Now that a year has passed since they were appointed to the University of Texas System board of regents, Gov. Abbott’s appointees to the board are seen to be working against him, and against state law.

During the last legislative session, conservatives opposed the appointment of Houston attorney David Beck and education bureaucrat Sara Martinez Tucker and the reappointment of Steve Hicks to the board.

Last month the three regents voted to approve a policy eliminating second amendment rights in dorms at UT Austin. The move was contrary to state law and will likely precipitate a lawsuit that will cost students and taxpayers.

Unfortunately, this development shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Early last year, Andrew Hamilton, a preeminent scholar from Oxford University was considered the frontrunner for the UT President post that was being vacated by disgraced UT President Bill Powers. Powers had been caught red-handed trading admission to the university’s law school for favors from the states most powerful figures. Hamilton came with world class qualifications and offered a clean break from the corruption.

Midway through the search process, however, Abbott appointed Beck and Tucker to the board and reappointed Hicks.

The trio executed a coup and installed Greg Fenves, one of Powers’ top lieutenants, as President. Fenves’ elevation killed efforts at reform.

Abbott’s regents not only cut off efforts at reform, they actually institutionalized the policy of handing out admissions spots to influential donors and politicians, giving the chancellor the green light to continue the corrupt practice in extraordinary circumstances.

In June, in a dissent in the Fisher v. University of Texas case, three Supreme Court justices accused The University of Texas at Austin of having a “well documented absence of good faith.” The bold words followed false representations made to the nation’s top court by attorneys representing the university in defending its race-based admissions policies.

UT’s lawyers lied to the court about UT’s admissions policies in an attempt to cover up Powers’ pay for play admissions scandal. Abbott’s regents were complicit in these lies to the nation’s highest court and have succeeded in embarrassing UT alumni on a national and historical scale.

The forces in control of the University of Texas system are committed to advancing a left wing social agenda. Abbott’s appointees to the board are part of that left-wing group, and are willing to ignore the constitution, state law, and basic ethics in advancing their ideology.

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.


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