Three essential stories on the UT admissions scandal

LAWMAKER ETHICS: Texas state lawmakers have held great sway over admissions at the University of Texas.

By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org

You’ve probably heard the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System will vote Thursday on whether to fire UT President Bill Powers, after Powers rejected Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa’s request last week that he resign.

If you’re just joining this story that’s been unfolding over the last year and a half, it’s no easy task to make sense of all the articles out there, especially when so many of them paint Regent Wallace Hall as the bad guy of the tale.

But underneath all the opinions and quotes that contradict each other, and quite aside from all the flimsy allegations made against Hall, there are some key facts to know if you want to understand why Powers is likely to be fired.

These are the three essential stories to read (and one less essential one):

Dozens of UT Law’s least qualified students are connected politically

Some of the least-qualified graduates of the University of Texas School of Law in recent years have high-level connections in the Legislature, which may explain how they got into the prestigious law school in the first place.

A months-long Watchdog.org analysis of political influence on the admissions process at UT Law found there’s some truth, after all, to the old line about who you know mattering more than what you know. We found dozens of Longhorns who don’t know enough to be lawyers, but know somebody important in the Legislature.

University of Texas uncovers admissions corruption, halts investigation

Officials have decided against a full investigation despite a preliminary inquiry finding that the friends and family of state lawmakers are getting special admissions consideration from the University of Texas at Austin.

Who got the 128? UT Law admits students with bad LSAT scores

By reputation, the University of Texas School of Law is practically the Harvard of the Southwest.

By the quality of some of the students it lets in, however, UT Law would have a hard time beating West Amarillo Upstairs Law College.

Dozens of students admitted to UT Law in recent years have scores on the Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT, that are below the standards of the lowest ranked law schools in the country, a Watchdog.org investigation into admissions favoritism has found.

Contact Jon Cassidy jon@watchdog.org or @jpcassidy000.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

Top