As UT president Bill Powers is waiting to hear from the UT System Board of Regents at this very minute, another drama is gripping yet another university president–and readers won’t be surprised to know that Rick Perry is in the middle of it.
The Bryan-College Station Eagle is reporting that as Texas A&M seeks to find a new interim president to succeed the departing R. Bowen Loftin, a split has opened on the A&M Board of Regents between supporters of Mark Hussey, vice chancellor and dean of the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, and supporters of Perry’s candidate, Guy Diedrich, a longtime Perry pal and A&M lobbyist who has held a number of strategic positions at A&M. There is concern of pushback from faculty members, who prefer candidates with experience in teaching, research, and university administration. Hussey meets that description; Diedrich does not.
The split among the regents could reflect a strong difference of opinion between Perry and Chancellor John Sharp, with Perry likely to support Diedrich, and Sharp siding more with the academic side of the university. Perry usually gets his way in these matters, particularly at his alma mater.