College and university trustees aren’t simply charged with being cheerleaders for their institutions’ administrations. They are fiduciaries with not only the right, but also the obligation, to ask questions and exercise oversight.
But the story that has unfolded over the past couple of months regarding University of Texas regent Wallace Hall illustrates that there are powerful forces ready to overreact whenever they smell the slightest trace of accountability.
Hall is currently facing impeachment at the hands of the Texas legislature. While he has certainly made some mistakes, the questions he has asked are appropriate and well within bounds for a university trustee. ACTA president Anne Neal comes to his defense in the Houston Chronicle:
University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall may not be a perfect trustee, but his work on behalf of the people of Texas deserves support — not impeachment.
Impeachment is a rare sanction reserved usually for elected officials who have engaged in serious malfeasance. It is not a club to wield when there are policy differences or to intimidate appointed officials when, in good faith, they are doing their job. The legislature has determined to target Hall, and the public should say “enough.”
Read the complete article here.