We Asked: power in the tower


The Question: Who should have the most power over what happens at UT-Austin — The board of regents, the legislature, or the University’s administration?

Marysabel Guillen, undeclared freshman from Houston

I think the University administrators should have more power, because they are more in contact with the students.

Cage Johnson, science and technology management sophomore from Marble Falls

What I’m learning in one of my classes is that a governing body needs to respond to the people. So what you have to do is decide which people. So if the University of Texas really should be for the people of Texas, then I would say the elected representatives in the Capitol. But what I’m learning now is that UT isn’t really for Texas anymore, it’s for the whole world. We have one of the most diverse campuses, and so I think it should be the president of the University. I’m a diehard Texan, but to keep the regents ... They can have the power to appoint the president, and other than that, I think it should be up to the president. UT needs to respond to the whole world. And I like that because it’s an internal governing structure, rather than one with other people that aren’t really in the University. If you’re going to sail a ship, you’ve got to be on the ship.

Samantha Killian, marine biology junior from Round Rock

Personally, I feel like a checks-and-balances system is probably the best. Obviously you’d like to see our campus have the most power, but I feel overall, for a working system, equal power with checks and balances would make sense. Because it’s a public institution, and it’s not just us, but other institutions through the University, and the government as well.

Catilyn Harned, pre-pharmacy freshman from Borger

I would say the administration in the Tower, because not only is it not just one person like [UT President William Powers, Jr.], it’s a group of people who are in the campus, they know what’s going on, and it’s a lot of minds put together at once who have had experience on the campus. Rather than a group of students who may not have experience in the real world, or like Bill Powers, who’s just one person.

Anish Saikumar, government junior from San Antonio

I believe Bill Powers should have the authority to make these types of decisions because of the fact that he’s here on a daily basis and understands exactly what’s going on on the campus, rather than people who are not directly involved. I would feel more comfortable if Bill Powers were the one making the decisions.

Arti Patel, public health junior from Arlington

I think everyone should, I guess. Like they could share it. I guess Bill Powers shouldn’t be the only one who is in charge of everything that goes on at UT.

Moh Ganchi, computer science freshman from Arlington

I think people at UT-Austin would know better, because they do know better. They focus more on our own campus. The people up there are really divided, [and] might not know much about specifics at UT. I don’t think giving the most power to the regents is a good idea.