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Regents to Give UT-Arlington Finalist Another Look

After Vistasp M. Karbhari was selected on Feb. 14, sources told the Tribune that not every regent was aware he was a defendant in a pending lawsuit. Now the full board will revisit the matter.

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When the University of Texas System regents selected Vistasp M. Karbhari as the sole finalist for the presidency of the University of Texas at Arlington on Feb. 14, he was a defendant in a pending lawsuit. Not every regent knew that, sources subsequently told The Texas Tribune, and now the full board will revisit the matter.

On Wednesday, the regents will hold a special telephonic meeting that, according to the public agenda released Monday afternoon, will include "discussion and appropriate action concerning individual personnel matters related to the candidacy of sole finalist for President [of UT-Arlington]."

No other details are available about what that discussion will include or what action might be taken.

Karbhari is currently the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. On that campus in 2010, Amy Bishop, a biology professor, fatally shot three faculty members and wounded three other individuals during a department meeting. Family members of two of Bishop's victims have sued Karbhari, accusing him of failing to take note of early warning signs and prevent the incident. The Bishop case is the subject of a lengthy piece in a recent issue of The New Yorker.

Karbhari received high praise from UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and Board of Regents Chairman Gene Powell when he was named the sole finalist for the UT-Arlington position. He must wait a state-mandated 21 days before assuming the post.

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