UT System General Counsel Resigns

UT System general counsel, Barry Brugdorf
UT System general counsel, Barry Brugdorf

Update: In an email to his friends and colleagues at the University of Texas System, outgoing vice chancellor and general counsel Barry Burgdorf wrote, "Jobs like this one have a life span. For me, here and now, it is twilight."

He also praised the workers in his office. "It goes without saying that I am very proud of what we have built here and I leave satisfied that the excellence of [Office of General Counsel] and its service to UT System will endure," he said.Burgdorf also indicated that, upon his departure, Dan Sharphorn, associate vice chancellor and deputy general counsel, will take over as interim general counsel.

Original Story: Barry Burgdorf, the University of Texas System's vice chancellor and general counsel, has resigned. His last day is expected to be at the end of April, system officials said.

Burgdorf is the latest addition to a growing list of high-ranking officials who have left the system in the last two years, including David Prior, the former executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, Anthony de Bruyn, the former assistant vice chancellor for public affairs, and Kenneth Shine, the outgoing executive vice chancellor for health affairs.

Burgdorf, who has served in the position since 2005, could not immediately be reached for comment.

 

"He stated that he thought eight years was a good lifespan for the role as general counsel, and it was a good time for him to look at other opportunities that have presented themselves," said Randa Safady, the system's vice chancellor of external relations. 

Burgdorf's impending departure has been rumored for months. Some speculated it would be over the system's handling of a report Burgdorf completed on the relationship between the University of Texas School of Law and the University of Texas Law School Foundation.

Burgdorf was tasked with completing the report following the forced resignation of Law School Dean Larry Sager in December 2011 amid questions about his handling of a forgivable loan program operated by the foundation. Burgdorf's initial draft was completed in May 2012 and provided to the regents, but the final report was not released until November.

In his findings, Burgdorf drew a sharp contrast between the way Sager managed the loan program, which Burgdorf called "not appropriate," and the manner in which it operated under Bill Powers, the former law school dean who is now president of the University of Texas at Austin.

Powers is believed to be in bad standing with some of the regents on the board, which has formed a task force to delve deeper into the the issue of universities and affiliated foundations.

 

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