• Hartzell appointed as new dean of McCombs School of Business

    The University announced Thursday that Jay Hartzell has been appointed as the new dean of the McCombs School of Business.

    Currently a senior associate dean for academic affairs at McCombs, Hartzell will begin serving as dean on Feb. 1, holding the Centennial Chair in Business Education Leadership. Hartzell is currently the Trammell Crow Regents Professor in the Department of Finance and served as executive director of the McCombs School’s Real Estate Finance and Investment Center in 2007.

    “Jay is an outstanding scholar and engaged member of UT's community,” UT President Gregory L. Fenves said in an email to the University. “I am enthusiastic about his leadership as McCombs continues to lead the innovation of business education and research.”

    Hartzell also served as chair of the Department of Finance from 2011 to 2014.

    As chair, he created the one-year Master of Science in Finance degree and also started the Undergraduate Real Estate Certificate Program.

    According to Fenves, the program is “an excellent example of the interdisciplinary collaboration that [he] would like to increase across campus.”

    “It is an enormous honor to be selected as the next dean of the McCombs School,” Hartzell said in a press release. “[The McCombs School] will continue to find new ways to expand and capitalize on our many strengths, including top faculty, outstanding students, talented staff, great industry partners, and a passionate alumni base.”

    A UT alumnus who earned his Ph.D. in finance at UT-Austin in 1998, Hartzell has twice been recognized as an Outstanding Core Instructor by students. His research focuses primarily on real estate finance, corporate finance and corporate governance.

    Red McCombs, the business school’s namesake, called the announcement “a great day for the University of Texas family” in a press release.

    “Jay has worked tirelessly to see that business students at Texas are prepared for leadership challenges facing our state, our nation and the world,” McCombs said. “I congratulate President Fenves on a wise appointment.”

    Hartzell replaces interim dean Laura Starks, who has served as dean ever since former dean Tom Gilligan stepped down from the position after the spring semester.

  • Evans named new dean of LBJ School of Public Affairs

    The University announced Tuesday afternoon that Angela Evans has been appointed as the new dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.

    A former deputy director of the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, Evans has served as a clinical professor at the LBJ School since 2009, and previously worked for the United States Congress for 40 years.

    “Angela is the right person to lead the LBJ School at this time,” UT President Gregory L. Fenves said in a press release. “Her deep knowledge of the school provides a strong basis for increasing its impact by educating public affairs leaders through scholarship and research in domestic and international affairs.”

    Evans will begin serving as dean on Jan. 16 and will also be a fellow of the J.J. “Jake” Pickle Regents Chair in Public Affairs as part of her new role.

    “I am honored to be part of this amazing community and to serve as its dean," Evans said.  

    Evans will replace Robert Wilson, who has served as interim dean since Robert Hutchings, the former dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs, stepped down from the position earlier this year.

  • Mock shooting event would constitute criminal trespassing

    A mock shooting scheduled on campus this weekend  during a final exam period would be considered trespassing, according to University spokesman J.B. Bird.

    The “crisis performance,” which  gun rights groups Come and Take It Texas and Dontcomply.com have planed to hold Saturday, is intended to protest against gun-free zones on campuses, according to Dontcomply.com.

    While university, faculty, staff and student groups may demonstrate on University grounds, Bird said outside groups are not allowed to hold such events on campus.

    “The property or buildings owned or controlled by UT Austin are not, however, open to outside groups for assembly, speech, or other activities, including theatrical performances, as are the public streets, sidewalks, and parks,” Bird said.

    The groups will be asked to leave, and if they do not, it will be a “criminal trespass matter,” Bird said.

    According to Bird, the UT Dean of Students Office is contacting the groups to ensure they are aware of UT’s policies.

  • Fenves announces plan to increase tuition

    UT President Gregory Fenves announced Monday plans to increase tuition by around 3 percent over the next two school years.

    In the plan Fenves announced to the UT System, he recommended a 3.1 percent increase in 2016–17 and an additional 3 percent increase on 2017–2018. Fenves also included an additional $5 per semester to replace the Green Fee, a $5 fee from student tuition for environmental projects and research at Texas universities. The Green Fee is expected to be cut next summer.

    If the UT System and Board of Regents approve this plan, it will cost Texas residents $152 more for tuition in 2016–2017 and an additional $152 from 2017–2018.

    Fenves said in a University-wide email that the University is trying to reduce costs where they can and increase financial aid.

    "I want you to know that I do not take lightly the issue of raising tuition," Fenves said in his email. "Families are counting their dollars and expect us to keep UT affordable and accessible to students from all backgrounds.”

    In October, the Board of Regents approved a plan for proposed tuition increases starting at 2 percent. The Tuition Policy Advisory Committee made recommendations to Fenves on Dec. 3, proposing a tuition increase of 3 percent for undergraduate and graduate students.

  • Graduate students oppose campus carry in letter to Fenves

    As faculty members from Gun-Free UT continue to debate the safety of the University leading up to the implementation of campus carry, graduate students made their voices heard Tuesday in a letter to University President Gregory Fenves.

    More than 1,000 graduate and professional students across UT expressed their opposition to Senate Bill 11, which allows people 21 years and older to have a concealed handgun. The Texas Senate passed the bill in May and Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law in June.

    In an email the group said these students chose to remain anonymous during their campaign as they call themselves “Coordinators for: UT Graduate Students Oppose Guns in Classrooms.”

    “Graduate and Professional Students operate as both students in classrooms as well as educators in their roles as Assistant Instructors and Teaching Assistants, and they are therefore particularly affected by the implementation of SB 11,” the group said in an email. “We have managed the campaign with the help of a number of volunteers who are also graduate students at UT Austin.”

    The group said that the online petition has been open to the public since Oct. 16, with the goal to send a letter to Fenves and the Board of Regents
    on Dec. 1.

    This petition will be available online through August 2016 and the group said in an email they expect the number of signatures to grow as media outlets report about it and more student groups become involved in discussions regarding campus carry.

    Campus carry goes into effect on Aug. 1, 2016, which is also the same day as the 50th anniversary of the Charles Whitman shooting that killed 15 people and left 32
    others wounded.