Give colleges some admissions liberty

Saturday, February 5, 2011; 6:06 PM

Out-of-state enrollment at Virginia's public universities is again controversial in Richmond ["Making room for Va.'s own at top schools," Metro, Jan. 30]. Four decades ago, one state senator referred to out-of-state students as "refugees from the Ivy League." Roughly one-third of the University of Virginia's student body was then, and is still today, from out of state - creating the diversity and the financial support that have propelled Virginia into its consistent competition with the University of California at Berkeley as the nation's top public university.

Twenty years ago, a financial "train wreck" in Richmond led U-Va. to seek independent guarantees of financial support. Unless Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) and the General Assembly wish to provide long-term, immutable promises of support, they should leave admissions to President Teresa Sullivan and her colleagues around the commonwealth.

This proud Wahoo (and taxpayer) does not want rank politics to harm Mr. Jefferson's university.

John E. Valliere, Montclair

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