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President William Powers Jr. and UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa will testify before the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations Wednesday and Thursday following subpoenas issued at the last committee hearing.
This testimony is part of the House committee's ongoing investigation into Regent Wallace Hall, who has been accused of overstepping his duties as a regent and conducting a “witch hunt” against Powers. Hall reportedly filed massive open records requests to the University, asking for more than 800,000 pages of information.
At the last committee hearing, University officials gave testimony Hall was mistakenly given access to private student information as a result of his open records requests. Hall reportedly shared this information with his private attorneys, potentially violating federal privacy acts.
Rusty Hardin, legal counsel to the committee, was asked to review Hall’s actions in sharing confidential documents and determine whether Hall committed a crime.
At the last hearing in November, the committee initially issued a subpoena for Hall but redacted it shortly after. Hall has declined the committee's invitation to testify and will likely only testify if a subpoena is issued.
The hearings will take place Wednesday and Thursday, with Powers and Cigarroa scheduled to testify. The hearing comes a week after a tense UT System Board of Regents meeting in which Cigarroa issued a harsh critique of Powers saying he has been difficult to work with at times and that the relationship between Powers and the UT System has been "strained." Ultimately, Cigarroa recommended Powers remain president of UT saying he was optimistic about the relationship moving forward.