Confirmed: UT-Austin president refuses to resign

Bill Powers

Credit: WFAA

University of Texas at Austin president Bill Powers has been asked to resign by the Board of Regents.

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WFAA

Posted on July 6, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Updated Sunday, Jul 6 at 9:31 PM

There are new developments in the battle for leadership at the University of Texas.

The top two members of the Ex-Students' Association of the University of Texas spoke out on Sunday, sending a letter to alumni about published reports that UT-Austin President Bill Powers will be fired later this week.

The letter is signed by Texas Exes president Kay Bailey Hutchison and chairman Charles Matthews. They wrote, in part:

"A forced resignation or firing would be a travesty for UT. It would cause further tension with legislators regarding UT System, would compound unrest among faculty, students, and alumni, and invoke serious harm to the institution’s reputation in the national spotlight."

They added:

"This latest news came from an unfortunate leak to the media which has caused a premature impression of an ongoing and unresolved personnel decision, and has inflamed the controversy."

Hutchison and Matthews went on to say that the chancellor and president should still be able to work together on a mutual decision that provides leadership and a succession plan.

The Board of Regents is expected to meet on Thursday.

Editor's note: In an earlier version of this story, it was incorrectly stated that Hutchison and Matthews were members of the UT Board of Regents.


Full text of letter to UT alumni:

Dear Texas Ex,

We apologize for interrupting your Fourth of July weekend, but we have urgent news of the university to share with you.

Multiple news outlets are reporting that UT-Austin President Bill Powers has been given an ultimatum to resign or be fired at this week’s meeting of the Board of Regents. We can confirm for you that this news is accurate, and that President Powers has declined to resign, instead asking to work together on a timeline for change.

A forced resignation or firing would be a travesty for UT. It would cause further tension with legislators regarding UT System, would compound unrest among faculty, students, and alumni, and invoke serious harm to the institution’s reputation in the national spotlight. President Powers has advanced the university through many tremendous accomplishments, and has been a great leader; he deserves better than this. This is about our university; it is a treasure that alumni need to protect and we need to stand up and fight for its stature. The University of Texas at Austin deserves better than this.

This latest news came from an unfortunate leak to the media which has caused a premature impression of an ongoing and unresolved personnel decision, and has inflamed the controversy. If the individual who leaked the details of the conversation between the chancellor and the president of UT-Austin to the media is in a fiduciary role over the university, this person has breached that duty and has not acted honorably nor in the best interests of the university. Despite this, the chancellor and the president should be able to work together on a mutual decision that provides leadership and a succession plan for the university. That is the way this kind of change is responsibly made.

For more information on this matter and resources for alumni to take action, please see this overview on our Texas Exes website, www.texasexes.org

Thank you for your loyalty to our great alma mater.

Kay Bailey Hutchison, President of the Board
Charles Matthews, Chairman of the Board


 

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