Matthew Watkins

Matthew Watkins writes about higher education and the business of college sports for the Tribune. Previously, he has covered local government at The Dallas Morning News and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. A Texas native, Matthew grew up in Austin and has lived in Houston, Dallas and Bryan. He earned his bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University in 2008.

Recent Contributions

After Court Win, Fenves Says UT is Ready to Re-Examine Admissions Policies

Greg Fenves of UT-Austin discusses the first three months of his tenure as the university's president during a Texas Tribune event on Sept. 21, 2015.
Greg Fenves of UT-Austin discusses the first three months of his tenure as the university's president during a Texas Tribune event on Sept. 21, 2015.

The University of Texas at Austin's long legal fight over race and admissions is over. But in his first extended interview about the case, President Greg Fenves says the school is now ready to review its policies and possibly make changes. 

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds UT-Austin's Affirmative Action System

Abigail Fisher, right, plaintiff in Fisher v. University of Texas, leaves the U.S. Supreme Court with Edward Blum of the Project on Fair Representation after oral arguments in the case, in Washington, D.C., Dec. 9, 2015.
Abigail Fisher, right, plaintiff in Fisher v. University of Texas, leaves the U.S. Supreme Court with Edward Blum of the Project on Fair Representation after oral arguments in the case, in Washington, D.C., Dec. 9, 2015.

In a major — and surprising — win for affirmative action supporters, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the University of Texas at Austin’s right to give a slight boost to black and Hispanic applicants.

In Filing, Briles Accuses Baylor of Scapegoating Him in Sexual Assault Scandal

Baylor University football head coach Art Briles speaks at a press conference on the Baylor campus on Sept. 6, 2014.
Baylor University football head coach Art Briles speaks at a press conference on the Baylor campus on Sept. 6, 2014.

Former Baylor University head football coach Art Briles is fighting back against his sudden dismissal, arguing that he was wrongfully terminated and is being used as a scapegoat for the sexual assault scandal that has shamed the school.

Texas Colleges Staying Out of Bathroom Battles for Now

Protesters at a press conference held by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in May, 2016 calling on Fort Worth Independent School District Superintendent Kent Scribner to resign over the district's bathroom guidelines for transgender students.
Protesters at a press conference held by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in May, 2016 calling on Fort Worth Independent School District Superintendent Kent Scribner to resign over the district's bathroom guidelines for transgender students.

The state's colleges and universities have been largely been left out of the debate over transgender bathroom policies. Over the past decade, most have adopted policies friendlier to transgender students and staff.