As Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has embarked upon a bold set of higher education reforms, including the appointment of high-profile conservative Christopher Rufo to the board of one institution, conservative Texans have wondered whether their own governor would follow suit. Gov. Greg Abbott has now answered that question.
Amid the clamor of an ongoing legislative session, earlier this month Abbott quietly renominated Janiece Longoria and James “Rad” Weaver for a second term on the University of Texas Board of Regents. In addition, Austinite Robert Gauntt replaces Dallas businessman Steve Hicks.
Longoria, a Houston attorney, and Weaver, a San Antonio businessman (with ties to the Federal Reserve), have served on the university’s oversight board since 2017. During Longoria and Weaver’s first term, the university has found itself at the center of repeated controversy. Limited strictly to UT-Austin, a sample of what has occurred includes:
- The emergence of antifa on campus in 2017
- The assault of conservative students supporting Brett Kavenaugh in 2018
- The doxxing of conservative students in 2019
- The football team’s refusal to stand for “The Eyes of Texas” in 2020
- The strangling of an independent conservative think tank in 2021-22
- The implementation of an all-encompassing DEI bureaucracy in all facets of university life, throughout this time
Beyond the Austin flagship, the University of Texas system includes an additional 13 campuses. Among those is UT-Southwestern medical center in Dallas. For many years, UT-Southwestern was an epicenter in the child transgender industrial complex through its GENECIS program.
Abbott’s appointments to the board of regents are subject to approval by the Texas Senate.
The Texas Senate Nominations Committee is expected to hold a confirmation hearing shortly. Those concerned can contact nominations chair Donna Campbell.