H. Scott Caven

H. Scott Caven

Hubbard Scott
Caven

Vital Stats

Gubernatorial Campaign Contributions:

-Perry: $22,972

Years as Regent:

February 2003-February 2009

Residency: Houston, Texas

"Market forces drive everything"

-Caven, talking about tuition deregulation at UT.1

H. Scott Caven is another regent whose experience in education is far outpaced by his experience in Texas business. He was Executive Vice-President for Goldman, Sachs & Co. until December of 2001, quitting after 32 years. He left before an investigative report in the London Times revealed evidence of Goldman and Sachs spinning stock research (it's what got Citibank and others fined $1 billion dollars). Caven was in his position as executive vice-president while these activities were reportedly happening. After quitting Goldman Sachs, he began working full-time for Governor Rick Perry.

When Perry took over George W. Bush's position as Texas governor, Caven was called in to serve on the transition team. This team included some of our current regents: Cyndi Krier, Robert Estrada, and James Huffines. Caven helped advise on Texas-Mexico relations, one of the three areas of the Transition Team. He was also an informal advisor on the appointments team, which Huffines chaired. Caven was given this position while he was still at Goldman Sachs, one of the largest brokerage firms dealing with Texas' public funds, and the largest vendor at the Permanent School Fund. Goldman Sachs at this time was making tens of millions of dollars from these public funds. Thus as an informal advisor, Caven was able to influence Gov. Perry's appointments of public fund managers - at the same time working for a company that was profiting from these funds.2 After working on the transition team, Caven served as Perry’s Finance Chairman. He came under some fire recently for his role in Gov. Perry's appointment of a former Enron executive to the Public Utility Commission. Max Yzaguirre was appointed chairman of the Public Utility Commission. Yzaguirre was the president of Enron de Mexico before it collapsed along with its parent company based in Houston (before this, he was a lawyer at Vinson and Elkins). Perry received a $25,000 check from Enron CEO Ken Lay less than 24 hours after Yzaguirre's appointment. Caven was quoted in the Houston Chronicle: "There never was any calls from Ken Lay or any pressure. I never had contact at all with any person with Enron with regard to Max. It was a personal friendship we had through the Texas Business Hall of Fame."3 Yzaguirre is currently on the Business Hall of Fame's Board of Directors, Caven was Director and Chairman starting in 1993, and Ken Lay was inducted in 1997.4

As Perry's Finance Chairman, Caven organized fundraisers for the governor, including bringing Bush back to Texas to help raise some money.5 These monies were later used to get Perry elected to the Governor’s office, in the 2002 race. Caven was subsequently named to the 2003 Texas Inaugural Committee as Finance Co-Chairman. He worked with Regent Huffines once again in securing donations for the Governor - and they were each rewarded with an appointment to the Board of Regents.

Caven, along with fellow regent Dub Riter, has connections to the Texas Growth Fund (TGF). Caven was TGF's founding chairman and chaired the Fund from 1989-1999.

Caven earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. After he left, he became the Chairman of the College of Business Administration Advisory Council in 1992 and is a life member. He is also director of the MBA Investment Fund, and a trustee of the UT Business School Foundation.

Caven is the most recent example of how to get appointed to the most important position in higher education in Texas: give money to, or get money for the governor doing the appointing. Another regent with the belief that higher education is an overregulated market place, Caven is the most recent example of why the selection of regents needs to be reformed dramatically.

Bibliography

Boards and Executive Positions

The University of Texas System Chancellor's Executive Committee:
Member

McCombs School of Business Advisory Council, University of Texas at Austin:
Life Member

The Business School Foundation, University of Texas at Austin:
Trustee and Treasurer

MBA Investment Fund, L.L.C., University of Texas at Austin:
Director

The Institute for Research and Rehabilitation:
Trustee

Just for the Kids:
Director

Texans for Rick Perry:
State Finance Chairman

2003 Inaugural Committee:
Finance Co-Chairman

Texas Business Hall of Fame:
Director Emeritus

River Oaks Country Club:
Director and Treasurer