Reeve Hamilton, Texas Tribune

Texas Tribune Reporter

Reeve Hamilton has interned at The Nation and The Texas Observer, for which he covered the 2009 legislative session. Most recently, he was a desk assistant at The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. A Houston native, he has a bachelor's degree in English from Vanderbilt University.

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University of Texas
9:59 am
Fri April 11, 2014

UT-Austin Faculty Objects to Shared Services Plan

UT-Austin students stretch out between classes in this undated 2010 photo. Over 100 UT faculty members signed a letter this week opposing the university's proposed "shared services" model.
KUT News

More than 100 faculty members at the University of Texas at Austin signed a letter this week expressing concern and dismay over a proposal to centralize and consolidate services such as human resources and information technology.

That shared services model would combine administrative services now located and staffed in individual departments of the university in an attempt to save millions of dollars annually.

In the letter to UT-Austin President Bill Powers, faculty members posited that such a move would harm the university's sense of community. "People choose to work at the University of Texas at Austin because they believe in its educational and social mission," the letter said. "Adoption of a shared services model will weaken departments’ commitment to those missions by devaluing bonds between faculty and staff that develop from working toward common goals."

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UT Board of Regents
9:14 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Report Cites Possible Grounds for Hall's Impeachment

A group examining whether UT System Regent Wallace Hall overstepped his boundaries has found potential grounds for impeachment.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

There could be grounds to impeach University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall on at least on at least four different counts, according to a report by the special counsel to the legislative committee that has been investigating the controversial gubernatorial appointee.

The report, which was obtained by the Tribune on Monday night on the condition that it not be published in its entirety, is the handiwork of a team led by Houston attorney Rusty Hardin, which reviewed more than 150,000 pages of documents and sat through dozens of hours of interviews and testimony before the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations during the second half of 2013.

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Education
1:59 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

In Austin, College Board Announces Major SAT Changes

Texas Tribune

The SAT, a standardized test that for many students is an intimidating hurdle to clear en route to college admissions, is about to undergo a major redesign. Among the changes being announced by The College Board in Austin on Wednesday: The test will revert to a 1600-point scale, and the essay portion will be optional and scored separately.

According to the Texas Education Agency, more than 182,000 Texas public high school students took the SAT, the ACT (another test used in college admissions developed by ACT, Inc.) or both exams in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available. That total represents nearly 69 percent of all public high school graduates in Texas.

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Education
12:40 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Most Eighth-Graders Fail to Get Degree 11 Years Later

According to state data, less than one-fifth of eighth grade students in 2001 earned a college degree.
Credit Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

 Among young Texans who started eighth grade in 2001, less than one-fifth went on to earn a higher education credential within six years of their high school graduation. And rates were even lower among African-American and Hispanic students and those who were economically disadvantaged, according to data analyzed by two state education agencies and presented Tuesday in a Texas Tribune news application.  

Since 2012, Houston Endowment, a philanthropic foundation and sponsor of the news app, has advocated for the use of “cohort tracking” to evaluate the state’s education pipeline. The analysis begins with all Texas students entering eighth grade in a given year and follows them for 11 years, giving them six years after high school to earn a post-secondary degree.  

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Politics
2:13 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Report: Regent Didn't Violate Student Privacy Laws

UT Regent Wallace Hall
Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

After reviewing University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall's handling of information that may be confidential under federal student privacy laws, outside lawyers for the system have concluded that there was "no credible evidence of a violation of [the state government code] that would warrant a referral for criminal prosecution."

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UT Regents
1:37 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

UT Regent Hall Declines Invitation to Testify

UT Regent Wallace Hall could face impeachment in an investigation of whether or not he abused his power in his investigation of UT President Bill Powers
Callie Richmond for Texas Tribune

University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall has declined an invitation to testify this week before the legislative committee that is conducting an investigation of his actions as a regent — an inquiry that could result in a recommendation that he be impeached.

The House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations is scheduled to meet on Wednesday and Thursday. They have subpoenaed UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers to testify. They opted not to issue a subpoena for Hall, though they hoped to hear from him.

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University of Texas
4:30 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

UT Regents to Discuss Employment of Bill Powers

The job performance of UT-Austin President Bill Powers, seen here in 2011, will be the subject of a closed-door discussion by the UT System Board of Regents this week.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The University of Texas System Board of Regents plans to discuss the employment of University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers during a closed-door executive session at its board meeting on Thursday.

Powers' job at the flagship university, which he has held for nearly eight years, has been believed by some to be in jeopardy since the appointment of new board members in 2011. Multiple board meetings have been preceded by rumors of his impending ousting, but the speculation has consistently proven incorrect.

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Politics
8:55 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Tension, Anxiety Are Backdrop of UT Regents Meeting

Gov. Rick Perry greets UT Regents head Gene Powell in this July 16 photo. The Board of Regents meets for two days starting today.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

As the University of Texas System Board of Regents convenes for its annual August meeting Wednesday and Thursday, a gathering fraught with tension and anxiety is all but assured.

The nine regents have been bathed in controversy for more than two years, and — despite racking up a number of accomplishments, including the creation of a major new university in South Texas — have only managed to sink deeper over time.

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Politics
1:19 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

For Tweeting Candidates Like Abbott, a Campaign Risk

Greg Abbott announces his candidacy for Texas governor at LaVillita in San Antonio on July 14, 2013.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

As his followers know, Attorney General Greg Abbott, widely considered the frontrunner to be Texas' next governor, manages his own Twitter feed. It's not uncommon for him to use it to thank his supporters. 

But his appreciation for a supporter's tweet on Sunday night — one that called state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, an "idiot" and a "Retard Barbie" — has fast become the most controversial moment of Abbott's young gubernatorial bid. And it has highlighted the high-risk, high-reward proposition of letting a candidate handle his or her own social media.     

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University of Texas
8:42 am
Sat June 22, 2013

Pitts Working to Impeach Controversial UT System Regent

State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, sits at his desk in the House Chamber on April 3, 2013. Pitts' HB 1 the Appropriations Bill will be heard on the House floor Thursday, April 4th.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Update (June 21, 3:26 p.m.): State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, said Friday afternoon that his effort to unseat University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall is still very much alive in the last days of the session, and said he is confident he has the necessary support in the House. Aides to Gov. Rick Perry have been lobbying members to leave Hall in office, but Pitts said he's got the numbers right now.

Original story: The House's chief budget writer and a longstanding critic of the University of Texas System regents is attempting to launch impeachment proceedings against University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall.

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Education
2:34 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Zaffirini Bill Would Clarify Open Records Obligations

Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, on opening day of the 83rd legislative session, Jan. 8, 2013.
Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

State Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, filed a bill on Monday to clarify the open records obligations of state agencies, including — some would say specifically — the University of Texas System.

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University of Texas
2:02 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Lawmakers, Observers React to Tense UT System Meeting

University of Texas System Regent Steven Hicks listens to a speech at a meeting on May 12, 2011.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Longtime employees of the University of Texas System said they could not recall a split vote on the board of regents, which has traditionally settled differences behind closed doors and presented a unified front. That changed on Wednesday, catching higher education observers and even some lawmakers off guard.

The board voted 4-3 — Chairman Gene Powell and another member were absent — in favor of commissioning an external review of the relationship between the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas Law School Foundation, an independently run fundraising organization. 

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University of Texas
2:40 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

UT System Seeks External Review of Law Foundation

The University of Texas System regents voted to continue an investigation of inappropriate employee compensation payments.
Bob Daemmrich

One day after a lawmaker accused University of Texas System regents of engaging in a "witch hunt" aimed at University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers, the board voted Wednesday during a tense meeting to seek an external review of the university's relationship with the University of Texas Law School Foundation.

The arrangement has come under scrutiny since 2011, when Larry Sager, then the dean of the University of Texas School of Law, was asked by Powers to resign. Concerns later surfaced about the foundation's forgivable loan program that some faculty had benefited from, including Sager, who received $500,000.

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University of Texas
3:32 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Three New University of Texas System Regents Named

Gov. Rick Perry announced three appointments to the UT Board of Regents today.
Spencer Selvidge, Texas Tribune

Gov. Rick Perry announced the appointment of Jeff Hildebrand and Ernest Aliseda, along with the re-appointment of Paul Foster of El Paso, to the University of Texas System Board of Regents on Thursday.

Hildebrand, of Houston, is chairman and CEO of Hilcorp Energy Company. Aliseda is the managing attorney of Loya Insurance group and a municipal judge for the city of McAllen. Foster, of El Paso, is the executive chairman of Western Refining Company.

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Higher Education
6:15 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Legislators Honor Beleaguered UT President Powers

University of Texas at Austin President William Powers, on Dec. 14, 2011.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

In the midst of ongoing turbulence between the University of Texas System regents and the leadership of its flagship institution, the Texas Senate and House honored University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers on Monday with resolutions acknowledging his accomplishments and his years of service.

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