Law Schools

Texas university moves to fire its president over law school admissions scandal

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The president of Texas Southern University may be out of a job after TSU regents alleged that he failed to promptly report information about an admissions scandal at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law.

The regents moved to fire Austin Lane, the school’s president, on Tuesday, report the Houston Chronicle, the Texas Lawyer and KHOU 11. Lane has 30 days to dispute findings that led to the decision.

The regents said in a Feb. 4 termination notice that Lane failed to promptly report to the board or internal auditor allegations of fraudulent and dishonest conduct by an assistant law dean.

The assistant law dean was accused of taking a $14,000 payoff for facilitating a scholarship and fraudulent admission for a law student. The assistant law dean was also accused of facilitating a fraudulent transfer application for a second student.

The assistant law dean has resigned. One of the students was admitted to the university into another graduate program, even though they weren’t qualified, the notice said.

According to the notice, the former assistant law dean also provided false LSAT information for submission to the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, which accredits law schools.

The notice also alleged that Lane and his subordinate directed the dean of the law school to “misrepresent the authorship of a report to be submitted to the ABA” that would “improperly borrow the reputation of an external consultant.”

The notice said it would be inappropriate for an administrator to submit misrepresented reports when seeking accreditation.

The law dean, James Douglas, resigned primarily because of Lane’s request, according to the notice.

Barrier Currier, managing director of accreditation and legal education for the ABA’s legal ed section, wrote in an email to the ABA Journal: “There is nothing public to report about this matter at this time.”

Lane denied the allegations in an interview with the Houston Chronicle and said he plans to fight the attempt to fire him.

Lane said he reported allegations about the assistant law dean to the auditor after they were brought to his attention. The board is notified only if an audit reveals wrongdoing, he said.

See also: “Texas Southern’s law school receives ABA public censure after sex discrimination allegations”

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