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Cigarroa, Board to Confer About Powers' Future

University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa will confer with the system's board of regents on Thursday about how to handle University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers' refusal to resign this year.

University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa will confer with the system's board of regents on Thursday about how to handle University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers' refusal to resign this year.

Last week, Cigarroa asked Powers to announce in August that he intended to step down at the end of October. The alternative, sources with knowledge of the request said, was to face termination at the July 10 board meeting.

On July 4, Powers responded to Cigarroa in writing, refusing the request and proposing a resignation date after the upcoming legislative session, which ends on June 1, 2015.

UT System spokeswoman Jenny LaCoste-Caputo said on Monday: "The chancellor must now have a conversation with the board of regents, and based on that conversation, will make a deliberation on what to recommend to the board regarding President Powers’ tenure. That conversation will take place at Thursday’s board of regents meeting."

The system has released its official agenda for the July 10 board meeting, which calls for "discussion and appropriate action related to recommendation by Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs concerning employment of William C. Powers, Jr., as President of The University of Texas at Austin."

In the meantime, Cigarroa has been getting public pressure from some state lawmakers, national academic leaders and prominent UT-Austin alumni to back down.

On Monday, state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, sent Cigarroa a letter saying, "I am concerned that a forced resignation will further inflame an already stressed relationship between legislators and the board of regents. This strain has tarnished the university enough; it shouldn't also end the career of a popular and successful public servant."

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

 

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2014/07/07/cigarroa-board-confer-about-powers-future-thursday/.

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