UT System to Take Another Look at UT-Austin Admissons

UT System to Take Another Look at UT-Austin Admissons

If you’re even slightly familiar with the years-long tensions surrounding UT-Austin, the UT System, and the state capitol, you’ve probably come across one word with surprising regularity: investigation. Regent Wallace Hall is being investigated (and possibly impeached) by the Texas Legislature for his own, highly unusual and some say damaging investigations of UT-Austin. Those investigations have spurred System-wide reviews, inquiries by the state Attorney General, and third party probes.

UT System chancellor Francisco Cigarroa added another to the list last Friday. In an interview with the Texas Tribune, Cigarroa confirmed that the System will seek a full external review of admissions practices at UT-Austin, specifically concerning legislative influence over the admissions process.

The System has already conducted a limited review of legislative influence in admissions, and has announced a System-wide look into admissions. This investigation would be the second review of UT-Austin admissions, and the first full external review. In May, the limited inquiry into legislator’s letters of recommendation found no evidence of a systematic process for favoring UT applicants recommended by legislators, but that the letters did give applicants an advantage.

Hall and his lawyers, as well as outside groups like Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, have accused legislators of peddling influence at the state’s flagship university over the course of legislators’ own investigation of Hall’s actions (or his investigations). The committee charged with Hall’s case has voted that grounds to impeach the regent do exist, and are currently drafting proposed articles of impeachment. Meanwhile, it looks like the investigations—and follow-up investigations, counter-investigations, and investigations of investigations—will continue.

Photo courtesy UT-Austin.


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