University’s $10M deal with prof ranking website raises eyebrows

Powell, who co-chaired Perry’s re-election finance committee, and Cigarroa also said they did not know of Crosno’s and Pearson’s ties to Perry.

William Cunningham, who also is a former president of the University of Texas at Austin, said he is not a major shareholder in MyEdu and was unaware of UT’s investment until it was publicly announced.

Cigarroa said the deal was cleared by the system’s attorneys. Perry spokesman Josh Havens said the governor’s office had no involvement in the deal.

John Cunningham, a Texas A&M graduate, started the online service as Pick-A-Prof in 2000 with a partner. The website enabled students to rate and exchange information about their instructors.

Crosno said he started MyEdu in 2009 by buying Pick-A-Prof. He said he saw the company had a great future as an independent clearinghouse where students and parents could plan better and lower college costs by avoiding dropped courses.

The University of Texas at Austin and other universities offer tools on their websites to help students with schedules and career planning. They also post summaries of student evaluations of faculty members.