President Gregory Fenves inaugurated
Gregory Fenves was inaugurated as the new UT president in September. During his first few months as president, he commissioned a task force to make recommendations on the Jefferson Davis statue. He also formed a working group to make suggestions on the implementation of campus carry.
Jefferson Davis statue removed from Main Mall
Following a summer of conversation regarding the position of Confederate symbols on campus, the University removed the statue of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, from its position on the Main Mall in August. The removal came after a task force, created by Fenves, released multiple suggestions asking for the removal of some or all Confederate symbols at the University. The Woodrow Wilson statue on the Main Mall was also removed for symmetry, and both statues will be moved to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.
Steve Patterson resigns as athletic director
Steve Patterson resigned as athletic director in September following nearly two years of employment by the University. Patterson caused waves in the last few months of his time as athletic director — he increased season ticket prices for football and basketball, and he had trouble within his department when he fired longtime football sports information director John Bianco. The University bought out Patterson’s contract in a $3 million deal.
Sexual assault survey results released
The Association of American Universities released survey results that found almost one-fifth of female undergraduates have been sexually assaulted since arriving at UT. The results were part of a larger campus conversation on sexual assault. The University is also conducting an internal survey to assess students’ experiences with sexual assault, and multiple campus groups have emerged to raise awareness of the issue. UHS also announced in November that they will offer forensic exams for survivors of sexual assault.
Bevo XIV dies from bovine leukemia
UT’s mascot, Bevo XIV, died in October at 13 years old. Bevo did not travel with the football team for the annual Red River Rivalry, and resigned shortly after, following an announcement that he had been diagnosed with bovine leukemia virus. Bevo served as mascot for 11 years. The Silver Spurs Alumni Association will oversee the search for Bevo XV.