The Question: What do you know about the Board of Regents’ conflict with President Powers? How do you feel about what you know?
Well, I actually just got out of a little discussion with [President William Powers Jr.]. He came and talked to a group of us, and he talked a little bit about this topic. Basically what I know about it is that, I think, the Legislature’s trying to cut funding, and some of the regents are trying to get him fired. Because what the regents are trying to do is trying to have the cheapest degree possible. They’re trying to make more practical degrees, and they want everyone to graduate in four years, all that kind of stuff. And I think what Bill Powers is trying to do is trying to give us a better foundation, rather than give us just pure practical knowledge, trying to encourage critical thinking. And while he’s preparing us for our first job, I think more than anything he’s trying to give us a foundation where we can move forward. He’s trying to encourage leadership, things that can, I think, separate us from the average workforce. I think it’d be a mistake to fire him for what he’s doing. I understand trying to keep tuition rates down, but when it comes to universities like UT, you’re paying a little bit more but you’re getting a lot more out of it, rather than just simply getting a degree. You can do that anywhere.
Biology and sport management freshman from Houston
I don’t really know anything about this topic. Sorry.
Nutrition junior from Ft. Worth
I don’t know anything about it. Sorry.
International business junior from Houston
To be honest, I have no clue.
Computer engineering sophomore from Cedar Park
I have not heard anything about that, which kind of makes me a little bit uneasy. I feel like students should definitely be updated with all the goings-on of the school, especially when the president is involved.
Journalism sophomore from Austin
I know a little bit from a couple of the Daily Texan headlines that I’ve picked up in passing, but I didn’t know a lot of detail. I knew that there were issues, obviously, and I have the Texas Monthly magazine with the article about it sitting on my nightstand, and I’ve been intending to read it for about the past four months, and I just haven’t had time. Then, at a Rice young alumni panel discussion featuring a political science professor from Rice and one of the editors of Texas Monthly, I learned more about the different issues between Gov. Perry and the regents, and essentially how it appears that Bill Powers is no longer going to be here. And the judgments that the two panelists gave are that they’re very much on the side of Bill Powers, and that they don’t want Rick Perry to take over the University. They were very worried about UT losing its designation as a top-tier school in the state of Texas, and how Rice being the only premier school in Texas would actually be detrimental to its reputation.
Historic preservation graduate student from Pensacola, Florida.