Board of Regent

Citing lingering questions directed at his office, Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa tabled the approval of KUT’s $6 million purchase of KXBT’s 98.9 at the Board of Regent’s meeting on Wednesday. By doing this, Cigarroa has temporarily, not indefinitely, postponed the board’s decision.

The Board of Regents indicated in an agenda released last week that they would vote at their July 11 meeting on whether to approve the purchase of KXBT’s classic hits station. Had the regents voted to buy the station, KUT would have moved their musical programming to 98.9 and used 90.5 for news and talk only. Cigarroa requested to table the matter, saying his office had received a number of questions about the purchase.

Following the meeting, President William Powers Jr. said he could not provide additional details, but he was available to answer any questions Cigarroa might have. Spokespeople for the UT System were unavailable for comment.

Should the board approve the decision in the future, KUT will purchase 98.9 using money from UT’s unrestricted Unexpended Plant Fund cash reserves. The agenda said no student fees or tuition will be used in purchasing the radio station.

News Briefly

Student Government members voted to pass a resolution that calls for transparency, student involvement and preservation of research in the Board of Regent’s actions as they decide on budget cuts.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank, is recommending the board separate research and teaching funds. The SG resolution would allow SG President Natalie Butler to oppose the board’s actions if the regents take up the policy.

“This issue has been dominating my presidency so far,” Butler said. “It translates to the value of our degrees.”

Butler said separating research funding from teaching threatens our status as a top research institution. She said getting the student body behind the resolution will magnify her efforts.

The resolution also calls for the board to make policy decisions based on more than the foundation’s recommendations, which student leaders claim threaten the core values of the University.

“No one is saying that higher education needs no reform,” said former University-wide representative Matt Portillo. “But we can’t fix the problem with reforms that gut UT from its core.”

LBJ representative and grad student Phillip Nevels said the separation could prevent good researchers who are bad teachers from serving as professors.

Although members listened to Nevels’ concerns, SG passed the resolution in a nearly unanimous vote.