Yesterday evening the Austin American Statesman published an email between University of Texas Regents Wallace Hall and Paul Foster, in which Hall lays out his explanation of why he has been so dogged in his pursuit of reform at UT, even in the face of attacks from legislators and the media. Despite the Statesman’s misleading report regarding the email, the contents of the email lay out some shocking accusations:

  • Hall believes there has been a coordinated attempt by legislators and others to cover up the truth about scandals raging at the University of Texas.
  • University of Texas Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa first expressed an inability to work with University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers as early as 2010.
  • When asked to make plans for his voluntary retirement as President, Powers made demands of the UT Board of Regents that the Board was unable to deliver. When Powers was told that forced dismissal was not in the interest of the University, he stated that he did not care.
  • A majority of the members of the UT Board of Regents as well as Chancellor Cigarroa and Vice Chancellor Reyes agreed as late as December 2013 that there was a need to end President Powers’ tenure.
  • University of Texas President Bill Powers levied a threat at UT Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa in the presence of UT Vice Chancellor Pedro Reyes that compromised Cigarroa’s ability to perform his duties. This threat shortly preceded Cigarroa’s announcement of his own retirement.
  • Following the threat, Cigarroa prevented the Board of Regents from hearing a recommendation from Vice Chancellor Reyes that Powers be removed as President. Reyes apparently remains firm in his recommendation.
  • UT Board of Regents Chairman Paul Foster has refused to allow the Board to take an up-or-down vote on Powers’ employment due to pledges Foster made to a Senate committee.

These accusations come in light of growing evidence of financial malfeasance and clout abuse at the University of Texas at Austin under Powers’ tenure. Despite this, a political committee of the Texas House working in conjunction with the media continue to attack Regent Hall for conducting his investigation of the scandals.

University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall’s email to University of Texas Board of Regents Chairman Paul Foster can be read in full here.

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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