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The Brief: Sept. 24, 2015

The Steve Patterson era on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin is expected to end officially today at a special meeting of the university system's board of regents.

UT Athletic Director Steve Patterson at TribLive May 15, 2014

The Big Conversation

The Steve Patterson era on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin is expected to end officially today at a special meeting of the university system's board of regents.

Up for approval, as the Tribune's Matthew Watkins reports, is a separation agreement for the athletics director whose tenure on the 40 Acres lasted a couple months short of two years.

Watkins writes:

Patterson will depart less than two years into a contract running through August 2019 under which he earned $1.4 million a year, plus raises, a car allowance and other perks. Paid everything his contract promised, he'd receive more than $5 million, but the final agreement is expected to be less than that. 

... 

Fenves has declined to comment on the exit agreement until it is formally approved. Patterson, who had a strained relationship with fans and donors after raising football ticket prices and making other major changes, hasn't agreed to any interviews since his departure was announced.

Patterson is being replaced by Houston lawyer and former UT football player Mike Perrin on an interim basis.

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

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2 State Women's Health Programs to Consolidate in July, by Alexa Ura – Following a directive from the Legislature, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced Wednesday that it would combine two of the state's main women’s health programs to create the “Healthy Texas Women” program on July 1.

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Quote to Note

"Any help we can get from anyone on that would be great." 

— U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, on speculation that the Pope will discuss climate change during his joint address to the U.S. Congress on Thursday

Today in TribTalk

Nontraditional students are the new majority, by Veronica Vargas Stidvent – How higher education evolves and adapts to meet the needs of today’s diverse student population will be critical to Texas’ long-term ability to satisfy workforce demands and remain prosperous and competitive.

News From Home

Before Hurricane Rita barreled into Southeast Texas on Sept. 24, 2005, there was a disaster of another kind. Evacuees who drove out of the area ahead of the storm were stuck in the heat on stranded roads. Fuel shortages plagued the area, and fragile populations struggled to evacuate. State and local officials say they're better prepared for the next big storm, but concerns remain. Read our seven-part "Road From Rita" series, done in collaboration with the Beaumont Enterprise. 

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation on The Environment: The Next Five Years on Sept. 28 in Corpus Christi

•    A Conversation on Criminal Justice: The Next Five Years on Oct. 6 in Huntsville

•    A Conversation on God & Governing on Oct. 7 in Austin

•    The Texas Tribune Festival on Oct. 16-18 at the University of Texas at Austin

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