By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org
The two people nominated by Gov. Greg Abbott to join the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System support affirmative action.
On Thursday, Abbott nominated Sara Martinez Tucker of Laredo, head of an education nonprofit and a former U.S. undersecretary of education, as well as David Beck, a prominent Houston attorney and a founding member of the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education, a group formed to oppose education reform proposals put forward by the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation and to defend the university’s president, Bill Powers, from criticism.
Martinez Tucker and Beck signed their names to a friend-of-the-court brief filed in a 2013 case before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding affirmative action known as Fisher v. UT. The brief argued in favor of affirmative action at UT, and the list of signers reads like an invite list to a Powers’ Christmas party.
As attorney general, Abbott represented UT in the early stages of the litigation but dropped out in 2012, apparently at Powers’ request. There was speculation at the time Abbott didn’t want to have to explain his defense of affirmative action during a run for governor.
Abbott also nominated Stephen Hicks, another friend of Powers, to serve another term on the board.
The nominees must still be confirmed by the state Senate, which is now run by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has called for investigations into UT’s admissions practices.
The pro-Powers nominations come as little surprise, as Abbott sat on an investigation into the UT Law School foundation for nearly two years. When Deputy Attorney General John Scott produced a highly critical report, the Attorney General’s office withheld it until the 11th hour — Dec. 31 of last year.
Affirmative actions policies at the University of Texas have been the subject of two major Supreme Court decisions.
Contact Jon Cassidy at [email protected] or @jpcassidy000.
- 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
- Abbott’s UT picks are pro-affirmative action
- Report: University of Texas showed favoritism to thousands
- Kroll ignored hundreds of weak UT applications
- Billionaire defends UT admissions privileges for ‘leaders’
- Weak admissions to University of Texas Law increased after Sager’s ouster
- Kroll report takes dig at Watchdog.org
- Hicks won’t stop UT’s backdoor admits
- Texas governor’s wife was on UT nominee’s payroll
- Bill to limit UT oversight clears committee
- UT regent blasts speaker for ‘abuse of office’
- Texas politician rebuts himself with apparently plagiarized letter
- Pay-to-play scandal involves UT dean, Texas Exes
- Supreme Court asked to look at UT’s backdoor admissions program
- Lawmakers want UT applications shielded from scrutiny
- McRaven makes UT scandal his own
- An open letter to Attorney General Ken Paxton on the UT cover-up
- Chancellor Bill McRaven’s UT cover-up has no defenders
- UT’s back door still open, but can’t stay secret, AG rules
- Whitewash: Kroll left dozens of bad LSATs out of UT report
- McRaven’s defense to Hall lawsuit refuted by own words
- Ready for the end of affirmative action?
- UT admissions scandal is 10 times bigger than official report
- McRaven trolls Dallas Morning News
- Powers to get top salary at UT Law
- UT sues to block Watchdog access to admissions investigation
- UT approves ‘Spinal Tap’ policy for backdoor admissions
- Admissions survey: No, UT, everybody doesn’t do it
- UT admissions scandal prompts new investigation
- Ticket scandal a black mark for UT, DA
- Showdown over UT cover-up nears end
- McRaven’s rationale for UT cover-up denounced by regents, AG
- High court to decide if University of Texas can deep-six investigation
- High court hears arguments on whether UT can bury investigation
- Testimony by UT contradicts story fed high court
- These ‘horns ain’t loyal, McRaven finds
- UT’s Hall challenges Abbott over board picks
- Texas Supreme Court nullifies rule of law; impunity to reign
- The battle for the Kroll records goes on