Bill Powers

University of Texas
1:20 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Is Perry-Powers Tension About College Rivalry, Policy?

The undercurrents of bickering between UT-Austin President Bill Powers and Gov. Rick Perry offers a gold mine for the conspiratorial set.
Nicolas Raymond / Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Is this about Bill Powers or UT’s tower?

Tensions between Gov. Rick Perry’s administration and Powers, the president of the University of Texas at Austin, are rising, sucking up legislative time and pitting lawmakers, prominent alumni and higher-education critics against one another in a running argument over politics, rivalries and what a public university is supposed to be.

Read more
Education
5:21 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

UT Votes Against Fall Break

The general faculty voted against a fall break proposal Monday afternoon.
KUT News

At a special meeting Monday afternoon, the general faculty of the University of Texas at Austin voted "no" on a proposal that would have given students a "fall break" of two more days off in October.

The proposal was fueled by student support, including from UT's Student Government and UT's Graduate Student Assembly. Diane Bailey, chair of UT's Academic Calendar Committee, said the proposal would have started the fall semester two days earlier to give students two days off in the middle of the semester. 

Read more
University of Texas
10:06 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Report: Gov. Perry Pressuring UT-Austin President Powers to Resign

A report this weekend claims Gov. Rick Perry is telling UT-Austin President Bill Powers to resign before he's removed by the Board of Regents.
Bob Daemmrich / Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Simmering tensions between University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers and the UT Board of Regents keep rising: An article in the Houston Chronicle claims Gov. Rick Perry – who appoints the regents – “has communicated through emissaries that Powers should resign to avoid an embarrassing regents vote to fire him.”

Chronicle reporter Patricia Kilday Hart spoke with Texas Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo. Sen. Zaffirini argues that recent several actions by the Board of Regents – a special-called meeting to discuss a sexual encounter between assistant football coach Major Applewhite and an adult student, a sweeping open records request, and the controversial decision to re-investigate financial arrangements at the UT Law School foundation – are designed to “make life miserable” for Powers and lead to his resignation.

Read more
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. 

Read more
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.

Read more
University of Texas
6:32 am
Wed March 20, 2013

UT Officials Barred From Deleting Emails – Lawmaker Calls it a 'Witch Hunt' (Update)

UT-Austin president Bill Powers in late 2011. A UT spokesperson says campus officials are complying with a rule to preserve all email communication.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Update: A leading state lawmaker blasted the University of Texas System Regents yesterday over the group's treatment of University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers.

State House Appropriations Committee Chair Rep. Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie) spoke Tuesday during the first meeting of a special panel on higher education governance.

Read more
University of Texas
5:19 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Bill Gates Helps Open UT's New Computer Science Building

Bill Gates spoke at the opening of a computer center his foundation financed to the tune of $30 million.
Bobby Blanchard for KUT News

Bill Gates – philanthropist, billionaire, entrepreneur and former chief executive of Microsoft – visited the University of Texas campus today to take part in the opening ceremonies of UT's new computer science building.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall – or GDC for short –  cost the university $120 million to build. The Gates Foundation donated $30 million to the project and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation donated $10 million. The new complex is 140,000 square feet and contains "research clusters" to encourage collaborative work.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Education
6:15 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Powers: UT Ready to Begin Search for Medical School Dean

UT is ready to begin searching for a medical school dean, William Powers Jr. said Wednesday.
Justin Dehn, Texas Tribune

University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers told the UT Board of Regents on Wednesday that his school is ready to begin searching for a medical school dean.

A UT-Austin medical school, expected to open in either 2015 or 2016, is beginning to get off the ground. In May, the Board of Regents pledged $30 million per year for the next eight years. In November, Travis County voters approved Proposition 1, which will contribute about $25 million annually to the school. And more recently, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation pledged $50 million to the school.

Read more
2013 Legislative Session
11:00 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Texas Lawmakers Hear From Universities About Funding Needs

UT is planning to replace the Engineering-Science Building with a $310 million building.
Bobby Blanchard for KUT News

Preliminary budgets in the Texas Legislature show cuts to higher education funding. Today and Monday, state lawmakers will hear from individual state universities and university systems about what funding they need.

The state’s higher education institutions will present their funding requests to the Texas Senate Finance Committee. The Texas State University System, the Texas Tech University System, the University of Houston System and the University of North Texas System will present today. The University of Texas and Texas A&M University systems will speak to the committee on Monday.

Read more
Education
7:34 am
Tue August 7, 2012

UT Defends Use of Race as a Factor in Admissions

The Supreme Court is set to decide whether UT's use of race as a factor in admissions is constitutional.
Liang Shi for KUT News

The University of Texas at Austin filed a brief Monday with the U.S. Supreme Court defending its use of race as a factor in admissions.

An applicant to UT filed the suit because she says she was denied admission in 2008 because she’s white.

The university says race is just one of many factors considered in admissions and that its use is necessary and constitutional.

UT-Austin President Bill Powers released a short video discussing the case. In it, he says officials are “confident the university will prevail.”

Read more
Sports
12:07 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

UT Athletic Director Dodds on College Football Playoffs

KUT News

A committee of university presidents, including University of Texas President Bill Powers, stood together on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. and said ‘No more.’ The committee approved a plan from Bowl Championship Series (BCS) leadership  calling for a four-team playoff system in college football, set to start in two years.

The move completes a six-month process for the BCS commissioners, who have been working on a new way to determine a major college football champion after years of griping from college football fans.

What does this mean for the Texas Longhorns?

Read more
University of Texas
11:15 am
Wed June 27, 2012

When UT Appeared to Be in UVA's Shoes, Many Spoke Out

William "Bill" Powers, Jr., president of the University of Texas at Austin, at Trib Live on April 28, 2011.
Bob Daemmrich for Texas Tribune

On Tuesday, the University of Virginia reinstated President Teresa Sullivan after her forced resignation this month sparked a dramatic outcry. Throughout the ordeal, observers have drawn parallels to Sullivan’s former stomping grounds: the University of Texas at Austin, where she worked for nearly three decades.

For the last year and a half, speculation has swirled about the intentions of some University of Texas System regents. Many feared that those regents — appointed by Gov.Rick Perry — were put in place to implement a controversial set of dramatic policy changes the governor had promoted that some criticized for being anti-academic and overly business-minded. So when Sullivan was abruptly terminated at UVA, apparently over her opposition to her board’s eagerness to push rapid top-down changes, UT observers’ antennas perked up.

Read more
University of Texas
9:55 am
Fri May 18, 2012

UT's Reform-Minded Chairman at Center of Controversy

UT Board of Regents Chairman Gene Powell asks the Board to support Chancellor Dr. Franciso Cigarroa at their Austin meeting on May 12, 2011.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

SAN ANTONIO — When Gene Powell first arrived at the University of Texas at Austin in 1964, it was on a scholarship to play offensive guard and defensive linebacker for the legendary coach Darrell K Royal.

“I was a very average to mediocre football player, and that’s probably being generous,” Powell, a real estate developer and South Texas native, recalled during an interview at his San Antonio office this week.

More than four decades later, Powell was asked to return to Austin — this time by Gov.Rick Perry, who needed a staunch ally and strong leader to support his reforms on the University of Texas System’s board of regents.

Read more
University of Texas
4:18 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Powers Outage on the 40 Acres: What Would it Take to Fire the UT President?

UT Austin President Bill Powers' job security has been the subject of much speculation.
Photo by Crystal Chavez for KUT News

Is UT Austin President Bill Powers’ job in jeopardy?

Those rumors started circulating last week, following a post from Texas Monthly’s Paul Burka. Powers had recently and publicly clashed with the UT Board of Regents after a proposed tuition hike at the system’s flagship institution was voted down.

Despite denials from those involved, the rumors continue. But what exactly would it take to oust Powers?  

Read more
AM Update
8:29 am
Wed May 16, 2012

AM Update: More Energy Rate Talks, Perry on Powers, Preserving Bastrop History After the Wildfires

The City Council continues to discuss Austin Energy rates; Gov. Rick Perry comments on rumors about Bill Powers; and a grant will look at how wildfires affected historic structures in Bastrop State Park.
Electric lines photo by Natasha Lee for KUT News; Perry photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News; Bastrop photo by KUT News

Beginning of the End of Austin Energy Rate Hike Discussion?

The Austin City Council is meeting again today to talk about Austin Energy rates.

On Monday, three council members proposed a new plan for raising rates that they hope will bring a conclusion on the topic. Their plan would increase residential rates in five tiers based on how much energy is used. It would also adjust the proposed rate hikes for churches and schools.

The City Council has held 10 work sessions on Austin Energy rates since March 7. Members of the council have said they expect to have a final decision by late May or early June.

Read more
University of Texas
3:36 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Cigarroa: Chairman Didn't Direct Me to Fire Powers

University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, responding to a news report suggesting UT Board of Regents Chairman Gene Powell had asked him to fire University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers, said Thursday that Powell "never directed me to fire anyone." 

Cigarroa's statement follows a blog post late Wednesday from Texas Monthly Senior Executive Editor Paul Burka. Citing an unnamed source, Burka wrote that the regents are angry at Powers for publicly expressing disappointment with their decision — made with encouragement from Gov. Rick Perry — to reject Powers' request for a slight tuition increase. Burka wrote that Powell asked Cigarroa to officially recommend that they fire Powers, and that Cigarroa refused. The post suggested the board would likely call a special meeting to take action. 

The report sparked an overnight social media campaign on Powers' behalf. 

Read more
Education
5:06 pm
Thu May 5, 2011

Remembering Shirley Bird Perry

Photo by Liang Shi for KUT News

The University of Texas at Austin community is mourning the loss of senior vice president Shirley Bird Perry- who passed away Wednesday of cancer. She was 74.

After graduating from UT in the 1950s, Shirley Bird Perry started her career as program director of the Texas Union student center. She also served over a decade as a vice chancellor with the UT System.

Read more
Education
3:55 pm
Tue February 8, 2011

UT President Hospitalized

Courtesy UT-Austin.

University of Texas at Austin President William Powers has been hospitalized.  University officials say Powers was admitted today for treatment of a blockage in an artery leading to his lungs.  The pulmonary embolism was found during a medical exam this morning. 

"They just want to keep him in the hospital for three days, and just monitor it and make sure it goes away.  And he's doing fine," said Nancy Brazzil, a deputy to the President.

Powers was scheduled to speak to a legislative committee tomorrow morning about higher education and the state budget.

Pages