The Big Conversation
The Kroll report, which looked into the admissions process at UT-Austin and whether some well-connected people had too much influence on that process, surfaced on Thursday. At first blush, writes the Tribune's Ross Ramsey, both the university's boosters and detractors have reasons to be pleased.
(UT Regent Wallace Hall) has become a cause célèbre for those who would like to take “The University” down a notch — and for Longhorn Nation, the informal but potent population of defenders of the school, who want to keep its reputation right where it is. And the fight has become a proxy for another, bigger battle that pits the ideals of a classical education against the desire to train a highly educated and skilled workforce for the information age.
One might say it’s become a little overblown.
Up to 300 per year are put on a “hold list” for the president’s office to monitor. Even so, only about a dozen kids per year were admitted over the recommendations of the admissions office.
Vindication for UT, if you want to read it that way: Top-level interference in admissions is relatively rare.Vindication for Hall, read another way: He was on to something.
It’s not as dirty as Hall said it was, but it’s not squeaky clean, either.
Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.
The Day Ahead
• Early voting ends in runoff special elections for Senate District 26, House District 13, House District 17 and House District 123.
Hegar Suggests Shift in Rainy Day Fund Strategy, by Aman Batheja
With New Evidence, Lawyers Challenge Death Sentence, by Terri Langford
Wal-Mart Sues Texas for Right to Sell Liquor, by Ryan McCrimmon
Open, Campus Carry Bills Pass Senate Panel, by Morgan Smith
Alabama Ruling May Clear Way for Gay Marriage in Texas, by Alexa Ura
Report: Powers Overruled UT Admissions Office, by Bobby Blanchard and Jim Malewitz
Democrats Push to Repeal Abortion Waiting Period, by Alexa Ura
Otto Touts Plan to Simplify School Finance System, by Aman Batheja
Abbott: Parents should be able to opt out of vaccine mandates, Houston Chronicle
Key Texas senator asks attorney general for opinion on Hazlewood Act, Austin American-Statesman
Apache slashes rig count as drillers' woes continue, Houston Chronicle
House Ways and Means passes bill to make sales tax deduction permanent, The Dallas Morning News
Routh talked of taking ‘souls’ after killings, police say, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Perry: US wants more than 'young, attractive' orator Obama, The Associated Press
Gayle Benson’s past now in the spotlight, San Antonio Express-News
Quote to Note
“Your job is not to keep us safe, it's to keep us free. Please, stop making us come to you for permission to exercise our rights.”
— Former Texas House candidate TJ Fabby to senators during testimony on two gun bills that would expand Texans' rights to carry guns on university campuses and holstered handguns openly with a license
Today in TribTalk
Pregnant women in Texas deserve fairness, by Eddie Rodriguez
News From Home
During the legislative session, we're compiling "hot lists" of issues across key policy areas. This week, the featured list on our Lege page is Higher Ed. Subscribe to our Trib+Edu newsletter for more education news.
Trib Events for the Calendar
• A Conversation With U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro on Feb. 19 at The Austin Club
• Immigration: The Next Five Years on Feb. 27 at at the University of Texas at Brownsville
• A Conversation With State Sen. Kel Seliger and State Rep. John Zerwas on March 5 at the Austin Club
• Meet the Mayors: Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price on March 12 at The Austin Club
• A Conversation With UT-Austin Dell Medical School Dean Clay Johnston on March 26 at The Austin Club