Texas Southern University and Former President Austin Lane Reach a Settlement

In January Austin A. Lane, the president of Texas Southern University in Houston was placed on administrative leave with pay. In early February the university terminated his contract.

The board of regents had alleged that President Lane knew of irregularities in the admission process at the university’s law school and did nothing about it. They also alleged that he had excessive entertainment expenses that were paid through the university’s foundation and not through usual channels.

Dr. Lane was given 30 days to answer the allegations and seek reinstatement. He said that he would so do. But now the university has announced that after a 13-hour meeting with a mediator, Dr. Lane would cut all ties to the university. He will be paid $560,000 — $100,000 of that compensation for “alleged emotional distress, damage to reputation and mental anguish.” Lane agreed to not pursue litigation against the university and to refrain from making disparaging remarks about the university.

In a statement, the university’s board of regents said that the “settlement agreement is in the best interest of moving forward the academic mission of TSU, and in the best interests of the students, faculty and the community at large.”

Dr. Lane was named president of Texas Southern University in 2016. Earlier, he was executive vice chancellor of Lone Star College System based in The Woodlands, Texas. From 2009 to 2015, Dr. Lane was president of the Montgomery campus of Lone Star College.

Dr. Lane went to Odessa Junior College in Texas on a basketball scholarship. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Langston University in Oklahoma. Dr. Austin holds a master’s degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Alabama.


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