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The Institute for Constructive Capitalism \(or “eye-cee-squared” as it’s but well-endowed domain situated somewhere within the graduate school of business at UT-Austin. From the best anyone can tell, the institute is something of a private preserve created a year ago by grad school dean George Kozmetsky for himself and his academiccorporate colleagues. No one connected with IC 2 is able to do more than blather when asked precisely what the function of the place is. Prof. Timothy Ruefli, who holds the title of associate director. says the institute “was established to research the role of , The school of communication at the University of Texas at Austin has launched its energy reporting course this spring, but J365 is off to a much slower -start than its early promoters had hopedthe substantial private contributions they had counted on were not forthcoming, and only eight students have enrolled, two fewer than the tenstudent minimum usually required to continue a class. The journalism course, designed to give budding reporters a basic introduction to the doings of the power industry, was the brainchild of UT’s Center for Energy Studies, which is closely tied to Texas’ major energy corporations. The state’s largest privately owned utility company, Texas Utilities, Inc., in a step that raised conflict-of-interest questions, had been asked by a CES staffer to underwrite the original $45,000 price tag for the course. Various ethical questions were not resolved and the companies invited to involve themselves with the course have hedged their bets, giving just enough to keep their hands in. Texas Utilities’ Dallas subsidiary, Texas 1-k, ,ver & Light, chipped in $1,500, and the Texas Electric Service Company in Fort Worth was good for another $1,500. Taxpayers see to the rest of the budget, now pared down substantially. Dr. Wayne Danielson, dean of the communications school, told the Observer that UT would have gone ahead with J365 even without outside help. He said the $3,000 in corporate aid will be used to send students on field trips to utility power plants around the stateincluding Texas Utilities’ lignite showcase at Fairfieldwhere students will get on-site instruction in the way capitalism in the nation’s economy and society.” Dr. Seymour Swartz, dean of administrative matters for the graduate school of business and someone who is supposed to know what goes on, could only say, “ICC is an organization devoted to the study of capitalism in many aspects of our society.” At last, however, ICC has issued its first producta 38-page directory of corporate addresses for the country’s 500 largest industrial firms, as ranked by Fortune magazine. The institute got itself into such a tizzy over the accomplishment that it mailed out a press release. Explaining the need for the directory, Ruefli said that no other publication lists the addresses of the Fortune 500; “Addresses are the key,” he said. \(A quick spot check with Austin libraries The building Back when the new glass-and-steel State Bar headquarters in Austin was no more than a gleam in the eyes of its planners, the bar’s directors pledged to pay for their clubhouse without hitting up members for more dues money. Now the expensively appointed building is a mortgaged reality, and the plan to pay for it out of voluntary contributions has been torpedoed by the IRS. You guessed itthe directors are urging the 30,000 lawyers of Texas to bail them out by voting for what is euphemistically described as a “one-time assessment” of up to $138 a head. Such a levy, the bar estimates, would pay off the $3.9 million note held by American National Bank in Austin. “The integrity of the lawyers of Texas is at stake,” pleads bar president Travis Shelton in the February Texas Bar Journal. The bar avoided outright default and the unseemly consequence of mortgage foreclosure by negotiating an eleventhhour extension of the note, which fell due Dec. 31, 1977. But the reprieve didn’t come cheap. By the time the new -will have forked over $31,000 a month in interest payments at 2 percent above the prime lending rate. Another extension seems out of the question, and it’s not likely that some other bank will pick up the note, since a mortgage on state property may not be enforceable under Texas law. Joe Longley, a maverick bar director from Austin, figures that the bar would have to “find a bank whose loan committee members would all go crazy at once.” Hence, though he calls the building “a monument to bricks over brains,” turned up at least ten published sources that give the whereabouts of the 500 It w ould ould seem that an academic entity endowed with some $2 million in private grants from the likes of the Sid Richardson Foundation, Zapata Oil, and Tenneco might be expected to produce more in a year than an address book \(Ruefli says the directory will be useful But no one at the university seems to care, nor do they have much of an idea about what ICC will do next. Dean Swartz, who is in charge of fundraising for the graduate school of business, says he doesn’t know what the expected budget of ICC is, but figures that it will spend about $100.000 this year. Gerald McLeod Longley joins his brethren on the board in support of the proposed assessment, which he regards as a necessary evil to meet the moral obligation incurred by the bar when it took the loan financing route. Plenty of rank-and-file lawyers disagree, including some who got their first look at the law center’s interior at the bar’s mid-year meeting last month. One outraged Houston attorney wondered aloud whether bar administrators had bothered to seek bids on the luxurious furnishings, typified by such necessities as brass trash cans that fetched $61.20 apiece. Another lawyer took a skeptical view of the “moral obligation” argument. “There’s a moral obligation only if you took part in incurring the obligation,” said Jim Boyle, kustin attorney and executive director of the Texas Consumer Association. Boyle noted pointedly that little membership involvement in law center planning had been soughtuntil now. Even some proponents concede that the temporary dues increase will probably be voted down, though an energetic State Bar campaign can be expected. The remaining choice, short of default, would be to cut back drastically on recently expanded staff and programs and use the money saved to pay off the bank at $400,000 a year for the next couple of decades. But that option, too, would require membership approval, and many members are disgruntled enough to make a different kind of contribution by giving their two cents’ worth to the Sunset Advisory Commission when the bar comes before it in July to justify its existence. Eric Hartman :h.e bar built THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19