today is not by chance,” Fonken told the American Statesman. Some liberal arts professors, however, suggest that there is another side to the funding equation and many are moving on. “It’s a business and engineering school,” said a former UT professor \(one of half a dozen recognized tenured liberal arts position to move to a large out-of-state university. “That’s where the money is going. And it’s going to cause a lot more unhappiness in liberal arts.” And that is where the money will continue to go. To bring Sematech to Austin, the university has purchased from Data General one of the members of the consortiumthe $12 million abandoned microconducter facility that will now be renovated at an estimated cost of $25 million, . then rented to Sethatech, for something like one dollar a year. All of this has been achieved with frightening expediency, within a few months, and with an equally frightening absence of deliberation. Lines dividing the public and the private here become conveniently blurred. The Data General building becomes a UT property. Like the institution itself, and most of our elected officials, no longer can it be bought. But it can be rented. PROFILE Bobby Ray Inman and the High-Tech epstakes BY PAUL SWEENEY HE’S THE VERY. MODEL of a modern military officer. Four years ago Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, former director of the National officer, and once number two man at the Central Intelligence Agency, arrived in Austin to build a world-class research laboratory for private industry. Backing him were Control Data Corporation; Motorola, Inc.; Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.; Eastman Kodak Company; NCR’ Corporation; and a host of other high-technology companies that had vowed to pool their research to do battle with the Japanese. Today the Microelectronics and Comboasts a $75 million budget and employs 500 people. But it no longer employs Inman. Instead, he’s hard at work building another company from scratch. This time, he says, he will develop a defense electronics holding company, Westmark Systems, Inc. , that will eventually buy up a string of companies most likely in the $50 million to $350 million price range and then market their products to the Pentagon that Inman knows , so well. Westmark completed a $694 million tender ‘offer for Tracor, Inc. , Inman’s first acquisition, October 9. Admiral Bobby Inman’s career is a primer in how to parlay years of government service into million dollar investment deals. He’s an inside entrepreneur a brand of entrepreneur especially common in the multimillion dollar financial deals that mark the waning years of the ’80s. His talents are those of the organization man comfortable with large bureaucracies. His strength Paul Sweeney, a long-time Observer contributor, is now a business writer for the Orlando Sentinel. This article originally appeared in the December issue of Venture magazine. is the ability to package and sell his message to the media. His edge comes from whom he knows, the military procurement officers in Washington and the money and power brokers of Texas and Wall Street. His product isn’t a revolutionary computer or pizza delivery system. His product is economic rationalization, restructuring, and leverage. BILL LEISSNER Admiral Inman And like some others of this breed of entrepreneur, Inman functions best within the embrace of the federal government. MCC exists only because of hidden government subsidies and exemptions from federal antitrust laws. The Pentagon will be Westmark’s primary customer. In this sheltered corner of the economy, Westmark won’t have to worry about competition from the Japanese. Westmark will make its millions from repackaging assets for the financial marketplace. It’s hard to figure out how the busy 56year-old Inman has time to run Westmark. The Admiral, an aloof, bookish-looking man with a high, broad forehead, crooked arching eyebrows, a gap between his front teeth, and a reputation for genius and persuasiveness, serves on the boards of directors of Fluor Corporation, Oracle Systems Corporation, Southwestern Bell Corporation, Texas Eastern Corporation, and, before the tender offer, Tracor Corporation. He is a director of the elite Council on Foreign Relations, a kind of shadow State Department that claims Henry A. Kissinger and Cyrus R. Vance among its members. Inman is also chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Not a bad resume for a boy from a dusty small town in East Texas. The precocious second of four children born to Mertie and Herman Inman, the owners of a Sinclair station in tiny Rhonesboro, graduated from high school at age 15. He finished his degree at the University of Texas at 19, entered and then dropped out of law school, and finally enlisted in the Navy during the Korean War. By 1974 Inman was head of Naval Intelligence, and in the wake of the domestic spying scandals, took over as head of the NSA in 1977. Inman ran the super-secret organization until 1981. By that time Inman had learned how to survive in the halls of power. James Bamford, author of The Puzzle Palace, a history of the NSA, writes: “Inman was a skilled diplomat when it came to dealing with Congress; he had acquired the talent while suffering through various Congressional investigations as director of Naval Intelligence.” Still, by 1982 Inman was bridling under the director of the CIA, William Casey, and though he had become a four-star admiral at age 49, he was looking for civilian opportunities. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7
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