• UT issues safety alert for students studying abroad

    UT's International Office posted an alert on their website Friday afternoon informing students of a worldwide travel alert from the U.S. Department of State that warns U.S. citizens traveling abroad to be aware of potential terrorist attacks in the Middle East and North Africa.

    "UT travelers who are currently abroad are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness," the message says. "If you are currently abroad and find yourself in need of immediate assistance please contact International SOS anytime 24/7 at 1-215-942-8226(main line) or 1-215-942-8478 (dedicated scholastic hotline), or call UTPD at 512-471-4441."

    The travel alert from the U.S. Department of State says the attack could occur in or emanate from the Arabian Peninsula.

    "Current information suggests that al-Qa’ida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August," the alert says.

    The travel alert expires on Aug. 31, 2013.

  • Powers signs education letter addressed to Obama

    University President William Powers Jr. signed a letter to President Barack Obama asking for a greater focus on education spending from his administration and the United States Congress.

    The letter addressed a growing innovation deficit occurring in American schools because of decreasing federal investments in education and cuts caused by sequestration. The letter calls for Obama to reject budget cuts and emphasize substantial and long-term investments in research and education that can better secure the nation’s economic and academic future.

    "Because the innovation deficit undermines economic growth it harms our nation’s overall fiscal health, worsening long-term budget deficits and debt.  Investments in research and education are not inconsistent with long-term deficit reduction; they are vital to it," the letter says.

    The letter was signed by 193 University leaders, including UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and the presidents of other UT campuses, and the effort behind the letter is led by the Association of American Universities and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. 

    Follow Christine Ayala on Twitter @christine_ayala.