62.3 F
Fort Worth
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Education Texas Southern University regents vote to fire school's president

Texas Southern University regents vote to fire school’s president

Other News

Exxon’s oil slick

Exxon Mobil is slashing its capital spending budget for 2020 by 30% due to weak demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a market...

Folk music’s Mark Twain: 7 Essential tracks from John Prine,

NEW YORK (AP) — Some people, the songs just come out of them. For nearly half a century, they tumbled out of John Prine...

Tarrant County records another COVID-19 death

Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) on Wednesday, April 8 reported that a resident of Euless has died as the result of the COVID-19 virus....

Tradition stymied: A year unlike any since WWII for Augusta

The Masters is so intertwined with Augusta, they added an extra day to spring break.You see, the first full week of April isn't just...

February 5, 2020

Texas Southern University regents moved early Wednesday morning to terminate President Austin Lane — who was abruptly suspended from his post in January — for failing to report allegations of fraud in the university admissions process and directing a former law school dean to “engage in acts that violate university policy,” among other contract violations.

A lengthy notice read after the regents emerged from a five-hour, closed-door meeting also said Lane “directed excessive entertainment expenses to be paid through the TSU Foundation rather than the university entertainment expenses reimbursement process,” which requires board approval.

Regents gave Lane 30 days to “cure” the allegations “if cure can be made.” At a hearing before the board of regents, Lane will be “given the opportunity to demonstrate any error in fact contained in this notice” or “evidence of cure,” the statement said.

Lane, who attended the meeting, told the Houston Chronicle the allegations are false and accused the board of mismanagement and “trying to make sure they do my job.”

“They didn’t mention anything that links anything to myself or any of my administration team. You didn’t hear one fact that they were able to prove with anything they said today,” he said.

Lane told a Houston television station, “My reputation and track record speak for themselves, and we have done it the right way, even in the face of adversity.”

The motion to terminate passed in a 6-1 vote shortly after midnight. Outraged supporters of Lane in the audience interjected frequently as the notice of termination for cause was read.

It was later posted online.

In the four-page letter, Lane is accused of failing to report that a former official improperly helped students gain admittance or get scholarships to attend the law school — once, in exchange for $14,000 in cash. The official, then an assistant dean of law school admissions and financial aid, resigned in lieu of termination.

Lane “and/or your subordinate” allowed one of those students to enter another university graduate program that he was not qualified for and had not submitted an application to attend, the notice says.

Lane is also accused of obstructing an internal investigation into the admissions improprieties, according to the letter.

“A consequence of your actions, and in particular the dishonesty, misrepresentation, material omission, and intentional concealment aspects of your conduct, is injury to the trust placed in you by the Board to manage and lead the university on a day to day basis,” the notice says.

Lane has headed Texas Southern, one of the country’s largest historically black colleges, since 2016.

Regents provided no explanation when they placed Lane on paid administrative leave Jan. 10. A statement issued then said only that the regents were “committed to ensuring all activities at the university are conducted in an ethical and transparent manner in accordance with the university’s mission, vision and values.”

Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Huewitt was appointed acting president that day.

After being criticized by a member of the board for not giving Lane a chance to defend himself before suspending him, the regents released another statement Jan. 17, seeming to connect Lane’s ouster to previously disclosed problems with Texas Southern’s admissions process, though it did not explicitly tie Lane to the improprieties.

Instead, it said the board notified Lane in October that regents, the chief internal auditor and “external Board counsel” had contacted local law enforcement after confirming there had been problems with the admissions process. The auditor, a third-party investigator, and “special board employment counsel, and/or external board counsel” interviewed Lane and his executive management team, the statement said. Lane was asked to meet with regents at two special called meetings and was interviewed again later by the chief internal auditor and the board’s employment counsel.

Regents met with the chief internal auditor, independent counsel and third-party investigators for about seven hours the day Lane was suspended, the statement says.

“As the investigation continues, we urge everyone in our TSU community to comply with University policies and internal audit and litigation risk management protocols; and we will continue to cooperate with the independent investigations by law enforcement,” the Jan. 17 statement said. It’s unclear what investigations it’s referring to.

The board said in November that it had launched a comprehensive review of the university’s admissions processes and was cooperating with investigators.

Disclosure: Texas Southern University has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

“Texas Southern University regents vote to fire school’s president” was first published at https://www.texastribune.org/2020/02/05/texas-southern-university-regents-vote-fire-schools-president/ by The Texas Tribune. The Texas Tribune is proud to celebrate 10 years of exceptional journalism for an exceptional state.

Latest News

Fort Worth council member Moon arrested for DWI in Burleson

Fort Worth City Council Member for District 4  Cary Moon was arrested by Burleson Police on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 2:44 a.m....

University of Texas to create center to study stuttering

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A new center for research and education into stuttering is being created at the University of Texas at...

Fort Worth City Council, Oct. 20 Work Session and meeting preview

City Council Work Session, 3 p.m., Room 2020 of City Hall, 200 Texas St. Informal reports will discuss an...

Gov. Greg Abbott spends millions to help down-ballot Republicans in Texas

Patrick Svitek The Texas Tribune Gov. Greg Abbott’s campaign is ratcheting up its down-ballot efforts in the final weeks before...

Impatient Democrats want Biden to do more in Texas

By PAUL J. WEBER Associated PressAUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The whispers about Texas are picking up again.Polls are unusually tight. Political money...