Dear Commons Community,
With the support of faculty, students, and alumni, University of Texas – Austin President Bill Powers has refused an ultimatum to resign but is open to discussing a timetable for leaving office, a well-placed source told the Austin American-Statesman.
UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa gave the president of the Austin flagship the ultimatum last Wednesday in a meeting at the system’s offices in downtown Austin. Simply put, Powers must resign, effective in the fall, or be fired this week, two sources told the Statesman.
“There wasn’t a clear reason given,” said a well-placed source who was not authorized to speak publicly. “As far as we know, it was a quick conversation but there was no specific reason given.”
“Sources interviewed on Monday suggested that possible reasons for Chancellor Ciagarroa’s call for Powers’ resignation have been a combination of the following:
- A desire to allow Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, whose term ends on December 31, to influence the selection of a new president. Mr. Perry, a Republican who has been at odds with Mr. Powers for years, has appointed every member of the university’s Board of Regents, and his most recent appointees have been the most critical of Mr. Powers.
- Trouble finding a new chancellor who is willing to step into the fray when tensions between Mr. Powers and system administrators are well known.
- Questions about whether there might be a “smoking gun” in new information Dr. Cigarroa said had come to light about a controversy over University of Texas admissions.
In his statement on Monday night, the chancellor did his best to lay all three theories to rest, and to quell the mounting furor his action had caused.”
The UT System Board of Regents is scheduled to meet this Thursday, and the board’s agenda typically allows for personnel actions.