University of Texas at Austin

University of Texas
1:55 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Powers: 'Smarter Systems' Could Save UT-Austin $490 Million

The Committee says UT lags behind in faculty salaries, graduate student funding, undergraduate scholarships, and facilities amongst other public unviersities.
KUT News

University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers says UT could save up to $490 million dollars over a decade by changing its operations system.  

Powers presented the cost-cutting recommendations, "Smarter Systems for a Greater UT "at a press conference today. The recommendation came from a committee of local business leaders Powers put together last April. The committee put forward measures raising the prices of housing, food and parking, outsourcing some parts of UT’s operation and commercializing UT-generated technology.

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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.

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Sports
9:19 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Prosecutor: No Charges for Longhorns McCoy, Hicks (Update)

Case McCoy (left) and Jordan Hicks have been reinstated to the Longhorns football team.
UT Football, KUT News

Update: Case McCoy and Jordan Hicks will not face charges stemming from an alleged sexual assault in San Antonio on the eve of the Alamo Bowl.

The San Antonio Express-News reports: 

[Bexar County] Assistant District Attorney Cliff Herberg said his office reviewed details of the investigation into Jordan Hicks and Case McCoy, but that no case was formally filed. Police informed the district attorney's office that the investigation is closed, Herberg said.

Original post (Jan. 14, 8:14 a.m.): University of Texas at Austin football players Case McCoy and Jordan Hicks have been reinstated to the team after they were suspended for violating team rules.

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Arts and Culture
5:00 am
Tue January 22, 2013

UT Prof Works to Define Elusive Concept of Happiness

People define happiness differently, but a couple of traits are universal.
flickr.com/trufflepig

We all think we know what happy means. But when you get down to it, how would we actually define it? Raj Raghunathan has tried. He teaches marketing at UT’s McCombs School of Business. He studies, among other things, consumer behavior, decision theory, and happiness. Raghunathan says different people define happiness differently, but a couple of traits are universal. It’s a positive emotion, and we want to experience it. But, he says, pursuing society’s most common markers of happiness won’t actually get us there.

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University of Texas
11:15 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Look At These Hundreds of Photos of UT Whiteboard Doodles

Frank Meaker, flickr.com/utlibraries

With classes back in session on the 40 Acres, it won’t be long before students are huddled around books and notes, cramming for exams.

It’s a time that Frank Meaker has come to catalog – but not on a way you’d expect.

Meaker’s been with the University of Texas for 25 years; for the last 10 years, Meaker’s worked at the Perry-Castañeda Library as a maintenance specialist. Toward the end of each semester, he noticed the whiteboards in study rooms would be filled with drawings – some crude, some detailed, but all a window into stressed-out students’ minds.

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Health
4:08 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

UT Researchers Create New Bacteria Designed to Improve Vaccinations

Sixty-one new strains of bacteria created by UT researchers may improve vaccinations.
flickr.com/v1ctor

UT researchers have developed 61 new strains of genetically-engineered bacteria, which they say could improve and transform vaccines.

The strains of E. Coli are part of a new class of adjuvants, which are substances mixed in with vaccines that stimulate and improve the human body’s immune response to vaccinations. M. Stephen Trent, an associate professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at UT who worked on the research, said these new strains gives the medical field more options for vaccine development.

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Education
4:38 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

UT Warns Students About Emailed Loan Offers

Some emailed loan offers may not be quite as they appear.
courtesy Andrew Magill at flickr.com/amagill/

The University of Texas is warning students to be cautious of emails from private companies that advertise student loans from for-profit lenders.

Those emails may use misleading wording in the subject line that could suggest that they were sent by the university. But the Office of Student Financial Services at UT does not promote or endorse any private lenders, according to spokeswoman Jamie Brown.

She says that even with reputable companies, students should shop carefully.

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University of Texas
5:44 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Two UT Professors Win National Medals of Science

Allen Bard is a professor at the University of Texas.
University of Texas

Two professors at the University of Texas have won the National Medal of Science, the highest award given to scientists, engineers and inventors by the U.S. government. They are only the fourth and fifth UT faculty members to win the prize since 1962.

Doctor Allen Bard, a professor in the Chemistry Department at UT, received the award for his outstanding achievement in electrochemistry. He developed an electrochemical microscope that analyzes the chemical makeup of very small surfaces.

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Top Stories 2012
2:07 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Top Stories of 2012: Fracking Rattles Texas

This graphic from ProPublica describes how fracking works.

2012 was a banner year for renewable energy. But in Texas and across the county, one energy story captured public attention like none other: fracking.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a drilling practice used to extract natural gas from hard-to-reach deposits. Hydraulic fracturing fluid is pumped deep into underground wells to break up natural gas deposits. The fluid is then removed, and deposited into disposal wells, while the gas deposits are collected.

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Dec. 12, 2012
5:36 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

It’s the End of the World as We Know It (Supposedly) And This UT Maya Expert Feels (Mostly) Fine

Artist's rendering of the 2012 Maya apocalypse.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

David Stewart Explains the Maya Calendar

Turn on the History Channel, and you’ll find plenty of speculation about the Mayan calendar. The “long count” calendar comes to an end on Dec. 21, 2012 – and chances are you’ve heard what that’s supposed to mean.

David Stuart, a professor of art history at the University of Texas at Austin recently deciphered a hieroglyph that included a second reference to the end-date. “This is an important date,” Stuart tells KUT News.  But “the Maya never said anything about the end of the world … they never predicted or prophesied anything about what would happen.”

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Sports
11:07 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Texas Tops Michigan in Women's Volleyball, Heads to Finals

The Lady Horns face Penn State next.
Greg Echlin, KUT News

The Texas Longhorns have advanced to the women’s volleyball championship game for the third time in four years.  The only thing standing in the way of a possible national title is Penn State. 

The Lady Lions has defeated the Longhorns in their last two final four appearances. Texas coach Jerritt Elliott hopes this will be different than their last trip to the title game in Tampa three years ago, a heartbreaking five-set loss against Penn State.

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University of Texas
4:41 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

UT Law Prof Lino Graglia's Remarks on Race Provoke Controversy (Again)

Graglia has made previous remarks critical of minority academic performance.
University of Texas School of Law

A controversial University of Texas law professor’s comments on race are drawing negative attention online.

In an interview with the BBC, Lino Graglia said African-Americans and Hispanics are less academically competent than whites. “I can hardly imagine a less beneficial or more deleterious experience than to be raised by a single parent,” Graglia said. “Usually a female, uneducated and without a lot of money.”

At that point, the interview interjected: “I’m black. I was raised in a single parent family. You’re saying I’m likely not as smart as a white person of the same age?”

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The Lead
8:56 am
Tue December 11, 2012

The Lead: Worker’s Comp Reform, UT Law Prof Sparks Controversy

Good morning. The National Weather Service says a freeze warning is still in effect through 10 a.m., before Austin warms to the mid-50s this afternoon. Here’s some stories KUT News has been working on:

“When the Senate Committee on State Affairs of state lawmakers got together Monday at the Capitol, they were urged to require companies to provide workers’ compensation insurance.

The Texas Department of Insurance says one out of five employees in the state works for a company that does not provide workers’ comp. That number has stayed relatively unchanged for two decades.”

“State Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview), has announced his intention to challenge current speaker Rep. Joe Straus (R-San Antonio.)

Following the announcement another Straus challenger – Rep. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) – dropped out and put his support behind Simpson.”

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Sports
10:44 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Sorry, A&M Fans: The UT Tower Wasn’t Lit Up for Johnny Football

Aggie fans got a little overzealous about the UT Tower's configuration this weekend.
utexas.edu

On Saturday night, following Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel’s Heisman win, some Aggies got so carried away by their excitement that they saw the man called “Johnny Football” everywhere.

The University of Texas’s December graduation also took place on Saturday.  It’s the university’s tradition to light the clock tower orange, with the windows lit to form the class year of the graduates.  So Saturday night, the clock tower bore a giant 12, in honor of the 2012 graduating class.

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Environment
3:58 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Review Finds Conflict of Interest in Fracking Study (Update)

Leader of a group behind a controversial fracking study, Dr. Charles "Chip" Groat retired.
University of Texas Energy Institute

Update and correction: In a press release, UT announced that ​Dr. Raymond Orbach had “resigned.” It did not say, however, that Orbach will be staying at UT as a tenured professor. Orbach has only resigned as head of the Energy Institute, effective Dec. 31. This post has since been corrected. 

Original post: One University of Texas professor has retired and another has stepped down from a leadership role after a review found a conflict of interest in a controversial report on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”

As KUT News previously reported, the report from the UT Energy Institute, “Separating Fact From Fiction in Shale Gas Development,” stated that fracking, when executed properly, doesn’t contaminate groundwater. But StateImpact Texas reported that the study's leader failed to disclose financial ties to the drilling industry, including a seat on the board of a drilling company.  

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University of Texas
11:47 am
Thu December 6, 2012

UT System Tackles Issue of Growing Student Debt

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

On the agenda for Thursday morning's meeting of the University of Texas System Board of Regents is a discussion on a topic near and dear to the pocketbooks of many students and their parents: student loan debt.

With student loan debt now surpassing national credit card debt, part of UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa's framework for advancing excellence, which was approved in 2011, called for the formation of a task force to study the issue. The task force's report, which includes recommendations on how the system can help ease the burden on students, will be presented at Thursday's meeting.

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Education
6:35 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Coalition Publishes Study Touting Flagship Universities

KUT News

A group that formed in 2011 in response to a prominent push for higher education policy proposals it viewed as misguided released a report on Thursday that makes a case for the value of the state's flagship universities: the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University.

The Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education report was written by Michael McLendon, a professor of higher education policy and leadership at Southern Methodist University. He previously worked at Vanderbilt University, where he completed much of the work on the report.

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Sports
8:19 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Going Bowling: UT, Other Texas Teams Head Into Post-Season Play

Mack Brown at a November press conference.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The Texas Longhorns will play Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio this post-season.

The Longhorns have played the Oregon State Beavers twice. UT won both times. Oregon State does have a better record and a higher rank this season. The game is Dec. 29.

Some expected the Longhorns to head to the Cotton Bowl. Instead, that’s where UT’s Big 12 rival Oklahoma will play former Big 12 rival Texas A&M on Jan. 4.

The Sooners lost out on a chance to play in a BCS bowl when Mid-American Conference champ Northern Illinois moved up in the rankings and earned an automatic bid.

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Science
12:26 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

UT Scientists Measure Most Massive Black Hole Yet

Image of lenticular galaxy NGC 1277 taken with Hubble Space Telescope.
NASA/ESA/Andrew C. Fabian

Scientists at the University of Texas say they’ve discovered the most massive black hole ever identified.

It sits in the center of a galaxy called NGC 1277. It has a mass equivalent to about 17 billion suns.

Doctor Karl Gebhardt is an astrophysicist at UT, and a member of the team that made the discovery. He says their finding could help us better understand the way galaxies are formed.

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University of Texas
12:01 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

UT, Ryan O’Neal in Court Over Warhol Portrait of Farrah Fawcett

Another copy of Warhol's portrait was featured in a 2011 exhibit on the UT campus.
flickr.com/eelundgaard

A trial is underway to determine who owns a Andy Warhol portrait of Farrah Fawcett: the late actress’s on-again, off-again companion, or the University of Texas.

UT and actor Ryan O’Neal face off in a Los Angeles courtroom today. When Fawcett died in 2009, she bequeathed her art collection to UT, her alma matter – including a silkscreened portrait of Fawcett made by famed pop-artist Andy Warhol in 1979.  UT reportedly hired a private investigator to track down the portrait.

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