President Powers is nominated for Dallas Morning News’ Texan of the Year

Alexa Ura

UT President William Powers Jr. was nominated for the Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year.

Powers said he appreciated the Dallas Morning News’ recognition and plans to stay focused on maintaining the University as a world leader in teaching and research.

“As a Texan for more than three decades, it’s an honor to be nominated as Texan of the Year in a publication as highly regarded as the Morning News,” Powers said.

Columnist William McKenzie nominated Powers in a column citing his leadership of UT-Austin during a year in which Powers faced pressure to reduce University operating costs.

“Some university leaders may ignore the revolution,” McKenzie wrote in the column. “Others may capitulate. The smart ones adjust and maintain their mission. None have been as good at adjusting yet persevering as William Powers.”

McKenzie also wrote Powers maintained his vision for a research university and defended his recommendation for a tuition hike last May when the UT System Board of Regents opposed his request. The regents froze undergraduate tuition at UT for two years instead.

“Powers didn’t flinch,” McKenzie wrote. “That’s the key point. He used his podium, even though speculation abounded [Gov. Rick] Perry wanted him gone.”

Adm. William McRaven, who led the mission which resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, was the 2011 Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year. Other previous winners include Gov. Rick Perry, George W. Bush, Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins and the heroes of Fort Hood.

The search for the 2012 Texan of the Year began Nov. 2 and the winner will be announced Dec. 30.