Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Abbott's disappointing prospective UT Regents

"And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just."
Romans 3:8

Three University of Texas System regents are on Gov.-elect Greg Abbott’s short list for chairman of the UT board, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

They are Paul L. Foster, the current chairman of the Board of Regents, and Regents R. Steven Hicks and Jeffery D. Hildebrand. All three are friendly with Abbott, having donated six-figure sums to his campaign. Even more important, they have expressed a desire to dial back the turmoil and dysfunction that have characterized the UT board in recent years.

Hicks or Hildebrand might have the best shot at the chairmanship, according to the sources, who said Abbott might want a different face in that role to signal a new era. Of the two, Hicks appears to have the edge at this juncture, according to the sources, who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

“I think Abbott is very fond of Steve and knows Steve could do wonders in rebuilding relationships,” one source said.


Abbott, who will be inaugurated Jan. 20, will have a chance to put his stamp on the UT board in another way come Feb. 1, when the terms of Hicks and Regents Robert L. Stillwell and William Eugene “Gene” Powell expire. Unlike Hicks, the latter two are not expected to be reappointed.

Among the names being mentioned as possible appointees are Ardon Moore, who serves on the regents’ investment management board and is the chairman of Abbott’s inaugural committee; Charles Matthews, a retired vice president and general counsel for Exxon Mobil Corp.; and Jodie Jiles, an executive with Wheless Partners, an executive search firm.


Hicks has been perhaps the UT board’s strongest defender of the Austin campus and its president, Bill Powers, sparring from time to time in recent years with Powers’ severest critic and the board’s most controversial member, Wallace L. Hall Jr.
Read the whole thing here.

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