'Witch hunt’: Fired TSU president talks about board’s decision to terminate his contract

HOUSTON – The former president of Texas Southern University on Thursday talked about the decision of the school’s board to fire him. By speaking out Thursday afternoon, Dr. Austin Lane said he is fighting for his reputation.

In a 6-1 vote, the Board of Regents for the school voted late Tuesday to fire Austin Lane, Ph.D., after he was put on leave amid an investigation into admission practices at the university.

At Thursday’s news conference, Lane said he has already submitted an eight-page rebuttal to the board’s four-page termination notice that he was given on Tuesday night.

“When you haven’t done anything wrong, it’s easy to speak,” Lane said.

He accuses the board of robbing him of his right to a public hearing when he was placed on leave. Lane said he requested a public hearing on numerous occasions.

“Its just an opportunity where we want the whole public to hear finally what it is you think that you have that would rise to the level of termination. They didn’t afford us that opportunity,” Lane said.

Lane said that during his four years at the school, he’s had to clean house. He said he believes the board’s decision may have been motivated by the changes he has made.

“This really is a witch hunt,” Lane said.

He also told KPRC 2 his record speaks for itself.

“I have to protect the integrity of what I built and the people that know me, know that I’ve done it the right way. I don’t have anything to hide. That’s why I’m here doing interviews today,” Lane said.

Lane said he is still deciding whether to invoke the mediation clause of his contract.

Read Lane’s letter

Having trouble viewing the document? Click here.

About the Authors: