Coalition Echoes Call for Regent Hall To Go

The Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education issued the following statement in advance of tomorrow’s meeting of the Texas House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations at which Legislators will discuss the findings of the investigative report into the actions of UT System Regent Wallace L. Hall Jr.:

“Across Texas we have heard a steady drumbeat of voices echoing the same message: Regent Wallace L. Hall Jr. must go. This is not about politics and it is not about one university – this is about good governance for the entire state of Texas. There are 359 entities to which the Governor of Texas makes appointments or nominations, and there is an appropriate and permissible standard of conduct by which each must abide. The actions of Regent Hall are well outside the scope of permissible conduct. His reckless disregard for what is appropriate, permissible – and perhaps even legal – is not the behavior Texans deserve or expect from their public officials. His continued presence on the board of regents sends a dangerous signal that all appointees are not bound by propriety or law. For the sake of good governance and future leadership of our state, Regent Hall must go now.” 

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Higher Education Coalition Calls For Hall's Resignation

The Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education today called on University of Texas System Regent Wallace L. Hall Jr. to resign, citing a comprehensive investigation conducted for the Texas Legislature by an outside law firm, which concludes he has abused his office in ways the Coalition believes are creating a toxic distraction to higher education’s fundamental mission of educating students.
 
The report outlined a number of potentially impeachable offenses, including “unabated and burdensome requests for records,” “misuse of confidential student information,” “public criticism for UT Austin,” and “obstruction of legislative process,” including pressuring “UT System witnesses to alter testimony provided to the Committee.”
 
The Coalition issued the following statement calling for Hall’s resignation:
 
“The job of a regent is to set broad policy and hold administrators accountable, not to create havoc and a culture of intimidation. The primary focus of the Board of Regents right now needs to be on finding and recruiting the very best new chancellor to lead the University of Texas System into a future of continued and increasing excellence. Hall’s presence has become a toxic distraction that is threatening the environment for a chancellor search, creating turmoil on the UT Austin campus and undermining the credibility and integrity of the entire Board of Regents. Rather than put the State of Texas through the spectacle of an impeachment trial that would no doubt bring additional negative national publicity to Texas, Hall should do the right thing and resign.”
 
The Coalition is comprised of leading Texans with a lifelong commitment to higher education, including former presidents of UT Austin and Texas A&M, former members of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, a former UT System Chancellor, and former university regents and chairmen of the Board of Regents. The Coalition also includes CEOs of Texas companies, numerous business leaders, philanthropists and more than 400 concerned citizens.
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Report Chronicles Pattern of Abuse, Intimidation and Disregard for Rule of Law by Regent Hall

Following the public release of the “Investigative Report to the House Select Committee in State Agency Operations regarding Conduct by University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall and Impeachment Under the June 25, 2013 Proclamation,” the Coalition issued the following statement:

“The findings in this report indicate that Regent Hall has betrayed the public trust and abused his appointed position in vindictive and damaging ways. The behaviors and actions documented in this report are not consistent with the way Texans expect our state boards and agencies to be governed. The intimidation and harassment of state employees, the disregard for student privacy and the abuse of power uncovered in this investigation are deeply troubling and warrant further action. We applaud the Committee Members for their commitment to transparency and good governance, and encourage their continued focus on this critical matter.” 

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Coalition Responds to Cigarroa Resignation

On the heels of the resignation of the Chancellor of the University of Texas System, Francisco Cigarroa, the Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education issued the following statement:
 
“Chancellor Cigarroa’s resignation is a serious loss to the University of Texas System and higher education across Texas. Under Chancellor Cigarroa’s visionary leadership, the UT System has realized many important achievements in its academic and health institutions, and he is to be applauded and thanked for his service, particularly under increasingly challenging and divisive circumstances.
 
“We call on the UT System Board of Regents to conduct a thorough, diligent national search for the next Chancellor, and seek to identify an individual qualified for and experienced in managing the complexities of a statewide system inclusive of academic, research and medical institutions. The next chancellor of the UT System must have an appreciation for thorough input from all stakeholders in decision-making and a vision for the future of higher education in the evolving academic environment with the primary goal of enhanced excellence.
 
“We applaud Chancellor Cigarroa’s willingness to ensure continuity of leadership by staying on throughout the search for his successor. We encourage Chairman Paul Foster to continue making strides to improve the working environment at the UT System and between the campuses, and look forward to a search process devoid of political interference and focused on academic excellence.”
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Chancellor announces he is stepping down to return to medicine full time

University of Texas System (news release)
 
Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., a nationally renowned leader in higher education and pediatric transplant surgery, announced Monday morning that he will step down as head of The University of Texas System after a five-year tenure marked by groundbreaking accomplishments. Cigarroa will serve as chancellor until his successor is named, and afterward will become the head of pediatric transplant surgery at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. Cigarroa will also serve as a special liaison to the Board of Regents to advise on the development of the new University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and medical school, Chairman Paul Foster said.
 
Before being named the first Hispanic chancellor of the UT System in late 2008, Cigarroa served as president of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio from 2000 to 2008. Cigarroa said at a news conference Monday that it always had been his plan to return to medicine full time, but he did not know the perfect opportunity at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio would unexpectedly present itself in late 2013.
 
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  • Coalition Echoes Call for Regent Hall To Go

    The Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education issued the following statement in advance of tomorrow’s meeting of the Texas House Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations at which Legislators will discuss the findings of the investigative report into the actions of UT System Regent Wallace L. Hall Jr.:

    “Across Texas we have heard a steady drumbeat of voices echoing the same message: Regent Wallace L. Hall Jr. must go. This is not about politics and it is not about one university – this is about good governance for the entire state of Texas. There are 359 entities to which the Governor of Texas makes appointments or nominations, and there is an appropriate and permissible standard of conduct by which each must abide. The actions of Regent Hall are well outside the scope of permissible conduct. His reckless disregard for what is appropriate, permissible – and perhaps even legal – is not the behavior Texans deserve or expect from their public officials. His continued presence on the board of regents sends a dangerous signal that all appointees are not bound by propriety or law. For the sake of good governance and future leadership of our state, Regent Hall must go now.” 

    Continue reading
  • Higher Education Coalition Calls For Hall's Resignation

    The Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education today called on University of Texas System Regent Wallace L. Hall Jr. to resign, citing a comprehensive investigation conducted for the Texas Legislature by an outside law firm, which concludes he has abused his office in ways the Coalition believes are creating a toxic distraction to higher education’s fundamental mission of educating students.
     
    The report outlined a number of potentially impeachable offenses, including “unabated and burdensome requests for records,” “misuse of confidential student information,” “public criticism for UT Austin,” and “obstruction of legislative process,” including pressuring “UT System witnesses to alter testimony provided to the Committee.”
     
    The Coalition issued the following statement calling for Hall’s resignation:
     
    “The job of a regent is to set broad policy and hold administrators accountable, not to create havoc and a culture of intimidation. The primary focus of the Board of Regents right now needs to be on finding and recruiting the very best new chancellor to lead the University of Texas System into a future of continued and increasing excellence. Hall’s presence has become a toxic distraction that is threatening the environment for a chancellor search, creating turmoil on the UT Austin campus and undermining the credibility and integrity of the entire Board of Regents. Rather than put the State of Texas through the spectacle of an impeachment trial that would no doubt bring additional negative national publicity to Texas, Hall should do the right thing and resign.”
     
    The Coalition is comprised of leading Texans with a lifelong commitment to higher education, including former presidents of UT Austin and Texas A&M, former members of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, a former UT System Chancellor, and former university regents and chairmen of the Board of Regents. The Coalition also includes CEOs of Texas companies, numerous business leaders, philanthropists and more than 400 concerned citizens.
    Continue reading

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