Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Stick to the ‘script

At this month?s meeting of the University of Wisconsin Board
of Regents, UW System President Kevin Reilly unveiled a proposal to create a
dual transcript for students graduating from UW schools. This supposedly new
and improved transcript would add a list of extracurricular activities to the
traditional tabulation of courses taken and grades received, and if adopted,
would apparently be a first-of-its-kind in the nation for a state university
system like Wisconsin?s.

Though the plan is in its infancy, our initial inclination
is to view the dual transcript with a dose of skepticism. Fact is, the ?dual?
aspect of the new transcript already exists. It?s called a resume, and it
allows graduates to present employers with a complete (albeit brief) picture of
themselves, from relevant skills to work experience to extracurricular
activities.

Certainly, it would be naive to think nobody has ever fibbed
or stretched the truth on their resume, and this fact is likely one of the
driving motivations behind the dual transcript. But is UW in any better
position to validate students? claims than employers? For official
school-sanctioned activities perhaps the answer is yes, but what about jobs,
internships and volunteer pursuits not affiliated with the university? Will the
school call an agent associated with every job or activity a student lists on
his dual transcript to verify dates of employment or participation and
activities performed?

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It seems the school would need a massive apparatus to ensure
dual transcripts are accurate and not duplicitous. Even then, exaggerations and
falsehoods would surely fall through the cracks. Ordinarily, a student would
vouch for the veracity of his resume. But a dual transcript would be an
official university document, one that the school certifies to the world as a
credible representation of a student?s life outside the classroom. That is an
awfully large burden for a university to take upon itself.

While Mr. Reilly will surely provide additional details in
the future, we are unconvinced that employers ? through the use of interviews
and reference checks ? are not capable of appropriately vetting graduates.
Students who avail themselves of the myriad opportunities available in and
around campus are doing themselves a great service. But it is a student?s
independent choice to seek out and make the most of such opportunities. In a
sense, the student ?owns? his extracurricular career. The university, on the
other hand, ?owns? the student?s academic record, and this only it should
ensure.

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