Fallout from Texas Student Media Director’s resignation to be handled by new spokesperson

Kayla Jonsson

The University administration has named a new point person to deal with the fallout from the resignation of former Texas Student Media Director Gary Borders.

Kevin Hegarty, UT’s vice president and chief financial officer, said Monday he will replace Juan Gonzalez, outgoing vice president of student affairs, in managing the controversy surrounding the Feb. 8 resignation of Borders, which Borders said was forced by the vice president’s office.

In an email to The Daily Texan, University spokesman Gary Susswein said the change in authority is the result of Gonzalez’s plans to leave the administration and return to teaching.

“I have recently come into this position and am not familiar with the specifics yet, but I will within the next day or two,” Hegarty said. “I hope to bring knowledge and understanding to this issue.”

Lindsey Powers, president of TSM Board of Trustees, which jointly oversees TSM with the Office of Student Affairs, said Monday she had not been notified about the shift in responsibilities in advance and is not sure how the change will impact the situation.

“I’m still not sure who played exactly what role in the [Gary Borders] resignation situation,” Powers said. TSM is comprised of The Daily Texan; TSTV, Texas Student Television; KVRX 91.7 FM, the student radio station; The Texas Travesty, a humor publication; and the Cactus Yearbook.

A TSM board meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Feb. 27 to discuss the actions that resulted in the resignation of Borders. Hegarty said he will attend in place of Gonzalez, and Borders said he will be present, as well.

“I have been invited to the TSM board meeting and plan to attend,” Borders said Monday. “In courtesy to the board, I will not speak about this issue anymore until I discuss it with them.”

Gonzalez’s office declined to comment about the issue on Monday.

The upcoming board meeting agenda includes discussions to investigate Borders’ departure from TSM, as well as the preliminary proposal he made to sell the licenses for TSTV and KVRX to help balance the budget. Borders has said that suggestion incensed Gonzalez and may have contributed to what he described as his forced resignation.

“We just want to find out what the proposals were, since we hadn’t seen them,” Powers said. “I can’t speak for everyone on the board, but I did not know that Gary Borders, or anyone else, was suggesting selling the broadcast licenses and I would like to know more about the details of such plans and why they were presented to the University before they were presented to the board.”

In his proposal, Borders said TSM board member Amy Villarreal, vice president and general manager at KEYE-TV, told him that selling the stations together would earn TSM $3 million. Villareal said she never gave Borders a price tag on the sale and that selling the stations was not the first option discussed in plans for reducing the $175,000 TSM deficit.

“I don’t know where or how he got the $3 million amount,” Villarreal said. “He must have done some homework on that because I do not know how much it would sell for.”

Printed on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 as: CFO to oversee controversy over Borders' resignation