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Thursday, April 11, 2013

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Regents vote to release records to lawmakers and ask AG’s office to review funding for UT Law School

AUSTIN – The University of Texas Board of Regents took action on two matters Thursday, voting unanimously to release records requested by state lawmakers and also to ask the Office of the Attorney General to conduct a review of the use and management of money provided for the support of The University of Texas at Austin Law School.

The Board voted at a special called meeting to move forward with releasing requested information to legislators, including records subject to UT System’s attorney-client privilege. In recent weeks the Board has received four requests from legislators, including requests for confidential records. Legislators are privy to information that would be withheld under the Texas Public Information Act and can seek an opinion from the Attorney General if they believe information labeled confidential should be public.

The motion was made jointly by Regents Chairman Gene Powell and Vice Chairman Steve Hicks.

“We look forward to working with the Legislature and providing them with the information they need,” Powell said. “Our goal and the goal of legislators who care so much about The University of Texas System are one and the same. We want to ensure we are providing the very best opportunities for the students of Texas. We appreciate the support of the Legislature in championing higher education.”

The Board also voted unanimously to request the Office of the Attorney General conduct a thorough investigation of the use and management of money provided by the Law School Foundation, a non-profit, educational foundation established to support the UT Austin School of Law. The motion was made jointly by Regent Bobby Stillwell and Vice Chairman Paul Foster.

Stillwell said the investigation would explore the relationship between the foundation and the law school and compensation and benefits for employees.

About The University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities, six health institutions and a fall 2012 enrollment of roughly 216,000. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state’s health care professionals annually. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $13.9 billion (FY 2013) including $3.1 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 87,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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