SENATE COMMITTEE ON NOMINATIONS 
                                Monday, May 9, 2005 
                           11:00 a.m. or upon adjournment 
                           Capitol Extension, Room E1.016 
         Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule  
         11.18, a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Nominations  
         was held on Monday, May 9, 2005, in the Capitol Extension, Room  
         E1.016, at Austin, Texas. 
         MEMBERS PRESENT:                        MEMBERS ABSENT: 
         Senator Jon Lindsay                     Senator Mike Jackson 
         Senator Bob Deuell 
         Senator Gonzalo Barrientos 
         Senator Kevin Eltife 
         Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. 
         Senator Jane Nelson 
         The chair called the meeting to order at 11:07  a.m.  There  
         being a quorum present, the following business was transacted:   
         The following member arrived after the roll was called: Senator  
         Bob Deuell. 
         Senator Eltife moved adoption of the minutes from the previous  
         hearings held on May 2, 2005, and May 3, 2005; without  
         objection, it was so ordered.  
         Chairman Lindsay announced that the committee would consider the  
         nominations of Lupe Fraga, Bill Jones and Gene Stallings as  
         members of the Texas A& M Board of Regents. The chair explained  
         that Senator Kyle Janek could not be there to introduce Lupe  
         Fraga so he would do the honors. The chair then recognized  
         Senator Eddie Lucio who congratulated each nominee. Lucio stated  
         he would like to get each man on the record regarding their  
         opinion on the Irma Rangel School of Pharmacy being built in  
         South Texas and whether or not they supported full funding for  
         the school. Lucio also wanted to know whether they were in  
         support of the A & M base budget and if they would agree to a  
         study to determine the feasibility of building a large animal  
         veterinary school in South Texas. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Barrientos to introduce his  
         constituent Bill Jones, former general counsel to Governor Rick  
         Perry and A & M graduate. 
         Senator Kevin Eltife was recognized to introduce his  
         constituent, Gene Stallings, former head football coach for the  
         University of Alabama, Texas A & M University and the Dallas  
         The nominees gave brief introductory remarks about their  
         individual backgrounds and common commitment to education at A &  
         The chair asked the nominees if they thought Houston should join  
         South Texas in the creation of an Aggie law school to compete  
         with UT. Jones replied that he felt the question should be  
         whether or not another law school would enhance the university  
         and efforts needed to be put into finding out if indeed that  
         need is real. 
         Fraga said he was committed to seeing the Rangel School of  
         Pharmacy established. Stallings said it is important to gather  
         all the information to make the best decisions. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Vice-Chairman Deuell who noted A & M  
         Commerce and emphasized the importance of all the other campuses  
         within the system. Deuell added that administrative costs need  
         to be cut in favor of the students. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Barrientos who asked about  
         the top ten percent plan. Jones stressed that at A & M, the  
         students admitted under the plan were performing well. He noted  
         the only downfall to the plan is that it is based on single  
         criteria. Stallings is opposed to the top ten rule as long as  
         students are not taking courses with the same level of  
         difficulty. He added that it is a lot harder to get into school  
         than to stay in school. Barrientos asked why the main campus at  
         A & M had such problems recruiting African-Americans and what  
         percentage of the football team graduated. He also asked why the  
         board has not chosen to use race as an indicator. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Rodney Ellis who asked the  
         panel if they knew the admission figures before Hopwood. Jones  
         gave figures from both 1996 and 1997 and in both years  
         African-American and Hispanic figures for the percentage of  
         enrollments to admissions was down by around one percent.  
         Senator Ellis presented figures from 1995-2003 showing about the  
         same drop. Ellis added that in 109 years, race has been a  
         factor, and in the case of African-Americans, the dominant  
         factor, in enrollment at a school that could have, and should  
         have made some changes. He said it is incumbent for Regents to  
         overcome the present situation. Ellis asked more questions about  
         the decision to remove the legacy admit program and whether the  
         board felt that A & M could handle affirmative-action. 
         The chair recognized Senator Royce West who asked Stallings why  
         he was opposed to the top ten percent plan. Stallings said if  
         all the courses were the same then he would be for the plan.  
         Fraga promised to raise the issues about diversity and to know  
         the figures. West asked if A & M should tie diversity to an  
         individual or to the law and encouraged the regents to aim above  
         the mediocre level they were at before Hopwood. West added that  
         he is concerned not with quotas but with goals. Stallings  
         replied that it is important to improve and that the president  
         should be given the charge to do so. Fraga said it is their  
         responsibility to speak up; West countered that they had been  
         given thirteen years to make positive changes, he was not  
         impressed and they need to turn it around ASAP. 
         Senator West yielded to Vice-Chairman Deuell who asked where the  
         need for all the remedial classes was coming from and West asked  
         them to pay attention to this issue. 
         Chairman Lindsay asked for a motion, Senator Lucio so moved and  
         at 12:44 p.m., the committee voted by 6 ayes, 0 nays and 1  
         absent to recommend the nominees to the full Senate for  
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Barrientos to introduce  
         Oliver Bell, nominee to the Texas Board of Criminal Justice.  
         Chairman Lindsay introduced Senator Ogden's constituent Gregory  
         Scott Coleman in lieu of Ogden who could not attend and asked  
         the two to make brief self-introductory remarks. Bell said the  
         board was committed to excellence and heartened by legislation  
         going in new directions. Barrientos asked Bell to give employee  
         and budget figures and then asked for their thoughts on felony  
         education and the Wyndham School. Bell said he was a supporter  
         of Wyndham; Coleman echoed saying education is a key item and  
         achieving a GED is a major life accomplishment for many of the  
         inmates. Barrientos asked Coleman what steps besides salary  
         increases should be taken; Coleman said that a raise was the  
         most important. 
         At 12:57 p.m.,there being no quorum, the nominees to the Texas  
         Board of Criminal Justice were left pending in committee.  
         Chairman Lindsay announced that a vote would be taken on the  
         floor upon recess or adjournment of the Senate. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Barrientos to introduce Ron  
         Congleton, nominated to the Texas Workforce Commission. Chairman  
         Lindsay asked Congleton what challenges, besides the tough  
         economic climate, face the Commission. Congleton's reply was  
         that the tight budget had a big effect on their training  
         programs; that some are contracted out but a lot of their  
         training is done through community colleges. He added that  
         depending upon the program, the private sector usually decides  
         based on the needs of the area. Right now, welders and  
         roughnecks or oil field workers are in high demand. 
         Barrientos questioned Congleton concerning his thoughts on the  
         Texas Human Rights Commission (HRC). Congleton said he knew it  
         was an independent division of the agency. Barrientos encouraged  
         Congleton to find out the Workforce's jurisdiction over the HRC  
         and to look into the five complaints against the agency. 
         At 1:06 p.m., the chair announced that, due to the lack of a  
         quorum, a vote on the nominee would be taken at his desk upon  
         recess or adjournment of the Senate. 
         There being no further business, Senator Lindsay moved that the  
         Committee stand recessed subject the call of the chair. Without  
         objection, it was so ordered.   
         At 7: 10 p.m., the committee reconvened at Chairman Lindsay's  
         desk. Senator Nelson moved that a vote be taken on all the  
         appearing and non-appearing nominees to the following entities:  
         the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, Texas Workforce Commission,  
         Brazos River Authority Board of Directors, Chief Justice for the  
         Seventh Court of Appeals District, Texas Structural Pest Control  
         Board, Rio Grande Regional Water Authority Board of Directors,  
         Texas School Safety Center Board of Directors, Council on Sex  
         Offender Treatment and Texas Small Business Industrial  
         Development Corporation. By a vote of 5 ayes, 0 nays and 2  
         absent, the nominees were recommended to the full Senate for  
         There being no further business, at 7:11 p.m. Senator Lindsay  
         moved that the Committee stand recessed subject to the call of  
         the chair.  Without objection, it was so ordered.   
         Senator Jon Lindsay, Chair 
         Jazen Wood, Clerk