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U. of Texas President Influenced Admissions and Hid the Truth, Report Says

[Updated (2/12/2015, 1:51 p.m.) with a link to the full report.]

An independent investigation has found that the president of the University of Texas at Austin, William C. Powers Jr., improperly influenced the university’s admissions process and then misled lawyers looking into the matter, The Dallas Morning News reports.

The newspaper obtained a copy of a report commissioned by the recently departed system chancellor, Francisco G. Cigarroa, and conducted by the firm Kroll Associates Inc. Among the findings:

  • Mr. Powers overruled the admissions office in cases of underqualified applicants who, in many instances, had powerful parents.
  • The president and his chief of staff, Nancy Brazzil, did not tell the whole truth when questioned by the university’s general counsel.
  • Mr. Powers and his staff sought to destroy evidence of his influence over the process.

Read the full report here.

Mr. Powers’s office did not immediately respond to the allegations in the report. According to the Morning News’s account, Mr. Powers told investigators that the admissions selections he had made were “in the best interests of the university” and that he had never intentionally misled the investigation of his influence.

The revelations are the latest episode in the prolonged controversy over the actions of Wallace L. Hall Jr., the system regent who has carried on a public crusade to expose what he has called shady admissions practices on the Austin campus.

Regents sought to oust Mr. Powers last year, but seemed to relent when the two sides finally agreed Mr. Powers would step down in June.

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