UT System prepares for board meeting

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Chancellor William McRaven will present his vision for the UT System at the Board of Regents meeting Nov. 5.

According to Chairman Paul Foster, with McRaven as chancellor, UT is in good hands.

“I know the chancellor’s plan will be exciting and ambitious and will position the UT System as the nation’s premier system of higher education,” Foster said in a press release. “We knew when we appointed Chancellor McRaven that his tremendous leadership skills and his bold, new ideas would take the UT System to new heights.”

McRaven, a UT alum, has been recognized for his storied career in the U.S. Navy and is responsible for leading the team that assassinated Osama Bin Laden. For the spring 2014 commencement, McRaven spoke to the graduates and received so much attention that more than 3 million people have watched it on YouTube.

Different committees will also propose agendas Wednesday that should be approved by the board on Thursday if no one objects.

Some of the other agenda topics include employee wellness and rules and regulations of regents. The employee wellness recommendation would allow faculty to complete some form of physical activity three times a week for a 30 minute period and allow up to eight hours of paid leave yearly for employees who receive a physical examination.

The rules and regulations recommendation would require that regents meet the new Texas state law that requires certain training to be a board member and that each UT System institution has rules in place to address sexual harassment and misconduct. The recommendation will also ensure regents understand the goods and services they can receive.

Following the board’s approval early in October for a 2 percent tuition increase the next two years, McRaven will submit a report no later than Jan. 1, 2016 of the tuition money the University is collecting and how this money is being distributed.

Mark Houser, chief executive officer of University Lands, will also present a report on Wednesday about the progress and changes to the System lands. On Sept. 8, the Environment Texas Research and Policy Center and the Frontier Group reported in a study that excessive oil drilling on System lands led to excessive water usage and the release of chemicals during drilling. In the report, Houser shows the number of wells drilled on lands has decreased since the fiscal year 2012.

McRaven will speak at 8:40 a.m. but will be available to talk to the media afterward at 10:15 a.m.