"And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart."
Yesterday's Dallas Morning News reconfirmed everything Watchdog reported on over a year ago:
AUSTIN – Dozens of highly influential Texans – including lawmakers, millionaire donors and university regents – helped under-qualified students get into the University of Texas at Austin, often by writing to UT officials, records show.Read the whole thing here.
Among those who wrote directly to then-President Bill Powers and then-Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, bypassing the admissions office, were famed golfer and UT grad Ben Crenshaw, former UT regent H. Scott Caven Jr., Austin lawyer Roy Minton and Sens. Kevin Eltife and Carlos Uresti, records obtained by The Dallas Morning News show.
Dozens of others, many of them famous UT alumni, also helped tip the scales. They include House Speaker Joe Straus, former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, former regents Jess Hay and Thomas Hicks, former chairman of the state University Coordinating Board Larry Temple and former UT quarterback Randy McEachern.
The Kroll report found that the students were admitted by Powers, and it suggested that political or personal connections may have influenced the decision
The admissions issue and suggestions of favoritism have become a flashpoint on the UT governing board. Regent Wallace Hall of Dallas has relentlessly questioned the administration and pushed for the ouster of Powers, who stepped down in June.
House Speaker Straus wrote to the director of the admissions office in November 2012 requesting consideration of the daughter of a close family friend. Later in 2013, Straus directed a committee to investigate Hall, who had doggedly been pursuing investigations into UT operations.
Hicks, the Dallas multimillionaire who once owned the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars, is a former UT regent and brother to current UT regent Steve Hicks. Tom Hicks wrote to the office of admissions in 2011 on behalf of an applicant whose grandparents “have been longtime generous supporters of UT-Austin.”