Coalition Welcomes UT System Regent Appointments

The Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education today issued the following statement following the announcement by Governor Greg Abbott that he had reappointed UT System Regent and Vice Chairman of the Board Steve Hicks, and appointed two new members to the Board, Sara Martinez Tucker and David Beck:

“We congratulate Gov. Abbott on regent selections that will help move The University of Texas System forward. We commend the reappointment of Regent Hicks, who has been a strong and positive leader on the board, and look forward to the new ideas, insights and experiences that Sara Martinez Tucker and David Beck will bring to the Board of Regents. Coupled with the new leadership provided by Chancellor McRaven, these appointments signal a new era of collaboration, cooperation and excellence for the System. We urge the Senate Committee on Nominations to move swiftly on confirmations.”

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Welcoming Chancellor McRaven

On Monday, Jan. 5, 2015 Bill McRaven took thelm as chancellor of The University of Texas System. In an open letter he laid out his vision for the System. The Coalition welcomed Admiral McRaven, issuing the following statement:

“This week marks a new and exciting era for The University of Texas System, highlighted by the statesmanlike and visionary leadership of Chancellor Bill McRaven. In an open letter on his first day in office, Chancellor McRaven has set the tone for a tenure marked by teamwork, excellence in education and research, and an adherence to good governance principles.

“His focused, collaborative and no-nonsense approach creates an environment that encourages the System’s institutions to get back to the business of teaching and research, and move away from the discord and controversy in which they have too often been embroiled, especially UT Austin.

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Turmoil resumes at UT over admissions, records requests

 
The University of Texas System was a battleground over the summer as a legislative panel voted to censure a divisive regent, and President William Powers agreed under pressure to resign next year. The selection of a widely respected new system chancellor, Adm. William McRaven, added to hopes that the controversy might be winding down. University officials confirmed this week that regent Wallace Hall's public records requests, a key issue in the legislative hearings that led to his censure, had continued unabated. And in an Oct. 16 letter to regents Chair Paul Foster, Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, expressed dismay that Hall had asked to examine certain unspecified, "potentially confidential" documents.
 
For nearly a year before his censure, the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations looked into the lengthy, personal investigation Hall had undertaken into UT-Austin under Powers. Powers' supporters called the probe a witch hunt to oust the president. They said Hall bullied staff, released confidential student information and sullied the school's reputation in the process. A preliminary investigation found no evidence of punishable wrongdoing. But additional information provided to system officials reignited concerns over UT-Austin's admissions practices and led the regents to hire corporate investigations firm Kroll Associates to undertake a deeper, independent inquiry. Lawmakers hoped the censure and the launch of the independent probe would tamp down Hall's personal investigations, but they haven't.
 
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Pressure on the Presidents

 
Twenty-eight percent of public four-year college and university presidents say they feel pressure from their governors to conduct their presidencies in ways that differ from their judgment about what's best for their institutions.
 
That is among the findings of the latest snap poll of presidents -- conducted by Gallup and Inside Higher Ed -- on breaking issues. A total of 620 presidents responded to the latest survey. They were assured anonymity, but their answers were grouped by sector. The latest survey was conducted amid the latest push by allies of Texas Governor Rick Perry to force out Bill Powers as president of the University of Texas at Austin, and amid growing debate over the use of climate surveys as one tool to combat sexual assault on campuses. (Powers survived, but in part because he was agreeing to retire anyway, just on his schedule instead of the governor's.)
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Matthew McConaughey, Earl Campbell among UT-Austin alums honored by Texas Exes

 

The University of Texas recognized a handful of its standout graduates and their professional accomplishments Friday night with Distinguished Alumnus Awards. This year’s recipients have represented their school in a variety of places: Hollywood, the football field, a restored state Capitol and beyond. Matthew McConaughey, Earl Campbell and Dealey Herndon were among those honored with the award, which is handed out each year to six people by Texas Exes, the school’s alumni association.
 
McConaughey, who earned his degree in 1993, has emerged as one of the most recognized Texans of today. This year, the actor earned an Academy Award for his role in Dallas Buyers Club. “I met my longest and best friends that I have and still have in my life right here,” he said Friday at the LBJ Presidential Library. “I’ve got three children now, and I would be very honored if they chose to come to this university, so to that I say, hook ’em, Horns.” Star running back Campbell was the first Longhorn to win the Heisman trophy, in 1977. He went on to a Hall of Fame career with the Houston Oilers and the New Orleans Saints. The Tyler native and 1979 UT grad charmed the crowd Friday with jokes and stories about being recruited to play for Texas, his first encounters in Austin and his coaches and teammates.
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  • Coalition Welcomes UT System Regent Appointments

    The Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education today issued the following statement following the announcement by Governor Greg Abbott that he had reappointed UT System Regent and Vice Chairman of the Board Steve Hicks, and appointed two new members to the Board, Sara Martinez Tucker and David Beck:

    “We congratulate Gov. Abbott on regent selections that will help move The University of Texas System forward. We commend the reappointment of Regent Hicks, who has been a strong and positive leader on the board, and look forward to the new ideas, insights and experiences that Sara Martinez Tucker and David Beck will bring to the Board of Regents. Coupled with the new leadership provided by Chancellor McRaven, these appointments signal a new era of collaboration, cooperation and excellence for the System. We urge the Senate Committee on Nominations to move swiftly on confirmations.”

    Continue reading
  • Welcoming Chancellor McRaven

    On Monday, Jan. 5, 2015 Bill McRaven took thelm as chancellor of The University of Texas System. In an open letter he laid out his vision for the System. The Coalition welcomed Admiral McRaven, issuing the following statement:

    “This week marks a new and exciting era for The University of Texas System, highlighted by the statesmanlike and visionary leadership of Chancellor Bill McRaven. In an open letter on his first day in office, Chancellor McRaven has set the tone for a tenure marked by teamwork, excellence in education and research, and an adherence to good governance principles.

    “His focused, collaborative and no-nonsense approach creates an environment that encourages the System’s institutions to get back to the business of teaching and research, and move away from the discord and controversy in which they have too often been embroiled, especially UT Austin.

    Continue reading

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