Lone Star Lunacy

There’s something rotten in the state of Texas

By Kevin D. Williamson

Why do state universities have boards of trustees? In Texas, where the rather grandiose flagship university system styles its trustees “regents,” the governor appoints representatives to the universities’ governing boards in order to ensure that state resources are being stewarded responsibly. Governor Rick Perry has been more aggressive than most in seeking to reform his state’s higher-education system, from innovations such as his $10,000 degree challenge to such old-fashioned bugaboos as efficiency and institutional honesty. One of the regents he appointed, Dallas businessman Wallace Hall, pursued the latter energetically, and what he helped to uncover was disturbing: The dean of the law school resigned after it was revealed that he had received a $500,000 “forgivable loan” from the law-school foundation, without the university administration’s having been made aware of the extra compensation. And in a development sure to put a grimace on the face of any student or parent who has ever waited with anticipation to hear from a first-choice college or graduate school, Mr. Hall uncovered the fact that members of the Texas legislature were seeking and receiving favorable treatment for family members and political allies in admissions to the university’s prestigious law school.

Given the nature of these scandals — the improper use of political power — it was natural enough that impeachments and criminal investigations followed. What is unnatural — and inexplicable, and indefensible, and shameful — is the fact that it is Wallace Hall who is facing impeachment and possibly charges. READ MORE HERE