Quotes to Note: MyEdu deal and Longhorn Network lockout

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UT invests in MyEdu

The UT System Board of Regents recently invested $10 million from the Permanent University Fund in the Austin company MyEdu as part of an effort to improve four-year graduation rates at system institutions. The board’s decision was surrounded in secrecy, and the Austin American-Statesman revealed on Sunday that former UT System chancellor William Cunningham owns a $175,000 stake in the privately held company. Cunningham’s son John is MyEdu’s senior vice president for information architecture. The Board of Regents made the investment “unconditionally,” but MyEdu will develop UT system-specific tools for use at system schools. The following quotes are from the Statesman’s story.

“I have no knowledge of that, either. Nor was it pertinent to this agreement. We felt comfortable with exactly how this agreement went forward.”
— UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa on whether he had knowledge of former UT System Chancellor William Cunningham’s $175,000 stake in MyEdu.

“It was not an issue we felt was controversial or required public input.”
— Gene Powell, chairman of the UT System Board of Regents, on the lack of public disclosure and transparency surrounding the system’s investment in MyEdu.

“These things are often undertaken with positive purposes and good people, but when they’re not fully disclosed, it really hurts them. It’s much better to be transparent about it, and then you don’t run into conflict.”
— Aims McGuinness Jr., a senior associate with the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, on the secrecy surrounding the system’s investment.

“I don’t think so. I’m not a major shareholder in the company. I have no administrative input. I don’t think that’s relevant, and obviously they didn’t think it was relevant.”
— Cunningham on whether his stake in MyEdu should have been disclosed by the regents prior to their investment.

“These things are often undertaken with positive purposes and good people, but when they’re not fully disclosed, it really hurts them. It’s much better to be transparent about it, and then you don’t run into conflict.”
— Aims McGuinness Jr., a senior associate with the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, on the secrecy surrounding the system’s investment.


Longhorn Network lockout

The University’s iconoclastic, divisive and ESPN-backed Longhorn Network broadcast its first conference game on Saturday, as Texas took on Kansas at Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium. Because Verizon is currently the network’s largest carrier, many Longhorns fans were unable to watch the broadcast.

“It’s not our decision to play or not to play the LHN. Some people would say we just don’t want to pay the extra money, but I would have LHN playing here every day if I could.”
— Munson Stodder, general manager for Pluckers on Rio Grande, according to The Daily Texan. The popular West Campus destination has Time Warner Cable and DirecTV, but neither company has come to an agreement with ESPN on offering the network.

“We haven’t been as successful at explaining to the public that this is a slow-growing process, so unfortunately, you might not find it on your TV screen right away. It’s a start-up — we’ve only been on the air since August. The Big Ten Network started slow, the Yankees’ YES Network started slow. ... In the end, though, we know this is something really, really good. People will enjoy it.”
— DeLoss Dodds, UT men’s head athletic director, according to TexasSports.com.