Turning the Page

Turning the Page

With a succession plan in place for President Bill Powers, it’s time to think about the future.

In July, UT-Austin president Bill Powers and UT System chancellor Francisco Cigarroa agreed on a succession plan for Powers to continue as the leader of our flagship school through the end of the coming school year. For our university, the system, and our state, this was and is a positive resolution. It allows President Powers to finish major initiatives, and, importantly, it avoids the spectacle of a forced firing that would have damaged UT’s reputation.

Many Texas Exes from around the country spoke up when the university needed you. Your calls, emails, posts, and letters helped turn a possible disaster into a sensible plan that protects the progress the university has made in recent years and its potential in the future. The world saw that Longhorn Nation cares about its alma mater and is willing to protect it from harm. My heartfelt thanks goes out to all alumni and friends of the university who answered the call.

And speaking of the future, let us now begin thinking about and working toward a brighter, less acrimonious tomorrow. The university has incredible momentum. Having just concluded the record-breaking Campaign for Texas, UT-Austin stands poised to continue its decades-long climb to the top echelon of public teaching and research universities. We say this a lot, but it is true: The Dell Medical School, now under construction, will represent one of those rare watershed moments in UT history. With Powers at the helm, we will have an experienced and well-liked president representing the school during the coming legislative session. Oh, and of course, the Charlie Strong Era of Texas football begins! (See “The Man for the Job.”)

For each of us, wherever we are, we must resist the temptation to let the university slide into the back of our thoughts. Instead, we should all find some way in the coming weeks to chip in toward making the university better. Go to an event with your local chapter, help raise money for scholarships, tell your friends of the good work you read about happening on campus, and sign up to be a UT Advocate—we will need you when the session starts in January. Being a Texas Ex carries a special privilege: Having gone to UT, you know how transformative the place can be in students’ lives, and it is incumbent on you to share that knowledge with your colleagues and neighbors, the vast majority of whom have never set foot on the Forty Acres.

Let’s show the people of Texas that alumni and friends of the university are working together for its future. This unfortunate chapter has been such a distraction. It is time to turn the page.

 Above: Faculty members celebrate after hearing the news that Powers will stay on as president until June 2015. 

Photo by Anna Donlan 


Tags: ,


No comments

Be the first one to leave a comment.

Post a Comment