UT President Bill Powers Won't Resign Until June 2015, But His Departure Will Probably Suck
Getty Images Bill Powers's resignation will be effective June 2, 2014
UT Austin's beloved president submitted his resignation for June 2015 last Wednesday
afternoon, after being presented with an ultimatum to resign or be fired by the university's chancellor, Francisco Cigarroa.
As the university's Burnt Orange Nation reports:
The [Board of Regents] has been on a crusade to oust Powers for almost three years. It's leader is Rick Perry-appointee Wallace Hall, whose efforts to pin Powers down in an admission scandal have resulted in potential illegal activity and are grounds for impeachment.
Perry has publicly praised Hall for his valiant efforts in 'uncovering the truth.'
If there is evidence that Powers was involved in a scandal, it still hasn't been leaked to the media. Admissions director Kedra Ishop stepped down at the end of June, just days before the investigation was launched, to accept a position at Michigan -- which she described as a promotion.
This "admissions scandal" consists of allegations against Powers for supposedly admitting under-qualified students into the school because of their political connections according to Breitbart, who originally broke the story.
But more important than these politics, surely, is the effect Powers's resignation will have on the people the university is meant to serve -- namely, its students.
Hair Balls interviewed Houston-area Longhorns to get their input, and there seems to be a consensus among them: Powers is clearly an asset to the university, and students love him.
Everyone from legislators to faculty members to alumni have voiced their support of Powers, and a petition to "Save Bill Powers!" had accumulated almost 15,000 signatures at the time of his resignation proposal.
"Powers's influence on campus spans more than just his physical presence," says John Goldak, a second-year biomedical engineering major at the university. "After time, I feel like the integrity of the university might start to crumble due to Powers's leave."
As any student knows, big universities can feel overly bureaucratic, leaving students feeling disconnected from the people in charge of their education. As Bloomberg pointed out earlier this year, this feeling is increasingly becoming a reality. But according to many undergraduates at the university, this isn't the case in Austin. The university's president comes out to every campus presentation to talk to and connect with students.