When Wallace Hall Jr. misbehaved in elementary school, his music teacher, Mrs. Ortega, would send him to a closet.
He didn’t mind. There was a stack of National Geographic magazines in the closet, and he loved to read.
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Wallace L. Hall Jr.
Born: March 5, 1962
Education: Bachelor’s degree in economics, University of Texas
Currently: President, Wetland Partners LP; University of Texas System regent; board member of St. Mark’s School of Texas
Formerly: Money manager, securities trader, financial futures trader
Family: Married, with four children
Worth noting: He enjoys outdoor activities, including deer hunting, fly fishing and skiing.
Selected comments by University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall Jr. in an interview with the American-Statesman:
On his first job, as a securities analyst with Argus Research in New York:
Argus was very formative for me. Some companies were extremely open, and they welcomed the analyst in, and they invited questions, and they liked to be challenged on what they were trying to do. And some leaders were not interested in doing that. And it became a contrast in styles, and it was fascinating to me to see how different companies and their managements would be.
On his father’s influence:
He’s a voracious reader. And he’s passed that on to me and my brother and my sister. And he’s a source of many of my best ideas because he constantly reads and brings in something that he thinks I should find interesting.
On working in the trading pits at the New York Futures Exchange in the 1980s:
That was a great experience, and it was an exciting time to be in New York. Wall Street was just really coming back. A lot of the guys I worked with had really tough voices, and they had to get their vocal cords scraped periodically. They ate poorly and smoked a lot, and that was back when everybody smoked in the room. It was not something where people spent long careers doing that.
On why he’s taken the unusual step of examining hundreds of thousands of pages of UT-Austin open-records materials:
I’m sorry that it’s unusual and that more people who are responsible for institutions aren’t doing a deeper dig to understand what’s happening on their campuses and institutions. I think it’s a duty. To the extent that I feel I need to ask for information and read it to educate myself and educate others on the board or the chancellor, that’s my job.
On accusations by critics, including some of his fellow regents, that his review of university records is part of a witch hunt against UT-Austin President Bill Powers:
That’s their opinion. I have a fiduciary duty to understand what’s going on on the campus. So when I come across something that warrants, that begs, a question, then I’m going to ask the question, and then I’m going to pursue it until I get a good answer. And that’s what I expect the board to do and that’s what I expect the system and the chancellor to do.
Ralph K.M. Haurwitz has covered the University of Texas and other public universities since 2004, and he has written extensively about their governing practices.