Texas

May 20, 2014

UT system regent says he won’t quit

University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall was asked to resign last week by the chairman of the board of regents.

University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall, who was asked to resign last week by the chairman of the board of regents, sent a letter to the chairman Monday saying he does not intend to do any such thing, according to Hall’s lawyer.

At Thursday’s board meeting, Chairman Paul Foster said that Hall could take “a selfless step to benefit the UT System” by stepping down from his post. According to a system spokeswoman, as of Monday afternoon, Foster had not yet received Hall’s letter responding to his comments.

Last week, a legislative committee agreed that grounds exist to impeach Hall, who has been scrutinized for conducting personal investigations of the operations of the University of Texas at Austin that some have characterized as an abuse of his office.

Throughout a months-long legislative investigation, Hall has maintained that he has committed no wrongdoing but rather has performed his oversight duties in an effort to uncover issues at UT-Austin including alleged favoritism in the admissions process and allegedly misleading reporting of fundraising totals.

“Which approach benefits the UT System, asking the board of regents to address wrongdoing, or asking regents who uncover the wrongdoing to resign?” Hall said in a statement Monday. “Will the public ever know the truth about problems in our institutions if legislators are allowed to impeach board members who reveal them?”

According to a system spokeswoman, as of Monday afternoon, Foster had not received Hall’s letter responding to his comments.

Members of the committee that has been investigating Hall sent strong signals that they hoped the UT System could address their concerns regarding Hall before the committee proceeded with the next steps in the impeachment process. Some issued statements praising Foster’s request for Hall to resign.

The committee plans to meet Wednesday to work on preparing specific articles of impeachment that they could recommend for consideration by the full Texas House.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin is a corporate sponsor of the Texas Tribune. Paul Foster is a major donor to the Tribune.

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