Appointments Office scope and content note
Scope and Content Note
The Texas governor appoints a large number of state officials (with the consent of the Texas Senate) and fills vacancies in state and district offices (except vacancies in the legislature). The Appointments Office is responsible for naming individuals to serve on state boards and commissions. Texas Governor Rick Perry Appointment Office records comprise paper and electronic records, including appointment application files, senate confirmation reports, boards and nominees spreadsheets, and office files, dating 1981, 1989-2015, bulk 2001-2014.
Appointment application files include application forms; letters of recommendation, appointment, resignation, and thanks; letters from Governor Perry to the state senate requesting confirmation of appointments (if required); appointment letters from Governor Perry to the Secretary of State; résumés or curriculum vitae; photographs; judicial appointment questionnaires; forms authorizing the State Bar of Texas or Commission on Judicial Conduct to release information about an appointee to the Governor’s Office (plus results of these inquiries); state appointment disclosure forms (whereby appointees may choose whether or not to disclose to the public their home address, home telephone number, social security number, and information revealing whether they have family members); news clippings or other publications about applicants and their accomplishments (including web pages); articles, briefs, opinions, and other writings authored by applicants; and other materials concerning applicants for appointed positions during Governor Rick Perry’s administration. Correspondents include applicants, legislators, other state officials, members of the applicant’s local community, and professional colleagues. Appointment application files date 1995-2014, bulk 2001-2014. Individuals submitted applications to the Governor’s Appointments Office for appointment to a broad range of positions including vacant judgeships, state boards and commissions, certain agency heads, university regents, river authorities, and branch pilots. See the list of all entities to which the governor makes appointments or nominations, at http://gov.texas.gov/appointments/positions/home (accessed May 20, 2016). Files exist both for appointees and applicants who were not appointed to an office. A number of the files are for persons appointed by Perry’s predecessor, Governor George W. Bush, and carried over into Perry’s governorship. If the individual was still in an appointed position at the time that these records were transferred to the Texas State Archives (December 2014 – March 2015), there is probably NOT a file for that person in these records; the file was most likely kept by the succeeding governor’s office (Governor Greg Abbott).
The appointments process for the majority of boards and commissions, by virtue of the procedure prescribed in the Constitution of the State of Texas, requires that the nomination of a person by the governor be confirmed by the Texas Senate. The senate considers the confirmation of an appointment when they are in session, which is every odd-numbered year, or when the governor calls a special session. Senate confirmation reports date 1995, 2001-2013. Each folder covers one legislative session (75th, and 77th through 83rd), and contains daily Senate Committee on Nominations action reports, giving the following information: hearing date, chair, a recommendation that the nominees in the list be confirmed, and the numbers of senators who voted yea, nay, or present but not voting. For each nominee, the list gives the board or commission, the dates of appointment and expiration of the term, and the name of the nominee’s senator. Each of these daily lists begins with a cover letter from Secretary of the Senate Betty King (2001) or Patsy Spaw (2003-2013) to Governor Perry (with copies to the secretary of state, lieutenant governor, Nominations Committee, Legislative Reference Library, and Senate Media). Also in the files are letters from Governor Perry to the senate when he asks for a nomination to be withdrawn, and (beginning in 2009) letters from Governor Perry to the senate constituting the original requests for confirmation. These give the same information as the senate confirmation reports, except that the city of residence is given (not the name of the state senator). The one folder for the 75th Legislature, 1995, is kept here partly because there is not a corresponding series in Governor George W. Bush Appointments Office records.
Governor Perry’s Appointments Office created nine spreadsheets on boards and nominees to help manage the tasks of collecting and considering applications for appointments. These Boards and nominees spreadsheets include entries dating 1981, 1989-2015, bulk 2001-2014, and are in electronic format only. Several spreadsheets apply to the boards alone: one on boards (containing 951 entries), and one on board contacts and/or board executive directors – apparently the same data on both of these spreadsheets (containing 591 entries). Several other spreadsheets apply to the nominees alone: one on nominees (containing 25,404 entries), one on nominee/board relations (containing 51,636 entries), one on recommenders (containing 42,387 entries), one on references (containing 26,445 entries), and one titled notebook (containing 66,031 entries).
Office files exist in electronic format only, and document three different activities of the Office of the Governor’s Appointments Office, 2006-2009, 2011-2014: the annual training seminar (designed to acquaint newly appointed board and commission members with the roles and responsibilities of their positions, as well as the governor’s philosophy and priorities); the annual student regent training seminar (with the same goal but for a much smaller and slightly different demographic group (students)); and the annual leadership work conference of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) (with a Texas delegation of five state representatives and five state senators appointed by the governor).
Electronic records described in this finding aid that are part of the Texas Digital Archive are indicated as such in the inventory. Restrictions on access to the content of records are applicable to paper and electronic records. The extent of the electronic records is provided by the file size and the number of files. The inventory does not list every electronic file or folder.
Formats of the original electronic files include word processing or plain text files (.doc, .txt, and .pdf) and spreadsheets (.xls and .xlsx). Digital files presented for public use will generally be PDF for text documents or spreadsheets. Files in their original format are available on request; restrictions may apply.
To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.