UT

All’s Farrah In Love

Jan 10, 2014 By Skip Hollandsworth

The juiciest celebrity trial of the year concluded in December but not, alas, with a satisfactory answer to the most important question of all: Who was Farrah Fawcett’s true love?

Confirming the New UT Regents

May 21, 2013 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

UPDATE: The Nominations Committee has approved all three nominees the UT System Board of Regents. The full Senate will take up nominations next. I walked in the east door of the Capitol yesterday with Senator John Whitmire. He asked if I was going to nominations. I said I…

Sauce for the Gander

Mar 19, 2013 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

Today was the long-awaited meeting of the Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance. This was strictly an organizational meeting, and no members of the UT Board of Regents were present. But it was another front in the increasingly tense battle between the UT System Board of Regents and UT…

Darrell K. Royal, 1924-2012

Jan 21, 2013 By Jason Cohen

The best college football coach the state has ever seen died early Wednesday morning at the age of 88. Memories & tributes from the Texas Monthly archives and around the state and country. 

UT and A&M Resume Hostilities This Weekend

Jan 21, 2013 By Jason Cohen

If you thought the rivalry between the University of Texas and Texas A&M was currently on ice, you are correct. Tonight in College Station, the two schools face off in, you guessed it, hockey. 

The State Fair of Texas: Football + Fried Food

Oct 13, 2012 By Jordan Breal

This time last year, I was leaving the Cotton Bowl along with thousands of football fans who'd made the annual pilgrimage to watch the 106th Red River Rivalry, one of the highlights of the State Fair of Texas. While throngs of UT fans were making a beeline for the parking lot, dejected after their loss (a scene that was played out again today), I noticed many of the OU faithful heading straight for the fried food stands, eager to celebrate their victory by eating something—anything, everything—dipped in batter and dunked in hot oil. Naturally, I joined them. (Full disclosure: Although I am a native Texan and, thus, feel obligated to root for the home team even though I did not attend UT, my brother is a faithful OU alumnus, and I feel obligated to extend my unconditional sibling support even though he decided to go to school in Oklahoma. Plus, I went to school in Illinois, so I have no room to talk.) In between yells of "Boomer!," the celebratory Sooners popped doughy balls of fried beer into their mouths and hoisted paper boats filled with golden Oreos into the air like they were brandishing the Golden Hat itself.

Baylor: “will assert legal remedies if necessary”

Sep 7, 2011 By Paul Burka

(This post is a revision that includes corrections from a previous draft.) Regarding the situation with Texas A&M and the future of the Big Twelve Conference, I have spoken with persons familiar with the situation at Baylor, who prefer to remain anonymous. This is what I have learned. 1. The university started four weeks ago to determine its legal remedies if A&M decided to leave the Big Twelve for the SEC. Astonishingly, the Big XII had waived all of its rights in a letter to the SEC, although Baylor's position, which seems correct to me, is that the Big Twelve cannot bind its member institutions. 2. If it is necessary to resort to litigation, one theory would be tortious interference with contract. 3.  The Baylor board has taken the position, "We're not going to waive our remedies." 4. Baylor is talking to all member institutions of the Big Twelve. UT and Oklahoma say they want to continue in the conference. At least two other conference schools have said they will not waive their rights. 5. Not surprisingly, politicians have gotten involved, including (reportedly) a number of legislators and a few statewide officials, including David Dewhurst,  who would like to leverage the controversy to get the University of Houston in the Big Twelve.

A&M’s plans — and UT’s

Aug 31, 2011 By Paul Burka

I spoke with a friend yesterday who is knowledgeable about the situation at Texas A&M, and here is what he had to say. 1. Perry was not involved in the A&M regents’ decision to leave the Big Twelve for the SEC. He was described to me as “not supportive” but…

A response to Michael Quinn Sullivan

Jun 29, 2011 By Paul Burka

Michael Quinn Sullivan has a bone to pick with me. I am the subject of a blog post by Sullivan published on the Empower Texans web site yesterday under the headline, “Texas Monthly: Disclosure-Free Zone.” Sullivan objects to the fact that in an April column about higher ed reforms, I did not disclose that I have taught at UT from time to time. Here are some pertinent paragraphs: Paul Burka, the “senior executive editor” at Texas Monthly has taken to defending the higher education status quo – skyrocketing tuition and a lack of transparency. He follows the administrative bureaucracy party line by deriding reformers, disparaging them and calling motivations into question. Couldn’t be because he has a financial interest in the status quo, could it? Mr. Burka received $10,159 in compensation ($9,295 in salary) for teaching 13 students. (NOTE: the numbers are from UT’s own data, which the institution says may or may not be valid or accurate.) He hasn’t disclosed in any recent writings supporting the higher-ed establishment that he is a “visiting lecturer” for the University of Texas, teaching a three credit-hour class – ironically titled “Right And Wrong In Politics.” Mr. Sullivan has a point, though he overplays it to a ridiculous extreme, as is his custom. I should have included a parenthetical statement in that April column saying that I had taught at UT on various occasions in the past (though I was not teaching there or receiving compensation at the time that I wrote the column). But it is far-fetched to suggest that I have any permanent attachment to UT, or a financial motivation to defend the university. I am not an academic, I am a journalist. Over the past twenty years or so, I have been fortunate enough to teach courses at UT (and also at St. Edwards). During that time, I have written several editorial columns about the university. One was supportive of tuition deregulation; one was critical of a watered-down degree program I referred to as “B.A. Lite” (this one, alas, is not yet available online). I have not tried to hide the fact that I teach at UT; in 2001, for example, I wrote about volunteering to evaluate applications for admission to the Plan II honors program, as I was eligible to do as an instructor. I have also written a skeptical column about the athletic department’s efforts to find a home for the Longhorns after the breakup of the Big XII conference. In short, I choose subjects that Texas Monthly believes are important, and I try to call ‘em as I see ‘em. I leave it to readers to judge for themselves whether they believe that my reporting on UT is influenced by what Mr. Sullivan refers to as my “financial interest in the status quo,” or whether it reflects my strongly held personal belief in the importance of allowing state universities to pursue excellence free of political interference.

UT, A&M could split in football realignment

Jun 3, 2010 By Paul Burka

The hot topic on sports talk shows today was that the PAC-10 was set to issue invitations to six Big 12 schools: UT, A&M, OU, Okie State, Texas Tech, and Colorado. The PAC 10 commissioner issued an explicit denial late this afternoon. An A&M source told me after I posted…

West, Ogden call UT’s “crisis” into question

Mar 24, 2009 By Patricia Kilday Hart

As the Texas Senate began its debate this afternoon on Florence Shapiro’s bill to limit the Top Ten percent rule for university admissions, Royce West threw out some interesting numbers that call into question UT’s argument that it faces a “crisis” regarding its freshman class. UT has argued that its…

Tuition de-reg: Will it be an issue in the speaker’s race?

Nov 23, 2008 By Paul Burka

Here’s the problem for Tom Craddick. The House passed tuition deregulation in 2003 for one reason and one reason only: The speaker twisted Republicans’ arms to get the votes. Almost six years later, tuition and fees at Texas’s public university have risen by an average of 50%, according to Robert…

O Janis

Sep 30, 1992 By Robert Draper

Janis Joplin’s life was about music, rebellion, and excess—but she was influenced most by her tormented relationship with the people and spirit of Port Arthur.