NEW: URI responds to Malcolm Jones scandal
Monday, February 25, 2013
Saying it has already take a “series of actions” to prevent such an instance in the future, the university said that Malcolm Jones was admitted through its Performance Based Admission Program at its Providence-based College of Continuing Education for this spring semester and, because the question was never asked during the admission process, was unaware that he had just served an eight-month prison sentence for armed robbery.
Malcolm Jones was on parole as of September of last year and, according to the school, would not have been assigned to an on-campus residence hall had his criminal record been known and wouldn’t had been accepted to the University.
“The student lived on campus from January 29 - February 2,” URI said in a statement. “Upon learning of his prior convictions, the University took immediate action. He was asked to move out of the residence hall and he did so immediately, and willingly.”
The University also said that, after an internal audit, Carnell Jones “did not influence the admission process, nor did he participate in seeking on-campus housing for his son.”
Carnell Jones had applied for and received a tuition waiver for his son before withdrawing it due to a “lack of clarity” between the program’s policy and IRS regulations regarding dependency eligibility.
Carnell Jones says he still supports his son and hopes his enrollment at URI helps Malcolm turn his life around.
“The University has resources that will help to guide my son and other students here who need that helping hand,” he said. “My son is a bright, young man with a curious nature and a big heart, and I love him very much. He clearly needs direction, and my hope is that he seizes this opportunity at URI to make a fresh start. He has served his time and paid his debt. I believe that this community would embrace any young man who is trying to better himself.”
URI has said that the scandal has led to a number of changes with the way the university handles admissions.
For one, the university says it has “addressed” the omission of a question regarding criminal history in the PBA program. In addition, URI says it is crafting a written policy to govern students with a criminal history living in the residence halls.
Lastly, the university says the issues raised due to the tuition waiver form are “system-wide” and need be addressed “as part of a broader review of tuition waivers at the three public institutions.”
“The University's application process will now require students who apply to CCE to indicate whether they have been convicted of a misdemeanor, felony or other crime, which will bring consistency to the process already in place for Undergraduate Admission in Kingston,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Donald H. DeHayes said. “It was an important step that was omitted from the CCE admission application process.”
"We have dedicated staff who work diligently to deliver the academic, residential and administrative functions of the University at the highest level possible,” he added. “We also readily acknowledge when mistakes are made and take immediate corrective action to address them."
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