Grand jury to consider case against UT Regent Wallace L. Hall Jr.

A Travis County grand jury will consider possible criminal charges against University of Texas System Regent Wallace L. Hall Jr. “in the very near future,” the prosecutor leading the investigation said Thursday. Among the issues is whether Hall violated state law with his relentless pursuit of records from UT-Austin, his alma mater, and by disclosing confidential student information. The regent said Thursday that he was aware of the impending grand jury proceedings but is “very comfortable” with everything he has done. University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall, right, is interviewed by Evan Smith, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Tribune, left, ... Read More “It would be nicer if they said, ‘We’ll close the file,’” Hall said at an event sponsored by the Texas Tribune, adding that nobody likes to face a possible indictment.
 
Hall was appointed to a six-year term on the UT Board of Regents in 2011 by Gov. Rick Perry, who himself was indicted last month on two felony charges related to the Public Integrity Unit, the arm of the Travis County district attorney’s office that is investigating Hall. The governor is accused in connection with his threat — eventually carried out — to veto funding for the unit unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned after her drunken driving arrest.
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President search committee starts coming together

With President William Powers Jr. set to leave his position in June 2015, Paul Foster, UT System Board of Regents chairman, is in the process of forming a search committee to find candidates to replace him.
In July, Powers agreed with Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa to set his resignation for June 2015. Cigarroa initially asked Powers to resign in October, but Powers requested to stay on until after the 2015 legislative session.
At the regents meeting Thursday, Foster announced Pedro Reyes, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, and Larry Faulkner, who served as University president from 1998-2006, would both chair the committee. Foster also said an outside firm would be hired to help the committee identify candidates.
 
“I am asking the committee to bring to the board the broadest possible slate of highly-qualified, experienced and skilled leaders with exceptional dedication and talent necessary to lead the University of Texas at Austin,” Foster said. In accordance with the Regents’ Rules and Regulations, Foster said he will also select board members and System institution presidents to the committee as well as alumni and external members. Naval Adm. William McRaven, who will become System chancellor in January, has agreed to serve as one of the external members on the committee. In addition, a University dean will also serve on the committee, as elected by his fellow deans.
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Coalition Applauds UT System Board of Regents; Commends Choice of McRavens for UT System Chancellor

Today, The University of Texas System unanimously approved the appointment of Admiral William McRaven as the next chancellor of The University of Texas System. The Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education issued the following statement:
 
“Congratulations to the UT System Board of Regents on a dynamic pick to lead one of our state’s most important institutions, The University of Texas System. Admiral William McRaven has the passion, skills and leadership qualities necessary to lead the System into a future solely focused on delivering excellence in education, medicine and research for all Texans. With the new UT Rio Grande Valley, the Dell Medical School in Austin and the UT Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, the Board of Regents has helped usher in an exciting new era for the UT System, giving Chancellor McRaven a tremendous opportunity to make a profound impact on our state’s future.”
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Coalition Responds to Historic Vote to Admonish and Censure Regent Hall

Following the historic 6-1 vote to censure UT System Regent Wallace L. Hall Jr., the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education issued the following statement:

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Coalition Applauds Chancellor Pick, Calls McRaven a 'Proven Leader with a Strong Backbone'

Following the announcement that Admiral William McRaven was named the sole finalist for the position of chancellor of the University of Texas System, the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education issued the following statement:

“We applaud the selection of Adm. William McRaven as the next chancellor of the UT System, and commend the Board of Regents on its diligent search. McRaven is a proven leader with a strong backbone and the courage of his convictions and we believe he will stand up for what is right and in the best interests of higher education. His inspirational 2014 UT Austin commencement speech gave insight into the type of leader he will be – one who respects diverse viewpoints, values collaboration and brings unmatched tenacity to his work. We look forward with optimism that McRaven will usher in a new era marked by good governance, an emphasis on excellence in research and teaching, and a cooperative environment that allows the component institutions to do what they do best: educate Texans for the future. We look forward to working with and supporting Adm. McRaven as he advances the UT System to the benefit of all Texans.”

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  • Grand jury to consider case against UT Regent Wallace L. Hall Jr.

    A Travis County grand jury will consider possible criminal charges against University of Texas System Regent Wallace L. Hall Jr. “in the very near future,” the prosecutor leading the investigation said Thursday. Among the issues is whether Hall violated state law with his relentless pursuit of records from UT-Austin, his alma mater, and by disclosing confidential student information. The regent said Thursday that he was aware of the impending grand jury proceedings but is “very comfortable” with everything he has done. University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall, right, is interviewed by Evan Smith, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Tribune, left, ... Read More “It would be nicer if they said, ‘We’ll close the file,’” Hall said at an event sponsored by the Texas Tribune, adding that nobody likes to face a possible indictment.
     
    Hall was appointed to a six-year term on the UT Board of Regents in 2011 by Gov. Rick Perry, who himself was indicted last month on two felony charges related to the Public Integrity Unit, the arm of the Travis County district attorney’s office that is investigating Hall. The governor is accused in connection with his threat — eventually carried out — to veto funding for the unit unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned after her drunken driving arrest.
    Continue reading
  • President search committee starts coming together

    With President William Powers Jr. set to leave his position in June 2015, Paul Foster, UT System Board of Regents chairman, is in the process of forming a search committee to find candidates to replace him.
    In July, Powers agreed with Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa to set his resignation for June 2015. Cigarroa initially asked Powers to resign in October, but Powers requested to stay on until after the 2015 legislative session.
    At the regents meeting Thursday, Foster announced Pedro Reyes, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, and Larry Faulkner, who served as University president from 1998-2006, would both chair the committee. Foster also said an outside firm would be hired to help the committee identify candidates.
     
    “I am asking the committee to bring to the board the broadest possible slate of highly-qualified, experienced and skilled leaders with exceptional dedication and talent necessary to lead the University of Texas at Austin,” Foster said. In accordance with the Regents’ Rules and Regulations, Foster said he will also select board members and System institution presidents to the committee as well as alumni and external members. Naval Adm. William McRaven, who will become System chancellor in January, has agreed to serve as one of the external members on the committee. In addition, a University dean will also serve on the committee, as elected by his fellow deans.
    Continue reading

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