Fellow alumni and friends of the University:
We need to bring your attention to an important issue regarding the future of The University of Texas. The UT System Board of Regents needs to hear right now that you strongly stand behind President William Powers and the job he has done leading the University.
Paul Burka of Texas Monthly magazine is reporting on his blog that the Regents are planning to fire President Powers for expressing his disappointment after the Regents rejected a tuition increase. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of tuition, the President needs to be able to make his careful recommendation about what’s best for the University, and to make that case as strongly and articulately as he can, even if he and the Regents disagree.
Now is no time for instability. We call on the Regents to disavow the published rumor that the leadership of its flagship risks being punished or fired for voicing respectful, measured dissent. Even rumors, when left in play without confirmation or comment, can lead to instability. And instability is a great enemy of achievement.
UT stands poised to make major progress toward becoming the premier public teaching and research university in the country. In just the last few months, UT has hired two outstanding deans and taken a huge step toward establishing a medical school in Austin. Throughout his six years at the helm, President Powers and the University have built on a long tradition of excellence. We do not want to see that progress jeopardized, nor the removal of a president who has been so successful at furthering UT’s mission. The UT System employs world-class professionals to run its universities; they should not be fired simply for voicing disagreement with Board decisions.
You may have already seen or heard about the enormous outpouring of support for President Powers, either through press reports or the incredible social-media response from students. They stand with their leader. We strongly encourage you to do the same.
Contact the Board of Regents, and tell them you support stability at The University of Texas. Tell them you support advancing its mission and its leadership. Tell them you think that, as the governing body, they should receive—and even welcome—the unvarnished views of professional educators, like President Powers.
The core purpose of the Texas Exes is to champion our University. I invite you to join us and become a UT Advocate. Now it is more important than ever for you to make your voice heard. The future of your University depends on it.
To contact the Board of Regents:
By phone: (512) 499-4402
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By mail: Ashbel Smith Hall, Suite 820 201 West 7th Street Austin, Texas 78701
Machree Gibson is the president of the Texas Exes.