The Brief: Powers Seeking Graceful Departure From UT

The nine University of Texas System presidents led by UT-Austin President Bill Powers appear at the committee meeting on May 14, 2014.
The nine University of Texas System presidents led by UT-Austin President Bill Powers appear at the committee meeting on May 14, 2014.

The Big Conversation

University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers has asked for a chance at a "graceful" departure from his post after next year's legislative session, reported the Tribune's Reeve Hamilton.

Powers' counteroffer was the latest development after it was reported Friday by Hamilton that UT Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa had laid down an ultimatum to the embattled campus president: Agree to a plan ahead of this week's meeting of the university system's board of regents to resign in a few months or be fired.

Powers said in a letter to Cigarroa that an abrupt resignation would be disruptive and that postponing his resignation for a year would be a more constructive approach. He wrote, "Throughout my tenure, I have always striven to act in the best interests of the University. I believe a graceful rather than abrupt departure after nine years in office is in keeping with that."

In other developments, the newly installed president of the Texas Exes — former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchisonsaid in a letter to the group's 100,000 members that Powers is a "great leader" and that "The University of Texas deserves better than this," reported the Houston Chronicle's Ben Wermund.

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Quote to Note

“I mean, I hate to be conspiratorial, but I mean, how do you move that many people from Central America across Mexico and then into the United States without there being a fairly coordinated effort?”

— Gov. Rick Perry, implying an "ulterior motive" while chastising what he called "an inept" Obama administration in its handling of the crisis of unaccompanied migrant children into the country.

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Trib Events for the Calendar

•    The Texas Tribune Festival runs from Sept. 19-21 at the University of Texas at Austin. Tickets are on sale now.