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The Brief: March 14, 2014

The Dallas Morning News has obtained an email that seemed to reference attempts by UT System Regent Wallace Hall to undermine UT Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa.

UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa announces his resignation on Feb. 10, 2014.

The Big Conversation

The Dallas Morning News has obtained an email that seemed to reference attempts by UT System Regent Wallace Hall to undermine UT Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, who is stepping down as soon as a replacement can be found and installed.

“I feel it is important to convey to you that I do not agree with the inference that ‘you have not done your job.’ Nor do I believe that it is the sentiment of the other members of the board,” wrote board of regents Chairman Paul Foster to Cigarroa in an email with the subject line "To Set the Record Straight."

The email has praise for Hall and his attempts to reform the university. “But I absolutely do not agree with his tactics in trying to pressure you into taking an action that you do not feel is in the best interests of UT-Austin or of the UT System,” Foster goes on to write, as reported by the News.

Cigarroa has consistently said he decided to step down in order to resume his surgical career. But the News' David Barer notes that "some higher education officials speculated that turmoil at UT could have helped spur his departure." Hall is being investigated by a House committee, a process that could result in his impeachment.

Today in the Trib

Chronicler of Presidents Is Bringing Four Together: "The lineup for the upcoming Civil Rights Summit hosted by the LBJ Library and Museum, is the latest accomplishment for the library's director, Mark K. Updegrove."

Arming U.S. Agents in Mexico Stalling Trade Agreement: "A little-known customs agreement between the United States and Mexico removes a major hurdle in how goods move across the border and could be an economic boon to South Texas."

Analysis: For Dewhurst, This is All Too Familiar: "A runoff against a populist conservative is nothing new for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. But he has to figure out how to win one."


Ambitious Texas Republicans Had Better Get Organized for Expensive Federal Races, Roll Call

Kennedy: Who is Jim Hogan? The Johnson County farmer is this year’s anti-candidate, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Report: TxDOT not spending enough on maintaining roads, The Dallas Morning News

HISD votes to close Dodson, repurpose Jones open, Houston Chronicle

New Texas business coalition promotes growth agenda to Congress, Austin American-Statesman

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Quote to Note

"It sometimes feels like we’ve gotten too much of what we wished for with South by Southwest ... South by Southwest has upped the ante of what Austin is, and Austin is trying to play this game with itself, to try to compete with itself, to see if it can succeed in pulling this off."

— Novelist Stephen Harrigan, capturing for The New York Times the mood of reflection in Austin after two were killed and 23 injured by a driver who was fleeing police when he plowed into a SXSW festival crowd early Thursday morning

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation With Kinky Friedman, Candidate for Ag Commissioner at the Austin Club, 3/20

•    A Conversation With Sen. Charles Schwertner and Reps. John Raney and Kyle Kacal at Texas A&M University in College Station, 3/27

•    A Conversation With Mike Collier, Candidate for State Comptroller at the Austin Club, 4/17

•    A Conversation with U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway at Midland College in Midland, 5/13

•    Save the date for the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival: 9/19-9/21

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