A source tells me that UT president Bill Powers may be in danger of losing his job as a result of his opposition to Governor Perry’s insistence on a tuition freeze. After the Perry-appointed regents approved the freeze, Powers expressed strong opposition to the decision, stating, “I am disappointed that our very thoughtful proposal, every penny of which would have gone to students’ success which itself will keep the cost of higher education down, was not adopted.” I do not have an official confirmation, but I was told that the situation is fluid and may be happening as I write. My understanding, based on what a source with knowledge of the proceedings has conveyed, is that Regents’ chairman Gene Powell asked Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa to recommend that Powers be fired. Cigarroa refused. The next step will likely be a special meeting of the board to take action. I have no indication that notice of the meeting has been posted. I will continue to make attempts to confirm this report. If it is accurate, the impact on the university’s reputation could be devastating. UT will have to undertake the search for a new president at a time when top-grade candidates will be unlikely to be attracted to a position that is subject to political pressure.
Politics & Policy