Education
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UT Regent Uncovered Waste, Fraud And Abuse… And Might Be Fired For It

Photo of Robby Soave
Robby Soave
Reporter

Days after taking office as a regent of the University of Texas, Wallace Hall began making discoveries that pointed toward considerable administrative wrongdoing, questionable admissions decisions and misuse of public funds.

Three years later, UT-Austin President Bill Powers and his friends in the Texas legislature are doing everything they can to silence Hall–and may take the unprecedented step of forcibly removing him from office.

As a pretext, administrators have claimed that Hall’s insatiable demand for UT records (he has requested that over 800,000 pages of documents be made public) hampered university operations.

“It’s time that there’s some action that has to be taken,” said Democratic Rep. Carol Alvarado, chair of the House transparency committee, in a statement to the Houston Chronicle.

Her committee is considering a move to impeach Hall, and has asked him to step down.

Hall has maintained that he is not beholden to lawmakers, but to the public–who deserve to know the truth about the improper dealings of UT administrators.

Hall’s records requests have led to several troubling discoveries. First he uncovered an off-the-books forgivable loan payment made from the university’s Law School Foundation to UT School of Law Dean Larry Sager, according to The Daily Texas.

Sager resigned, but Powers denied knowledge of the illicit payment.

But Hall discovered more. He turned up evidence that the law school was admitting underqualified students–many of whom appear to be friends and relatives of former and current lawmakers.

His findings were corroborated by Jon Cassidy, Texas bureau chief of Watchdog.org. Cassidy reviewed UT law school admissions data as well as Texas bar passage rates, and discovered an undeniable correlation.

“Nobody who deserves his place at the best law school in Texas should be failing the state’s easy bar exam, and certainly not twice,” Cassidy told The Daily Caller. “I found 90 UT Law grads who failed it twice, and at least two dozen of them have connections either to Laredo, home of a Democratic state senator who dominates education issues here, or the leadership circle of Speaker Joe Straus. Straus is perhaps the only man in America who would meet a literal and technical definition of RINO, as he was elected in a coup by Democrats and a few Republican sellouts, whom he made committee chairs.”