Perry vetoes Board of Regents bill to limit governor's influence

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) vetoed a bill Friday that would've limited his power over the University of Texas system by requiring all appointments to its board of regents to be confirmed by the state Senate.

In addition to requiring more Senate oversight, the Daily Texan reports that the bipartisan bill would've limited what the regents can do, such as preventing them from firing a university president without the system chancellor's approval.

"Limiting oversight authority of a board of regents ... is a step in the wrong direction," Perry said in a statement. "History has taught us that the lack of board oversight in both the corporate and university settings diminishes accountability and provides fertile ground for organizational malfeasance."

As the Dallas Morning News reports, the bill came in response to concerns among legislators, UT students and alumni that Perry's appointments to the board were part of an effort to oust UT president Bill Powers. Powers clashed with regents in May 2012 when they blocked a modest tuition hike, but lawmakers have since been on guard against attempts to micromanage the UT system, amid a broader debate about the future of public higher education in the state.

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