University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers has announced his resignation, effective about a year from now on June 2, 2015.
Last week, U.T. System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa called on Powers to resign or face being fired at tomorrow’s meeting of the Board of Regents. Powers responded with a letter asking that he stay on until after the next session of the Texas Legislature. Cigarroa has accepted Powers' letter of resignation; the Board of Regents still needs to sign off on it.
Below, you can listen to Powers' exclusive interview with Texas Standard's David Brown about what he wishes to accomplish in his remaining year and his future with the University of Texas.
Powers and Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa have butted heads over the last few years over the direction of the system’s flagship institution. But even as Powers submitted his letter of resignation, Cigarroa would not go into detail as to why he had told Powers to resign or be fired.
"It will probably be a little emotional when I walk around campus, but I'll be here," Powers said in a speech to the university's faculty council. "It has been the highest honor and the blessing of my life to be here leading the University of Texas."
Powers said he will take a break after his resignation, but plans on returning to teach at U.T. School of Law.
Francisco Cigarroa said in a statement to the press it was "time for an orderly change in leadership" and called Powers' tenure productive, but not elaborating on a specific reason for the ultimatum:
"While ultimately productive, the past years have not been without struggle and, at times, conflict and controversy. There was no single incident that prompted my decision to ask President Powers for his resignation last week, but a long history of issues with communication, responsiveness and a willingness to collaborate."
You can read Chancellor Cigarroa's full statement online. KUT will continue updating this story as developments occur.
In a written statement this afternoon, President Powers thanked Chancellor Cigarroa and the Board of Regents for their cooperation in the plan to continue in his role as president until next June.
"It will allow me to continue to build on our student success initiatives, complete our $3 billion capital campaign, and bring the Dell Medical School closer to reality over the next year while ensuring a smooth transition to my successor," Powers said. "It will also allow me to work with elected officials in the 84th Texas Legislature."