Powers: 'I love the University of Texas, and it's an honor to serve as its president' [UPDATED]


Update at 5:42 p.m. on 5/10/2012: President William Powers Jr. has released a statement. "I love the University of Texas, and it's an honor to serve as its president. I am deeply grateful for the support of our students, faculty, staff and the thousands of members of the UT family," Powers said. "I will continue to work with the entire UT community to move the university forward. At this moment, I am focused on the more than 8,000 students who will graduate next week and make immeasurable contributions to society — extending the university's legacy of excellence and our positive impact on Texas." 

Update at 4:30 p.m. on 5/10/2012: Catherine Frazier, spokeswoman for Governor Rick Perry, said his office has had no knowledge of a possible termination of Powers and has only heard of the news. "I can definitely say the governor has had no involvement with it," Frazier said.

Additionally, the UT faculty council posted a notice for its meeting Monday to draft a resolution in support of Powers. 

Update at 1:12 p.m. on 5/10/2012: UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said, "The Chairman of the Board of Regents has never directed me fire anyone."

Update 11:06 p.m.: University spokesman Gary Susswein said the University has no comment. He said Powers is currently out of town travelling. 

Following his expressed disappointment with the UT System Board of Regents decision last week to freeze tuition for the next two academic years, President William Powers Jr. is facing the possibility of being terminated from his position by the Board. 

"Every penny of it is needed and would be put towards student success," Powers told The Daily Texan. "I am disappointed that our very thoughtful proposal was not adopted. It was very carefully worked out in consultation with students." 

As first reported by Texas Monthly, after Powers' misgivings with the board's tuition freeze, Board chairman Gene Powell asked Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa to recommend Powers be removed from his role as President. Cigarroa is said to have refused. A possible special meeting of the board could also have him fired.

Members of the UT System Board of Regents are appointed by Governor Rick Perry, who was against universities raising tuition rates during the last legislative session, where $92 million in state funding for the University was cut. 

News of Powers' potential firing are as of yet unconfirmed and developing. "I do not have an official confirmation, but I was told that the situation is fluid and may be happening as I write," Texas Monthly's Paul Burka writes.

Additional reporting by Jody Serrano