University of Texas at Austin

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

It’s the last day of regular classes for the spring semester at the University of Texas. And as it happens every last day of class on UT campus, some students are celebrating with Foam Sword Friday, helping students relieve stress before finals.

The campus tradition used to consist of students charging at one another from either side of Guadalupe Street in front of the University Co-Op. That is, until one student was hit by a bus last spring.

Liang Shi for KUT News

The University of Texas at Austin tower will be mostly dark tonight in honor of the 205 members of the UT community who died over the past year.

Dimming the tower is part of UT Remembers, an annual event that pays tribute to the UT students, faculty members, staffers and retirees who died in the past year. The following events are scheduled today:

flickr.com/wallyg

To say that Austin is growing is an understatement. But amid Austin’s exponential growth, one group is declining – and fast. The African-American community in Austin is shrinking, due to two major factors: moving out of the city’s core, and a mortality rate higher than any other group.

Last night, a diverse group of people met on the UT campus to discuss if there’s a future for black life in Austin.

KUT News

In celebration of Bike Month, the University of Texas at Austin is hosting Bike to UT Day.

Those biking to UT today can stop by one of the many Bike to UT Day kiosks throughout campus between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. to pick up a complimentary light breakfast. From noon until 3 p.m. today, Gregory Plaza will be celebrating with free pizza, t-shirts, tote bags, bike lights, maps and even a keg of root beer.

TexasSports.com

University of Texas at Austin senior and defensive back Kenny Vaccaro will start donning gold and black instead of burnt orange.

Vaccaro was drafted 15th overall in the NFL draft last night by the New Orleans Saints. He will be the first Longhorn to play for the home of jazz since the Saints took Heisman trophy winner Ricky Williams in 1999. 

Vaccaro said (and tweeted) that he is excited to be a Saint.

Mose Buchele, KUT News

The University of Texas Police Department is undergoing a review of its services. Assessors with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) are examining all UTPD operations to determine whether the department deserves accreditation.

Accreditation isn't mandatory but is seen as a representation of public safety excellence.

KUT News

Some Texas lawmakers are looking to create an academic assessment tool to measure and compare the teaching abilities of the state’s public universities.

Today, members of the Senate Committee for Higher Education took up SB 436. The bill would make it a requirement for Texas universities to issue students a learning assessment before the first day of class, and during the last semester before graduation. The assessment would act as a tool to monitor student growth.

University of Texas at Austin

Longhorn basketball star Myck Kabongo is leaving school to join the NBA, the University announced today, making himself eligible for the 2013 draft.

The point guard played in the team's last 11 games, after serving an NCAA suspension for the season's first 23 games. According to the NCAA, Kabongo broke the rules by accepting a trip to Cleveland that he didn't pay for, and then lied about it twice while speaking with investigators. 

KUT News

Police at the University of Texas at Austin are investigating what they call a "non-credible" threat.  Police say they received a non-specific bomb threat and are treating it seriously just in case.

The University of Texas Police Department says people on campus may notice an increased police presence over the next few days, but police say the campus is open, with classes and other activities continuing as scheduled.

flickr.com/wallyg

Construction workers will be leaving the top of the UT tower today.

For almost six months, the university’s famous carillon bells were silent while the crew performed some pretty extensive renovations. All 56 bells were taken down and re-cast. Now that the largest carillon in Texas is reassembled, it just needs to be fine-tuned.

KUT News

Update: The University of Texas Police Department is making Chief of Police candidate Captain Melissa Zak available today. Zak is currently with the Los Angeles Police Department.

A meet-and-greet is being held from 2 to 3 p.m. at North Office Building-A (NOA) 4.106.

flickr.com/wallyg

To celebrate its 2012 national championship, the Texas Volleyball team will play again in Gregory Gym this weekend.

The Longhorns will play an exhibition match against Wichita State. It is free and open to the public. It starts at noon.

Matt Largey, KUT News

Austin is keeping busy this weekend — which means there are a few road closures event and non-event goers alike should look out for.

The Austin Urban Music Festival is coming back to Auditorium Shores this weekend. This year, the two-day festival is featuring musical guests such as Brandy and Anthony Hamilton. Tickets are still available online.

Dr. Andrea Alu, UT

Update: Harry Potter fans and Muggles alike may be one step closer to getting their own invisibility cloaks, if researchers at the University of Texas can help it.

According to the New Journal of Physics, they’ve created a thin material called a “mantle cloak.” Right now the cloak can only make things invisible in a certain range of light waves. It also doesn’t look like a cloak you would wear. It’s a thin tubing made from polycarbonate film, wrapped with copper tape.

KUT News

New research out of the University of Texas at Austin finds Bevo, the school’s mascot, and other Texas Longhorn cattle are direct descendants of the first cattle to arrive in North America.

The study of the Longhorn genome finds the cattle’s lineage can be traced back 10,000 years to India and the Middle East. Researchers looked at 50,000 genetic markers of different cattle breeds. They used that information to track the Longhorns’ ancestors from the Middle East and India, to Europe and eventually to North America. 

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. 

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.

Joy Diaz, KUT News

On any given day, thousands of bicyclists ride through and park their bikes at the congested UT Austin campus. Some people choose to ride their bikes because finding parking for a car when there are more than 50,000 students plus faculty and staff competing for limited space is tough - so tough in fact, that even some visitors choose to bike to campus.

But many are unaware of a new restriction on visiting cyclists.

KUT News

The University of Texas at Austin announced today a pledge of $25 million from alumnus, businessman and former U.T. regent Robert B. Rowling.

The money will go toward the construction of Robert B. Rowling Hall, housing graduate programs of the McCombs School of Business.

The building is planned for the corner of Martin Luther King and Guadalupe, across Whitis from the AT&T Conference Center.

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.

Pages