• UT senior Jordan Metoyer receives Truman Scholarship

    Jordan Metoyer, an economics and urban studies senior, is one of 62 students nationwide to become a Truman Scholar, Wednesday.

    The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Fund awards select college juniors up to $30,000 to support graduate study and leadership training as well as spur careers in government, the nonprofit sectors or education. More than 900 students applied and Metoyer was one of two finalists from UT. Metoyer is a third year student, but a senior by credit hours.

    “Looking at my personal experiences, my academic interests and what I hope to accomplish, the Truman scholarship will give me the tools and a network that I need to ensure social mobility for everyone,” Metoyer said. “This is an incredible honor.”

    Metoyer said she hopes to impact local politics and wants to study public policy at the graduate level.

    “I’m going to look at the issues that are at the nexus of poverty, education and affordable housing,” Metoyer said. “Growing up I saw how low income families were disproportionately affected by predatory home loans and the financial crisis of 2008, including my family.”

    The foundation was established by the U.S. Congress in 1975, in honor of the country’s thirty-third president. Since then, 2,906 scholars have been selected.

    This article was corrected after its original posting. Metoyer is a third-year student but a senior by credit hours.

  • Gretchen Ritter, vice provost and government professor, leaving UT, heading to Cornell

    Gretchen Ritter, UT government professor and vice provost for undergraduate education, is leaving the University for a new position at Cornell University.

    According to a press release from Cornell University, Ritter will serve as the school's 21st dean of Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences. Ritter is the latest administrator to leave an open leadership position, following Provost and Executive Vice President Steven Leslie's announcement to step down in February. Leslie is staying at UT, however, while Ritter is not.

    Ritter will be the first woman dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. 

    At UT, Ritter is known for directing UT's Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and more recently steering the Course Transformation Program, an initative that aims to improve large, entry level classes. She also co-authored the final report of a Gender Equity Task Force from 2008, which identified nine categories of gender equity issues on campus.

    In a press release from Cornell University, Ritter said she is excited for her new position.

    "I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve as the next dean of this great college. Cornell is a special place – as I know from my years of having been a student there," Ritter said. "I look forward to working with the college's extraordinary students, faculty and alumni in making a great college even stronger in the years to come."


  • UPDATE: UT Austin Police, FBI to investigate credibility of non-specific bomb threat

    UPDATE at 6:31 p.m. – University spokeswoman Cindy Posey said UTPD could not say how the bomb threat was recieved or how many additional police officers would be on campus. Posey did say UTPD is checking all the buildings, and that if anyone sees anything suspcisous they should report it to UTPD at 512-471-4771.

    ORIGINAL STORY – UT Austin sent out an email late Wednesday afternoon alerting students to an increase police presence on campus for the next several days because of a non-specific bomb threat on campus. Campus will remain open. 

    The email said UT Austin's police department will work with the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Department of Public Safety and the Austin Police Department to investigate the bomb threat. The email said the threat was made anoynmously and there is no information that indicidates the threat is credible at this time. 

    "We take the safety of every member of this community very seriously and ask that each of you be vigilant in observing anything that looks unusual over the next few days," the email said.

    Last fall, UT-Austin evacuated campus buildings on Sept. 14 because of a bomb threat. Campus leaders faced criticism for the lateness of the evacuation and the way it was handled. The caller of the Sept. 14 bomb threat said bombs would "blow up all over campus" around 10:05 a.m. UT sent out text messages and started evacuating buildings at 9:50.


  • UT professor Richard Cherwitz's trial on hit-and-run charges reset for May 15

    After a preliminary hearing today at the 331st District Court, UT professor Richard Cherwitz's trial was reset for May 15. 

    On March 26, police say Cherwitz was involved in a hit-and-run on the intersection of West 10th Street and Lamar Blvd, leaving one byclist injured. He was subsequently arrested and charged with failure to stop and render aid, a 3rd degree felony. 

    Cherwitz's attorney, Paul Quinzi, declined to comment. 

  • Judith Zaffirini's bill lays out open records obligations of UT System's Board of Regents

    The UT System Board of Regents would have to disclose information regents say would hinder its investigative powers under legislation filed Monday in the Texas Senate.

    The bill, filed by state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, and co-authored by 16 senators, would require state agencies or governmental bodies to give lawmakers requested information that agencies say would handicap their ability to conduct investigations.

    The legislation would require bodies to disclose information that may result in the loss of attorney-client privilege.

    It would also require agencies to produce information to lawmakers within 10 days of the initial request. After 10 days, the agency must set a time and date for lawmakers to retrieve and examine the information.

    The bill does not specify involvement of the Texas Attorney General’s office in reviewing documents that agencies do not see fit to disclose as the Texas Public Information Act does.

    Under that law, agencies must produce information in a timely manner relative to the request. Agencies have 10 days to seek an opinion from the attorney general’s office about the release of that information. If they do not, they must set a time and date for viewing and examination of the requested information.

    The bill comes after Board Chairman Gene Powell requested legal advice from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott regarding the potential withholding of some information requested by legislators, citing concerns that releasing requested information would hinder an ongoing investigation into the UT Law School Foundation.

    The board will meet Thursday to consider releasing the information. They will also discuss the $500,000 investigation into the foundation, which regents approved by a vote of 4-3 at their last meeting.

    In a three-page statement, Zaffirini called Powell’s request to Abbott an “outrageous” delay tactic and said she had heard Powell’s behavior compared to former U.S. President Richard Nixon’s behavior during the Watergate scandal.