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Board to decide UT president’s fate Thursday

By   /   July 7, 2014  /   No Comments

Part 22 of 44 in the series Trouble in Texas

POWERS-LESS: University of Texas President Bill Powers faces dismissal Thursday.

By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org

It’s official.

The firing of University of Texas President Bill Powers is on the just-posted agenda for the Board of Regents meeting, to be held Thursday.

The decision follows three major reports on corruption in UT admissions decisions — two by Watchdog.org and one by Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa’s office — as well as some “additional information” on the subject Cigarroa has received.

Wednesday, Cigarroa and Vice Chancellor Pedro Reyes met with Powers and gave him an ultimatum: submit your resignation by the end of the week or face termination at the next week’s board meeting.

Cigarroa tired of Powers’ “abusive” and “dismissive” act years ago. In February 2010, he thought the relationship was “unsustainable,” and by August 2013 he asked for Powers’ resignation. In December 2013 he was again ready to push Powers out, but he relented. One reason is that there weren’t five votes on the nine-member board in favor of termination, but it was a close enough call to merit an all-day discussion in executive session.

In May, the chancellor’s office released a preliminary report on admissions favoritism, which was initially ignored by major media outlets, despite its compelling evidence of widespread favoritism. That week and the following week, Watchdog.org published reports showing children of lawmakers, lobbyists, donors and other well-connected people were getting into UT’s law school despite abysmal academic performance reflected in low scores on the Law School Admissions Test and repeated failure of the bar exam.

The board will also discuss the hundreds of thousands of dollars the university spends annually on giving away football tickets to legislators and donors, an issue Watchdog.org reported on last October.

Contact Jon Cassidy at jon@watchdog.org or @jpcassidy000.

Part of 44 in the series Trouble in Texas
  1. Texas’ Rep. Pitts announces retirement after improper influence story
  2. University of Texas regents show support for Wallace Hall
  3. Case against UT regent Wallace Hall is a sham — here’s proof
  4. Texas senator got $477k for supposed ‘cameo’ appearance in Wallace Hall lawsuit
  5. Lawmaker admits pulling strings on UT admissions
  6. Trustee accused of crime for rejecting dodgy accounting
  7. Longhorns: Senator used clout in UT law school admissions
  8. Children of Texas lawmakers get into UT School of Law, but struggle to pass bar exam
  9. Chancellor is probing favoritism in UT admissions
  10. UT report: Charge against Hall is legally ‘absurd’
  11. Attorney in UT case hides six-figure charges despite terms of contract
  12. University of Texas clout scandal grows as new e-mails surface
  13. Four more get into UT Law despite low LSATs
  14. Reports on UT favoritism, impeachment expected soon
  15. Attorney: Secret tape covered up by lawmakers proves regent’s innocence
  16. Dozens of UT Law’s least qualified students are connected politically
  17. University of Texas uncovers admissions corruption, halts investigation
  18. UT admissions: Straus, Branch, Pitts pulled strings
  19. Who got the 128? UT Law admits students with bad LSAT scores
  20. Patrick’s win may doom Hall impeachment effort
  21. Chancellor promises complete investigation of UT admissions
  22. Board to decide UT president’s fate Thursday
  23. Texas politicians smarten up, ditch UT pres this time around
  24. Tribune story may have doomed UT’s Powers
  25. Academics condone the privilege they denounce
  26. Three essential stories on the UT admissions scandal
  27. Texas AG Greg Abbott embraces Roe v. Wade
  28. Roe v. Wade is AG’s new pretext for blocking Texas law school investigation
  29. Two UT regents pressed for records destruction
  30. New crime invented for Hall: assisted guesswork
  31. Texas lawmaker failed to disclose his own clout letter in UT flap
  32. Texas legislator Fischer insists on role in UT investigation
  33. Hutchison pulled strings for friends’ kids and grandkids at UT
  34. Ex-UT Law dean’s credit card bill: $400k in four years
  35. Abbott’s UT picks are pro-affirmative action
  36. Report: University of Texas showed favoritism to thousands
  37. Kroll ignored hundreds of weak UT applications
  38. Billionaire defends UT admissions privileges for ‘leaders’
  39. Weak admissions to University of Texas Law increased after Sager’s ouster
  40. Kroll report takes dig at Watchdog.org
  41. Hicks won’t stop UT’s backdoor admits
  42. Texas governor’s wife was on UT nominee’s payroll
  43. Bill to limit UT oversight clears committee
  44. UT regent blasts speaker for ‘abuse of office’

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Jon Cassidy is the Texas bureau chief for Watchdog.org. He also writes a weekly column on politics for The American Spectator. He was formerly a reporter and editor for The Orange County Register in California and a reporter at The Hill in Washington, D.C. His work has been published by Fox News, Reason, The Federalist, Human Events, and other publications. He is a 2014 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow and a graduate of the University of Southern California. He and his wife Michelle live just outside Houston with their two children.


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