UT System hires firm to investigate University admissions process

Alex Wilts

The UT System hired Kroll Associates, Inc., a risk mitigation response firm, in August to conduct an investigation into the University’s admissions process, according to System spokeswoman Jenny LaCoste-Caputo.

The System reported in May that it found no evidence of a structured system of favoritism or wrongdoing after Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa asked the System to administer its own investigation in July 2013. Cigarroa issued his request after Regent Wallace Hall brought up issues he discovered while examining University records.  

The System found there were still questions about whether letters of recommendation sent directly to President William Powers Jr. or a dean from influential individuals, such as state legislators, influenced admissions decisions. 

Cigarroa announced in June that the System would launch a full external investigation of University admissions because of remaining public concern about the process, LaCoste-Caputo said.

LaCoste-Caputo said Kroll, which is based out of New York City, is still in the initial stages of its investigation. The investigation is expected to be completed by Oct. 15.

The firm plans to determine whether UT-Austin admissions decisions are made for any reason other than an applicant’s individual merit as measured by academic achievement and “officially established personal holistic attributes,” according to the contract.