This morning, the Senate Committee of Nominations will have a public hearing to confirm UT System Board of Regent appointees Ernest Aliseda and Jeff Hildebrand.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry made the appointments in February, but they’ve been waiting to be confirmed by the Senate before they can begin serving. Perry also reappointed Paul Foster, who will also appear before the committee this morning.
If confirmed, Aliseda and Hilderbrand would replace outgoing regents James Dannenbaum and Printice Gary. Their terms expired in February.
The appointments come at a controversial time for the board. The regents have been accused of micromanaging the University of Texas and UT President William Powers Jr. Several bills have been filed in the Texas Legislature in relation to limiting the board’s power. One of these bills is sitting on the governor’s desk, awaiting a signature or a veto.
The hearing starts at 8 a.m., and The Daily Texan will be covering it. Follow Jody Serrano at @jodyserrano on Twitter for live-updates, and check back at the Texan later in the day. But, in the meantime, here are ten things you probably didn’t know about Ernest Aliseda and Jeff Hildebrand:
1). Aliseda received his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center. He does not have a degree from a University of Texas system.
2). Aliseda is an assistant municipal judge in McAllen, and a managing attorney at Loya Insurance Group. He has previously served as a judge in Hidalgo County. In 2009, he got the Ethics Award from the Hidalgo County Bar Association. At the time, the Texas House honored him with a resolution.
3). Aliseda has donated significantly less to Perry’s campaigns than his fellow appointees. According to The Dallas Morning News, he has given just $1,000 to Texans for Rick Perry in the past 13 years.
4). Aliseda is not the only member of his family to be involved in public service. His wife is a member of McAllen’s school board.
5). Aliseda told The Daily Texan in February that if appointed to the board, he would look forward to helping the possible merging of the UT-Pan American and UT-Brownsville campuses into a single university.
6). Hildebrand is one of the richest businessmen in Texas. Forbes magazine reports that he has a net worth of $5.5 billion. He is ranked 219 on a list titled “The World’s Billionaires”, and according to Forbes he is the 59th richest American.
7). Hildebrand is the chairman and CEO of Hilcorp Energy Company, an oil and gas production company in Houston.
8). Hildebrand got his bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Texas. He is the only nominee that graduated from a UT System university.
9). Hildebrand has already worked with the University. He is a member of the UT System’s Task Force on Engineering Education and he is on the UT Engineering Advisory Board.
10). According to The Dallas Morning News, Hildebrand has given more than $300,000 to Texans for Rick Perry in the past 13 years.