• UT president appoints staff ombudsman

    UT President William Powers Jr. announced his appointment for the University’s first ombudsman for staff members in an email Thursday.

    According to the email, Jennifer Sims will fill the new position beginning July 20. Sims has worked as an ombudsman at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and an associate ombudsman at the for-profit college, Bridgepoint Education.

    Her role will be to offer the University’s staff members a neutral third-party resource for informal conflict resolution. That resource is already available to students and faculty through an ombudsman designated to each group. Unlike student and faculty positions, the staff position will be full-time.

    “Like the student and faculty ombuds offices, the staff ombuds will report directly to my office,” Powers wrote in his email. “Formal staff grievances will continue to be handled by the Human Resource Services Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution Office.”

  • Powers targets raising graduation rates with announcement

    President William Powers Jr. announced a new task force on graduation rates Tuesday.

    Liberal Arts Dean Randy Diehl will chair the task force, which will include eight other faculty members. Improving graduation rates will save Texas families money and allow more students to attend the University, Powers said in an email to faculty and staff.

    The goal of the task force is to raise UT’s graduation rates to those of other top schools across the nation.

    “Although our graduation rates are the highest in the state, we should not be satisfied until they are among the very best,” Powers said in the email.

  • Bike accident under investigation

    David McGuire of Austin Fire Department cleans blood off of Guadalupe street following an accident involving a CCI Manufacturing Company truck and a cyclist Monday afternoon.
    David McGuire of Austin Fire Department cleans blood off of Guadalupe street following an accident involving a CCI Manufacturing Company truck and a cyclist Monday afternoon.

    An accident in the 2500 block of Guadalupe Street near the intersection with Dean Keeton Street on Monday left a bicyclist with serious injuries.

    The UT nutrition freshman, Haifa Abubaker, collided with a truck around 3 p.m. Her leg was amputated at Brackenridge Hospital after the accident, where officials said she is recovering.

    Detective Ron Phillips, who was not at the scene of the accident, said the cause of the collision is unknown, but the cyclist may not have stopped at a red light.

    “We don’t know if she stopped, it appears she was just riding her bike,” Phillips said. “I think she was just shooting straight across.”

    The Daily Texan is continuing to investigate this incident and the people who provided first aid.

    Updated on Friday, July 1, 2011 at 3:09 p.m. Added victim's name and injuries.

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