According to Fox News, The University of Texas Law School has a particularly suspicious track record of admitting less-than-qualified candidates who have strong ties to powerful state legislators, including Republican State House Speaker Joe Straus and also veteran Democratic State Sen. Judith Zaffrini. It has been reported that Texas politicians appear to be abusing the public university’s admissions process, by calling in favors to get unqualified applicants admitted. A public university is not a country club that a well-connected parent can muscle his or her underachieving child into, says Fox News. The school has been ranked No. 15 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, and is consistently ranked among the top twenty law schools in the United States.
Normally, The University of Texas Law School admissions standards are some of the most rigorous in the country. According to Acahnman Blog Spot, recently, four serious allegations have been made that unqualified students have been admitted to UT-Austin and the UT School of Law based on their relationships with powerful legislators. Secret – and possibly illegal – payola schemes benefited favored faculty members. It has also been reported that the UT has inflated or misreported monetary gifts and that the UT has ignored the Texas Public Information Act by withholding information from regents and the public. The school has ranked No. 1 for the biggest return on investment among law schools in the United States.
University officials, however, have decided to let the matter drop. Watch Dog has reported that officials have decided against a full investigation despite a preliminary inquiry finding that the friends and family of state lawmakers are getting special admissions consideration from the University of Texas at Austin. The school has 19,000 living alumni, over 4,000 of whom practice law outside of Texas.
A similar scandal that happened back in 2009 at the University of Illinois involving a “clout list,” kept by school officials used to track recommendations from political heavyweights, cost the president of the school his job. Eventually, seven of the nine trustees on the board at the time resigned, according to Watch Dog.
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