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UT Denies Condi Rice is Front-Runner for Next President

UT Denies Condi Rice is Front-Runner for Next President

AUSTIN, Texas — Reports that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is the front-runner to replace Bill Powers as the President of the University of Texas are not true, according to Larry Faulkner, a former UT President who is co-chairing the search committee.

Current UT President Bill Powers was forced to submit his resignation after an admissions scandal at the state’s flagship university was uncovered by UT Board of Regents member Wallace Hall. Breitbart Texas broke the story back in July that UT Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and Board of Regents chairman Paul Foster had given Powers an ultimatum: resign or be fired. Powers offered his resignation, to be effective June 2015, and the search for his replacement began.

On Friday, Richard Johnson reported for Page Six, the online edition of the New York Post, that Rice “is the front-runner” to replace Powers, according to anonymous “alumni sources.” Johnson also reported that former Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson is also being considered for the position. Hutchinson, who currently serves as President of the “Texas Exes,” UT’s alumni association, publicly defended Powers in July before he resigned.

However, Faulkner told the Austin American-Statesman that the search committee was too early in the process to have selected a front-runner. He declined to say whether Rice was officially being considered. Another anonymous source told the Statesman that Rice was not a candidate “at this time,” although she was “a highly qualified individual.” After her time as Secretary of State for President George W. Bush, Rice became a professor at Stanford University, where she also served as provost. A serious football fan, Rice was selected as an inaugural member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, and she has publicly expressed interest in becoming the NFL Commissioner. 

The same anonymous source also told the Statesman that because of Hutchinson’s role as President of the Texas Exes, she also serves on the search committee, and is therefore not a candidate. 

Faulkner told the Statesman that candidates were still emerging and the search committee would meet next week to begin “filtering” them. Once the committee has selected a list of potential candidates, they will submit the list to the Board of Regents, who will then make the final selection.

According to KXAN, the Board of Regents will also be meeting in Austin on Monday to discuss the ongoing investigation into the admissions scandal as well as initial discussions about the search for their next President. 

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker

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