Horns Up, Horns Down for April 15


Horns Up: One step closer to Regent Hall's departure

On Monday, The Texas Tribune reported that information uncovered as part of the investigation of the Select Committee on Transparency in State Agencies on possible criminal actions committed by UT System Regent Wallace Hall had been referred to Travis County prosecutors. For those of you keeping track, we are now in third year of the latest fight between the UT System Board of Regents, UT-Austin and the State Legislature. In the past two years, that fight has strayed considerably from its ideological roots in differences over higher education to the realm of sloppy and distracting personal fights between members of the board and UT President William Powers Jr. Despite numerous cries for Hall’s resignation, it’s become clear that Hall, who is being investigated for impeachment, is reluctant to back down. While we’re frustrated every time Hall makes it into the headlines, a potential criminal case against him coming from Travis County prosecutors may be the final push he needs to leave the board. And if that happens, then maybe, just maybe, we can start talking about higher education policy about as often as we’ve been talking about Hall’s transgressions. Horns Up to potentially being one step closer to Hall’s early departure from the Board of Regents.

Horns Down: After West, fertilizer regulations needed

On Monday, nearly a year after the West fertilizer plant explosion killed 15 people and injured nearly 160, Texas’ chief fire marshal testified in front of the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee on the need for structural changes in 46 Texas facilities which house ammonium nitrate. However, committee members were quick to say that any regulations would encounter resistance from business owners. Given the magnitude of the tragedy, we hope that both business owners and the legislature can reach a compromise that puts in place the necessary safety measures.