• TAMU wide receiver Thomas Linze Johnson found safe in Dallas area

    Police said a Texas A&M University freshman wide receiver who had been missing since Monday was found safe overnight.

    According to a statement released by the Texas A&M University Police Department Thursday morning, Thomas Linze Johnson, 18, was found safe in the Dallas area around 2:30 a.m. Thursday. Texas A&M police investigators traveled to Dallas on Wednesday to search for Johnson and located him with the assistance of the Dallas Police Department and the Texas Rangers.

    No further information is available at this time, according to the statement.

    Texas A&M police released a statement Wednesday saying they were searching for Johnson, who had last been seen leaving his College Station residence around 5 p.m. Monday. The statement said Johnson may have traveled to the Dallas area.

    Johnson grew up and attended high school in Dallas, where he still has family and friends.

    Johnson originally committed to play at UT but decommitted before signing with A&M. During his first season on the Aggies’ football team, he had 339 yards receiving and one touchdown.

  • Powers nominated for Texan of the Year

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

    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 a column. “Others may capitulate. The smart ones adjust and maintain their mission. None has 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 Perry wanted him gone.”

    Adm. William McRaven, who led the mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden, was the 2011 Texan of the Year. Other previous winners include Gov. Rick Perry, George W. Bush, Dallas 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.

  • Texas legislators file higher education bills for 2013

    Today marks the first day of filing bills for the 83rd session of the Texas Legislature, and several bills related to higher education have already been filed.

    Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, filed HB 25 calling for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s performance-based funding recommendations for universities. Branch is the chairman of Texas House of Higher Education Committee.

    Branch’s HB 30 is related to transfer students’ facilitation within higher education system and increasing four-year graduation rates for students at public institutions.

    Branch also filed HB 31 requiring governing boards of a state university of university system to make meeting materials available online at the earliest possible rate.

    Champion of higher education Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, filed SB 27 to fund capital projects at public institutions of higher education through revenue bonds.

    Zaffirini also filed SB 27 related to eligibility for the Texas B-On-Time Loan Program, a loan-forgiveness program for low-income students. Zaffirini authored the legislation that created the program and has fought to maintain it despite recommendations to do away with the program. The text of the bill is not available.

    SB 46, also filed by Zaffirini, relates to exempting college textbooks purchases from sales and use tax for limited periods of time.

    Zaffirini’s SB 31 is related to formula funding for semester credit hours that help students earn dual course credit. The text of the bill is not available.

    Zaffirini sits on the Senate Committee of Higher Education and previously served as committee chair.

    HB 66, filed by Rep. Eddie Lucio III, D-San Benito, would establish a pilot program for high school students to earn prepaid tuition at public institutions through community service.

    Also filed by Lucio III, HB 67 is related to the establishment of a UT System law school in the Rio Grande Valley.

    Legislators will fill the Capitol for the 83rd Legislative session on Jan. 6. 

  • School of Human Ecology celebrates 100 years

    The University of Texas’ School of Human Ecology is celebrating 100 years of excellence in human development and family sciences, nutritional sciences and textiles and apparel.

    Meghan Mullaney, public affairs specialist for the School of Ecology, said the school will be opening its doors to the UT community and invite the public to celebrate it’s centennial anniversary. Mullaney said the UT Tower will be lit burnt orange with “100” on the sides Friday evening in honor of the school’s centennial celebration.

    UT welcomed Mary Gearing as the first faculty member to the School of Human Ecology in 1912. Throughout the years the school has undergone changes in the programs, but have maintained the principle of being science based and human focused.

    Professor Sheldon Ekland-Olson, Centennial Celebration Committee member, said the school is excited to celebrate its accomplishments with the UT community.

    “The centennial celebration for the School of Human Ecology, or for any school or institution, is a once in a lifetime event,” Ekland-Olson said.

    Centennial celebrations for the school will continue 8 a.m. Saturday with a tailgate party in the Mary E. Gearing Hall Courtyard.

  • Chronicle names Blanton best museum in Austin

    The Austin Chronicle named UT’s Blanton Museum of Art the best museum in their “Best of Austin” 2012 list, a reader’s poll.

    The Blanton’s collection contains many pieces of Latin American art, which the Chronicle noted.

    The Chronicle readers decided the content of the list and gave Blanton the award because “its focus is often on underrepresented contemporary works,” according the Chronicle’s website.

    The Chronicle also mentions how the Blanton has become an important artistic entity all its own adding “what started as the feather in Austin's cultural cap becomes an essential U.S. art destination.”

    The Blanton Museum of Art is located at 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. with free admission to UT students and faculty.