UT President William Powers Jr. announced an interim replacement for Gregory Fenves, provost and executive vice president, who was named UT’s next president earlier this week.
Judith Langlois, senior vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies, will serve in the interim provost and executive vice president, while administrators conduct a search for a permanent replacement, according to an email sent by Powers to students, faculty and staff. Langlois will assume the position May 26.
Langlois has served as associate dean and interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and also served as chair of the Presidential Committee on the Status of Non-Tenure Faculty.
In the email announcement, Powers said the search for a permenant replacement for Fenves will begin immediately.
After weeks of debate, the Student Government Assembly voted against a divestment resolution, which would have asked the UT System Investment Management Company to pull investments from five corporations that the resolution claimed “facilitate in the oppression of the Palestinian people by the State of Israel.” The Assembly voted against the resolution by a 11-23-1 vote Tuesday night.
The resolution asked UTIMCO to divest specifically from Alstom, Cemex, Hewlett-Packard, Procter and Gamble and United Technologies because of “human rights violations,” according to the resolution.
Katie Jensen, a graduate student representative, said the campaign to pass the resolution led to important dialogue, even though it did not ultimately pass.
“[Regardless] of the vote, it is a victory,” Jensen said.
Ethan Black, a Plan II sophomore who testified at Tuesday's meeting, said the resolution singled out Israelis.
“I truly want an end to settlement expansion as the authors of this resolution do, but divestment is not the way,” Black said.
UTIMCO CEO Bruce Zimmerman said UTIMCO makes investment decisions solely based on the financial interests of the University, and so would not have taken the resolution into consideration even if had passed.
Seventeen former Student Government leaders signed a letter addressed to the current SG executive board and Assembly, urging them to oppose a divestment resolution set to be voted on Tuesday night.
The resolution calls for the University of Texas Investment Management Company to divest from corporations that authors said “facilitate the oppression of the Palestinian people by the State of Israel.”
The former leaders, who served SG terms ranging as far back as 1983, said SG should not associate with the boycott-divestment-sanctioning – known as BDS – movement upon which the resolution is based.
"The BDS movement is rooted in a philosophy that rejects Israel’s very existence," the letter read. "While reasonable people can debate the merits and faults of Israel's specific policies, supporting BDS necessarily means supporting a philosophy that advocates the destruction of Israel and its inhabitants. We do not think the Student Government Assembly should align itself with such a philosophy."
Seven of the eight most recent SG presidents and vice presidents signed the letter, including last term's president and vice president, Kori Rady and Taylor Strickland.
The leaders also said Texas has kept close ties with Israel, regarding similarities in agricultural and policing policies.
"There is much that the state of Texas and Israel share, and the BDS movement attempts to undermine that relationship," the letter read.
The Assembly will vote on the resolution Tuesday night.
The Jefferson Davis statue, which commemorates the president of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War and is located adjacent to the UT Tower, was defaced over the course of Wednesday night and early Tuesday morning, according to UTPD.
The statue had graffiti on both the North and South sides of its base. The words “Davis must fall” appeared to be spelled out in red and yellow graffiti.
UTPD noticed the graffiti at 8:42 a.m. Thursday and called University Facilities Services to remove it, according to UTPD Public Information Officer Cindy Posey. Posey said UTPD is investigating the issue and trying to find out who put the graffiti on the statue.
Because of its Confederate affiliation, the statue has been controversial around campus. In late March, the Student Government voted almost unanimously for its removal.
The statue was also defaced on February 27, with the words “Chump” and an arrow pointing up written in chalk on the South side of its base.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio announced his presidential candidacy in a conference call to his top donors Monday morning.
The phone call precedes a political event Monday night at Miami’s Freedom Tower, where he will formally announce his campaign to the rest of the public.
The Freedom Tower was a processing center for Cuban refugees escaping Fidel Castro’s leadership, and it reflects both his Cuban heritage as well as his immigration work in the U.S. Senate. Rubio helped draft a bipartisan immigration bill in 2013 that diluted his support from the right and the left as both were unsatisfied with the middle-of-the-road legislation.
Rubio, 43, is the youngest candidate to enter the race. He has previously served as a state representative for his home state Florida as well as speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is also expected the formally enter the race, creating state divide between Bush and Rubio.
Rubio is the third Republican and the fourth candidate to enter the race. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announced March 23, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul announced last Tuesday. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Sunday.