New chairman of the Board of Regents elected

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Regent Paul Foster will serve as the next chairman of the UT System Board of Regents after being elected to the position Thursday.

Foster replaces Gene Powell, who served as chairman since February 2011 and will continue to serve on the board. Foster, who was first appointed to board in 2007, said he would serve students as chairman.

“I look forward to working with the chancellor, the system staff, the presidents and their staffs, but most importantly, I recognize, and I know that most of you recognize, that we’re here for the students and for the future of this great state,” Foster said.

The regents also elected Powell and Steve Hicks to serve as vice chairmen, after Foster nominated them in his first act as chairman. Both Powell and Hicks’ terms expire in 2015. Foster’s current term expires in 2019 since he was reappointed to his second term as a regent by Gov. Rick Perry earlier this year.

The change in leadership comes after state lawmakers accused the regents of working to remove UT President William Powers Jr. from his position during the legislative session earlier this year.

After the meeting, Foster affirmed his support for Powers.

“I’m very supportive of [Powers],” Foster said. “He’s our president.”

Foster said he plans on meeting with Powers in the near future.