Documents obtained provide more info on TSU president’s paid leave

By: AANI staff

HOUSTON — While the city of Houston is stumped and demanding answers as to why embattled Texas Southern University President Austin Lane was placed on paid administrative leave, African American News and Issues has obtained documents which provide a little more insight on the decision.

On Jan. 10, AANI was the first newspaper to break online that the TSU Board of Regents placed Lane on leave after sources alerted us there were major movements happening at the university.

The BOR handed down the decision while at a retreat at the Houstonian Hotel, days before the university’s spring semester was to begin, and since then, it’s been a “mum’s the word” mystery.

A vague explanation about Lane’s leave was released on TSU’s website, in addition to a video allowing audiences to hear the decision being read aloud.

Lane spoke out initially, saying he was blindsided by the news, but has since not spoken to the media.

Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Huewitt was named interim president, and his first order of business was firing Lane’s right hand man, Special Assistant Wendell Williams.

Again, no official explanation released to the public, leaving many to wonder “what’s really going on?” Well, it depends on who you ask.

Some say “finally,” there is a board in place that’s ready to protect the integrity of the university and they were, simply, doing what needed to be done.

While others say the university, under Lane’s administration, was better than it has been in years and this is nothing more than a “witch hunt” aimed at getting rid of Lane and his executive staff for personal reasons.

Which brings us to Williams and his escalating tensions with Board member Wesley Terrell. Since 2018, Williams has filed two grievances against Terrell, one claiming Terrell made inappropriate comments regarding Williams’ wife – allegations which Terrell denies – and the case was still pending when Williams was fired.

So, is this part of a vendetta?

AANI reached out to Williams for comment.

“I am embarrassed for TSU and the affect this is having on our students and our potential growth,” Williams said.

When asked if he will pursue legal actions, Williams replied, “I have done nothing wrong and I will take whatever actions are necessary to protect my family and my reputation.”

Many suggest the decision against Lane was made, in large part, after an audit confirmed “improprieties related to the admissions process.” A university employee was fired in November and the BOR continued reviewing enrollment, financial aid, scholarship protocols and standards for all University colleges.

AANI has received an internal BOR memo which appears to back up that claim.

In what we believe is related to the November issue, item “b” under Audit Committee Recommendations states, “the BOR ascribe no credibility to Lane’s 12/3/19 interview statement that he did not know of any financial improprieties.”

Items listed under the “Citations” portion of the document, while not directly stating what Lane is accused of, mentions Lane’s name specifically in items noting what would be considered contractual violations.

That portion of the document reads, “F. Termination for Cause. “Cause” as herein used is defined as (1) commission of a felony, (2) commission of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude that materially impairs Dr. Lane’s ability to discharge his duties hereunder, (3) fraud, (4) embezzlement, (5) theft, or (6) failure to promptly advise and fully report to the Board any matter known by Dr. Lane that tends to bring public disrespect, contempt or ridicule upon the University or (7) any act that creates a material adverse effect on the reputation and/or brand of the University.”

Did Lane do anything to hurt the reputation of TSU?

It is indisputable that, since assuming leadership in 2016 and becoming the 12th president of Texas’ 2nd largest Historically Black College and University (HBCU), TSU has made major advancements.

The annual Maroon and Gray Gala, launched by Lane and his wife, Loren, has become a record-breaking event, raising a million dollars last year, graduation rates have increased, alumni support is on a high and scholarship money has poured in, but “something is afoot,” as the saying goes.

Careful dissection of the publicly posted board meeting videos appears to show BOR members sparring in October about Lane’s direct staff, and procedures about firing, in addition to concerns over expenses linked to an office for Lane’s wife and enrollment numbers.

Since the new BOR officers took position late last year, movements against Lane and his staff are causing a stir. Is the new board just “out for blood,” or are they the “cleanup crew?”

AANI has been the leader in uncovering information about this matter and we are continuing to dig for answers. Stay connected with us for more breaking details.

Follow the new and improved on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Related News:

TSU President Austin Lane placed on paid administrative leave

Latest Articles


Search our archive of past issues Receive our Latest Updates
* indicates required

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

Scroll to Top