• UTPD: Person assaulted and robbed near campus

    A person was assaulted and robbed in the Renaissance market area on Guadalupe Street on Thursday evening, according to a UT Safety Alert email.

    The victim, who is not affiliated with UT, was able to describe two of the five suspects who left the area, Austin police informed UTPD.

    The two suspects were men – one had short blond hair, and the other had brown hair with shoulder-length dreadlocks. Both suspects appeared to be homeless, according to the email.

    No arrests have been made.

    UTPD urged students, faculty and staff who see anyone matching the suspect descriptions to dial 911 or call 512-471-4441.

  • UT System academic official to step down

    Pedro Reyes, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at the UT System, is planning to step down from his position, the UT System announced Thursday.

    Reyes will return to UT Austin as a full-time professor in the fall of 2016. Reyes has taught part-time since he joined the System as executive vice chancellor in 2003.

    In a statement released by the System, Reyes said it was time for him to return to teaching.

    “Working with the UT System’s academic presidents to make significant improvements in student success on such a wide scale has been one of the richest and most rewarding experiences of my professional career,” Reyes said. “But now it’s time for me to return to my other passion – teaching and research.”

    Reyes said he will not leave his position until his successor is named and will continue to hold his position as special assistant to the chancellor through the end of December 2015. As special assistant, he will continue to provide guidance for UT Rio Grande Valley, UT System’s engineering and computer science initiative, and Americas Institute, among other projects.

  • Sen. Rand Paul announces presidential bid

    Kentucky Senator Rand Paul announced his 2016 presidential candidacy today in Louisville.

    “Today I announce with God’s help, with the help of liberty lovers everywhere, that I am putting myself forward as a candidate for president of the United States of America,” Paul said in his speech Tuesday.

    Paul followed Senator Ted Cruz in declaring candidacy fairly early. He is the second official Republican presidential candidate for 2016.

    Paul was born and raised in Lake Jackson, Texas. He attended Baylor University for undergrad and graduated from Duke Medical School in 1988. He practiced ophthalmology in Kentucky for 18 years, where he currently lives with his family.

    Paul hit several topics, such as ISIS and governmental surveillance - specifically section 215 of the Patriot Act - which he deemed too big and too invasive.

    “As president on day 1, I will immediately end this unconstitutional surveillance,” he said.  “Warrantless searches of America’s phones and computer records are unAmerican and a threat to our civil liberties. I say that the phone records of law-abiding citizens are none of their damn business.”

    Paul criticized the Obama administration, but also admitted the Republican party needed to stay on issue.

    “Too often when Republicans have won, we have squandered our opportunity by becoming part of the Washington machine,” he said. “That is not who I am.”

    Paul is son of former Congressman Ron Paul, a three-time presidential candidate.

  • Texas House approves $210 billion budget

    State representatives pulled an all-nighter Tuesday before granting initial approval to the House chamber's $210 billion budget bill by a 141-5 vote.

    During nearly 18-hours of debate, the House approved dozens of amendments to the two-year spending plan. More than 350 amendments were filed to the bill, but many lawmakers withrew theirs from consideration. By Wednesday morning, roughly 430 amendments, including amendments to proposed amendments, had been heard.

    If the bill receives final approval, it will be reviewed alongside the Senate’s final budget in a joint committee.

    To read more about some of the amendments to the House budget, click here