By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org
A report on admissions favoritism at the University of Texas is nearly finished and is expected to be released within the next week or so.
At the same time, a legislative committee that has targeted UT regent Wallace Hall for abuse, even possible impeachment, has its own report prepared by attorney Rusty Hardin just about ready.
According to sources familiar with the matter, committee leaders are looking at using the Hardin report to blunt the impact of the UT report on favoritism.
A draft of the admissions favoritism report is now in UT President Bill Powers’ office, which is suggesting revisions, as the report’s findings are certain to embarrass him.
Sources who’ve seen the draft copy say it demonstrates that applicants who had a lawmaker intervene on their behalf with top university officials were far more likely to gain admission than an applicant without those connections.
Nobody can predict whether the legislative committee will ultimately decide to release the Hardin report right after the clout report in an attempt to steal back the headlines. But if it does, newspaper editors should be ready to recognize the attempt to manipulate them.
It should be obvious which story is the important new development and which is the rehash. So far, we know of about 10 people who appear to have benefited from clout, but this is the first systematic look at the issue, even if the sample size isn’t enormous.
The other story has been done to death, with hundreds of column inches dedicated to complaints about paperwork and nonsensical quibbling about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
The persecution of Wallace Hall has been a classic inside-baseball story, well covered despite its low interest to the public because of its importance. But if it can be proven deserving kids are losing their place at a public university to privileged ones, that’s something they’ll care about. And they’ll care about it not because of any of the politics or personalities that reporters have been covering; they’ll care about it because it matters.
Contact Jon Cassidy at email@example.com or @jpcassidy000. If you would like to send him documents or messages anonymously, download the Tor browser and go to our SecureDrop submission page: http://5bygo7e2rpnrh5vo.onion
- Texas’ Rep. Pitts announces retirement after improper influence story
- University of Texas regents show support for Wallace Hall
- Case against UT regent Wallace Hall is a sham — here’s proof
- Texas senator got $477k for supposed ‘cameo’ appearance in Wallace Hall lawsuit
- Lawmaker admits pulling strings on UT admissions
- Trustee accused of crime for rejecting dodgy accounting
- Longhorns: Senator used clout in UT law school admissions
- Children of Texas lawmakers get into UT School of Law, but struggle to pass bar exam
- Chancellor is probing favoritism in UT admissions
- UT report: Charge against Hall is legally ‘absurd’
- Attorney in UT case hides six-figure charges despite terms of contract
- University of Texas clout scandal grows as new e-mails surface
- Four more get into UT Law despite low LSATs
- Reports on UT favoritism, impeachment expected soon
- Attorney: Secret tape covered up by lawmakers proves regent’s innocence
- Dozens of UT Law’s least qualified students are connected politically
- University of Texas uncovers admissions corruption, halts investigation
- UT admissions: Straus, Branch, Pitts pulled strings
- Who got the 128? UT Law admits students with bad LSAT scores
- Patrick’s win may doom Hall impeachment effort
- Chancellor promises complete investigation of UT admissions
- Board to decide UT president’s fate Thursday
- Texas politicians smarten up, ditch UT pres this time around
- Tribune story may have doomed UT’s Powers
- Academics condone the privilege they denounce
- Three essential stories on the UT admissions scandal
- Texas AG Greg Abbott embraces Roe v. Wade
- Roe v. Wade is AG’s new pretext for blocking Texas law school investigation
- Two UT regents pressed for records destruction
- New crime invented for Hall: assisted guesswork
- Texas lawmaker failed to disclose his own clout letter in UT flap
- Texas legislator Fischer insists on role in UT investigation
- Hutchison pulled strings for friends’ kids and grandkids at UT
- Ex-UT Law dean’s credit card bill: $400k in four years