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House Committee Wants UT Regents To Hold Off On Any Action Against Pres. Bill Powers

Marsha Miller
University of Texas

This Thursday, the University of Texas Board of Regents is planning to discuss the possible resignation of UT at Austin President Bill Powers or his termination.

Powers was the focal point of embattled Regent Wallace Hall’s independent investigation over claims that Powers had been involved in admissions fixing for certain lawmaker's children.

After the Texas House Select Committee on Transparency in Government Agency Operations voted to move forward with impeachment of Hall, UT Chairman Paul Foster asked Hall to resign and announced they would be conducting a full investigation of whether admissions fixing had occurred.  

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, who sits on the House transparency committee, said they have asked that UT take no action at this time.

"I would think in this situation everybody would exercise extreme caution and not take any unnecessary risk," Martinez Fischer said. "Why the UT system would continue to move forward absent a compelling and transparent reason is a little surprising.”

Committee Co-Chairs Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Canton, and Rep. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, sent regents another letter reminding them Powers is a key witness in the Legislature’s investigation of Hall.

“And that testimony that he has given and the level of cooperation that he has provided may have been contrary to the interests of the UT system," Martinez Fischer said. "I certainly hope he is not being retaliated against."

The original investigation of admissions fixing showed no wrongdoing. Regents then launched a second investigation, of which no results have been made public.