Texas House Votes to Weaken University Regents

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The Texas House has given initial approval to a bill that places new limits on the powers of university regents.

The bill was born out of a long-running dispute between lawmakers and University of Texas System regents who are considered hostile to Austin campus President Bill Powers, who is believed to be fighting to keep his job.

The bill would weaken the power of regents to fire school presidents by first requiring a recommendation from the system chancellor. It also would require regents to undergo training in ethics and federal student privacy laws.

Regents are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate. The bill still needs a final vote Tuesday before it goes back to the Senate.