I spoke at length to an unimpeachable source in state government today who said developments this week have been unfavorable to Powers, who has been hounded for months by regents appointed by Rick Perry. For instance, regents unfriendly to Powers have reopened a review of the University of Texas Law School Foundation and its practice of granting large, forgivable loans to administrators and faculty at the law school. My source indicated that the regents appear to be trying to find evidence that could be used to discredit Powers, who is a former dean of the law school but was not connected with the problems of the foundation.
Among the actions taken by the regents has been criticism of Powers for not having a vice president of development—a strange charge because Powers is currently spearheading what has been a $2 billion (and counting) fund drive.
Regents also continue to be critical of graduation rates. This is not what this fight is about. This fight is about whether Perry can control what goes on at the University of Texas at Austin and force a major battle that could plunge UT into a crisis—and even wreck its academic reputation.
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