The Texas Bureau of is at it again, this time breaking the news that former University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers will be entitled to return to UT Law school at a hefty salary. Due to his contract with the University, Powers will return to the law school and is guaranteed to receive compensation equal to the current highest paid member of the faculty. That means he should make in the ballpark of $250,000 per year. In addition, he will be entitled to take a year of paid vacation before he has to actually go back to work.

That’s a pretty soft landing for a man who corrupted UT’s admission system and disgraced himself and the University.

Powers has defended his admission scheme of letting under-qualified students who were connected to donors and politicians into the University on the basis that he merely expanded the size of each incoming class to accommodate the additional admissions, rather than depriving some student who would have gotten in a spot. Since it is apparently so easy to expand an incoming class by a couple of dozen students, I have a modest proposal for Powers and the new UT Austin administration:

Next year, there will be 25 Texas high school students who will apply to go to UT and to become Longhorns who will have their dreams dashed when they are denied. Those students who are “on the bubble,” who will lose out at an opportunity to come to Austin, will be told that they didn’t get in because there were too many students in line in front of them who were more qualified and more deserving.

But we now know that may not be true. Some of the students who are denied admission very well may be more qualified. And some of the students who are granted admission will get in because they are more connected.

So, I am proposing that Powers’ annual salary be split into 25 scholarships of $10,000 each. That’s about the cost of a year’s tuition at UT Austin. The 25 Texas high school students who were on the bubble and were going to be rejected should be admitted, and should be given one of the scholarships to pay for their freshman year.

That seems like a fair consolation for being subjected to (and almost rejected by) an unfair admissions system that favors the politically connected over the superiorly qualified.

That, or we could pay Bill Powers a quarter million dollars to go on vacation…

Tony McDonald

Tony McDonald serves as General Counsel to Texas Scorecard. A licensed and practicing attorney, Tony specializes in the areas of civil litigation, legislative lawyering, and non-profit regulatory compliance. Tony resides in Austin with his wife and daughter and attends St. Paul Lutheran Church.