet of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences's (FAS) recent decision to rescind an offer of admission to Gina Grant when it learned that she had killed her monther in 1990.
The FAS admissions committee canceled the offer of early admission last week to Grant, a 19-year-old Cambridge Rindge and Latin School senior, after the University received newspaper clippings sent by an anonymous person that she had bludgeoned her mother to death in 1990.
The case has sparked a national debate around Grant, who served six months in a juvenile detention center after a judge ruled she had committed voluntary manslaughter.
In an interview yesterday, Carnesale expressed his confidence that the FAS committee made the right decision, given the facts.
"We have processes on admissions, we have a faculty standing committee that has a superb record, a superb record," Carnesale said. "And we have confidence in a group like this, and I think that the record indicates that they perform superbly."
"I'm certainly not going to comment on this specific case or its merits," Carnesale. "I don't have the information even that they have. But their record is pretty good."
Asked if the University was perhaps being too trusting, Carnesale said the committee's record merited it.
"This is their decision, and they have an excellent record at decisions such as this," the provost said. "There would have to be strong evidence to the contrary for me to believe that they made a mistake. I have no such evidence."
Carnesale also emphasized that he and President Neil L. Rudenstine are neither consultants to, or participants in, any admissions decisions--including the one to rescind the offer of admission to Grant.
Carnesale added that there is "no [precedent] that I'm aware of," for the president of the University to step in and reverse the decision of the Committee.
Asked if there was a policy that explicitly prohibiting the president from doing that, Carnesale said he was not sure.
"I've heard of such a thing," Carnesale said. "I have not seen it, I've heard it...I don't remember who said it. That's why I did not say it as if it were fact. I do know that [the president] does not participate as a matter of practice. I believe it may also be a matter of policy, but I'm not sure."
The provost also defended as standard procedure the committee's decision not to contact Grant before deciding to rescind her admission offer.
He denied that the circumstances of the case qualified the case as extraordinary.
"I mean, it's extraordinary in the interest of the news media because of the nature of the crime with which `Appalled'