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Dozens of highly powerful Texan politicians and millionaires helped under-qualified students gain admittance into the University of Texas at Austin by writing letters to university officials.
While this type of thing happens everywhere, UT is catching some flack after The Dallas Morning News obtained records showing that over 250 letters were written on behalf of 73 students with high school GPAs below the 2.9 mark.
An investigation into the questionable UT admission process known as the Kroll report, conducted between 2009 and 2012, brought the aforementioned letters to the surface. In wake of the investigation, UT President Bill Powers stepped down from his position in June.
From The Dallas Morning News:
Among those who wrote directly to then-President Bill Powers and then-Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, bypassing the admissions office, were famed golfer and UT grad Ben Crenshaw, former UT regent Scott Craven, Austin lawyer Roy Minton and Sens. Kevin Eltife and Carlos Uresti, records obtained by The Dallas Morning News show.
Dozens of other famous UT alumni also helped tip the scales. They include House Speaker Joe Straus, former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, former regents Jess Hay and Thomas Hicks, former chairman of the state University Coordinating Board Larry Temple and former UT quarterback Randy McEachern.
The letters often cite that the applicants were the children of family friends.
Letters of recommendation also came in from Tom Hicks (former owner of the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Stars) vouching for a kid whose grandparents “have been longtime and generous supporters of UT-Austin.” Advertising exec Roy Spence, whose firm came up with the wildly creative UT logo “We’re Texas,” threw a letter in there, too.
Check out this note penned by a dude named W.A. “Tex” Moncrief, a billionaire oil tycoon in Texas who’s donated tens of millions to the school:
Much like the measurements from the tip of the head to the base of the shaft, when you’ve got heaps of money, the numbers of a loosely-connected, underachieving high schooler’s GPA are automatically and drastically increased.
Read the rest of the letters below:
Grades mean next to shit when you’ve got connections. .
[via The Dallas Morning News]