Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

All content by Alex Wilts

College of Natural Sciences to offer fewer summer courses

Eleanor Dearman and Alex Wilts December 12, 2014

The College of Natural Sciences will be offering about one-third fewer courses in summer 2015, according to the college's dean, Linda Hicke. Last week, the Office of the Executive...


President Powers discusses his upcoming final semester at UT

Alex Wilts December 5, 2014

William Powers Jr. is set to serve his last semester as University president this spring. Some answers in this Q&A have been edited for clarity and brevity. The Daily Texan: What’s one item...

Large percentage of UT Class of 2017 on track to graduate in four years

Alex Wilts December 5, 2014

Based on new data, 86 percent of current University sophomores are on track to graduate within four years, according to David Laude, senior vice provost for enrollment and graduation management. As...

Where UT students come from in Texas

Alex Wilts December 4, 2014

University students in fall 2014 hail from 226 out of 254 different Texas counties, primarily from the eastern half of the state, according to data from the Office of Institutional Reporting, Research,...


Large gender gap still remains in Cockrell School of Engineering

Alex Wilts December 3, 2014

As the Cockrell School of Engineering aims to achieve gender balance in its classrooms, some engineering women still feel outnumbered. According to statistics from the Women in Engineering Program,...


University, UT System look for increased state funding in 2015

Alex Wilts November 25, 2014

Money will be on the minds of both the University and the UT System during the 2015 legislative session. Barry McBee, System vice chancellor of governmental relations, said the System will push legislators...

With new bill, state senator seeks clarification for role of regents

Alex Wilts November 24, 2014

The manner in which the UT System governs its institutions could again be a topic of discussion during the 2015 legislative session. State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, has filed Senate Bill 177, which...

UT System accepting public nominations for next University president

Alex Wilts November 18, 2014

Paul Foster, Board of Regents chairman, announced a new UT System website on Monday to accept nominations from the public for the next UT-Austin president.  With President William Powers Jr....

UT System holding off tuition proposal input until spring

Eleanor Dearman and Alex Wilts November 17, 2014

For the second year in a row, the UT System delayed sending the University the information needed to form its Tuition Policy Advisory Committee, the group in charge of recommending any tuition changes...


Parking and Transportation Services to propose increasing parking costs

Alex Wilts November 14, 2014

University parking rates are likely to increase over the next five years, according to the draft of a report by the Committee on Parking Strategies, which will present recommendations on how to increase...

5th Circuit Court of Appeals denies to hear Fisher v. UT en banc

Alex Wilts November 13, 2014

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined Abigail Fisher’s request Wednesday for a full panel of judges to hear her affirmative action case against the University. Of the court’s 15...


UT Board of Regents honor Chancellor Cigarroa, approve new nursing graduate program

Alex Wilts November 7, 2014

EL PASO — The UT System Board of Regents honored outgoing Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and approved the establishment of a doctoral nursing program at UT during a meeting Thursday. Held in El...

In second year, UT’s PACE program has higher enrollment rate than CAP

Alex Wilts November 3, 2014

Students offered to participate in the Path to Admission through Co-Enrollment program in 2014 had a higher enrollment rate in the program than those offered to participate in the UT Coordinated Admission...

UT ranked 30th worldwide by U.S. News and World Report

Alex Wilts October 29, 2014

In its first ever global university ranking released Wednesday, U.S. News and World Report recognized UT as the 30th-best university in the world.  The publication previously listed the University...


Powers, University seek continued diversity

Alex Wilts October 29, 2014

President William Powers Jr., during his first State of the University Address in 2006, pledged to make diversity his highest priority as president — a commitment that led to the establishment of...

UT faculty, staff contribute less than $8,000 to major Austin mayoral campaigns

Alex Wilts October 27, 2014

University faculty and staff have contributed less than $8,000 to major candidates in the Austin mayor’s race this year, significantly less than the total amount of contributions to the state race...

University, Seton Healthcare Family release affiliation agreement

Alex Wilts October 21, 2014

UT released its affiliation agreement Monday between the UT System Board of Regents, the University and the Seton Healthcare Family regarding the Dell Medical School.   “UT Austin and Seton...


University announces UT student was on same flight as nurse later diagnosed with Ebola

Alex Wilts October 17, 2014

President William Powers Jr. announced Friday that a University student was on the same flight as a health care worker who has tested positive for the Ebola virus, but the student is not showing any...


Gender equity council to research gender inequality at UT

Alex Wilts October 17, 2014

In an effort to combat gender inequality in UT's faculty, University Gender Equity Council, a committee formed by the University administration to research the issue, began meeting in early...

Board of Regents announce preparedness to combat infectious diseases

Alex Wilts October 17, 2014

In a special meeting Thursday night, the UT System Board of Regents announced the System’s commitment to being prepared to utilize its resources for protecting citizens from public health threats, including...

Since admissions changes, average SAT scores of incoming UT freshmen have increased

Alex Wilts October 13, 2014

Since state requirements over UT’s automatic admission policy changed in 2011, the average SAT score of accepted freshman has continued to increase. For the first time since 2010, the University...

Tuition broken down at the University

Alex Wilts October 9, 2014

According to University documents, UT expects to receive $596 million in tuition for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, which is .34 percent higher than the $594 million it budgeted to receive last year. In May,...

Board of Regents endorse Charlie Strong’s core values

Alex Wilts October 4, 2014

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell isn’t the only one who’s been paying attention to football head coach Charlie Strong’s core vales.  At a special meeting over telephone conference...

UT ranked 28th in Times Higher Education world ranking

Alex Wilts October 3, 2014

UT has been recognized as the 28th-best university in the world and sixth-best among public universities in the U.S., according to the 2014-2015 Times Higher Education World University ranking released...

UT’s guaranteed tuition plan enrollment below expectations

Alex Wilts October 2, 2014

In the University’s first semester offering a guaranteed tuition plan, the number of students who signed up for the four-year fixed rate fell below University projections. The UT System Board...

Regents to continue looking at divesting from Russia

Alex Wilts September 29, 2014

The UT System will further consider divesting funds from Russia as relations between the U.S. and the Russian governments worsen because of conflict in Ukraine, according to System officials. At a Board...

State representative concerned UT admissions investigation will focus on President Powers

Alex Wilts September 26, 2014

After being denied access to interviews relating to the external investigation of UT’s admissions process, state Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, said he is concerned the investigation may focus...

Decline in international oil prices may affect UT System funds

Alex Wilts September 25, 2014

Decreasing international crude oil prices may affect the money available to the UT System, according to Bruce Zimmerman, CEO and CIO of the University of Texas Investment Management Company. From June...

Four-year graduation rates improves to more than 55 percent

Alex Wilts September 24, 2014

The University reported the class of 2014, which graduated in the spring semester, had a 55.1 percent four-year graduation rate — 3.1 percent higher than the class of 2013’s graduation rate. In...


President Powers delivers final State of the University Address

Alex Wilts September 23, 2014

During his ninth and final State of the University Address on Monday, President William Powers Jr. said one of the keys to making UT the best public university in America involves being able to take specific...


Number of intramural flag football teams in decline

Alex Wilts September 23, 2014

A losing Texas Longhorns football team may not only affect game attendance but also registration for intramural flag football, according to a Division of Recreational Sports official.  Between...

Dean Clay Johnston, state Sen. Kirk Watson discuss medical education in Texas at Tribune Festival panel

Alex Wilts September 20, 2014

While both the Dell Medical School and the UT-Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine will educate more physicians in Texas, a panel of doctors at The Texas Tribune Festival on Saturday, along with state...


Powers talks about four-year graduation rates on Tribune Fest panel

Alex Wilts September 20, 2014

During a panel for The Texas Tribune Festival on Saturday, President William Powers Jr. said the University is making progress toward its goal of increasing the four-year graduation rate to 70 percent...

Shared Services undergoes changes during pilot programs

Alex Wilts September 18, 2014

After receiving harsh criticism from some students, faculty and staff members during the 2013-2014 school year, Shared Services has made some changes. Kevin Hegarty, vice president and chief financial...

Board of Regents deny state legislators’ request to monitor UT admissions investigation

Alex Wilts September 16, 2014

The UT System Board of Regents unanimously voted Monday to deny requests from two state legislators to monitor interviews relating to the external investigation of UT’s admissions process. At...

UT System finalizes UT presidential search committee members

Alex Wilts September 16, 2014

With President William Powers Jr. set to resign June 2015, the UT System announced Monday the full list of members on the search committee to find candidates to replace him. Headed by Pedro Reyes, the...

Regents to discuss House transparency committee involvement in UT admissions investigation

Alex Wilts September 15, 2014

The UT System Board of Regents will discuss issues relating to the external investigation of UT’s admissions process by Kroll Associates, Inc., a risk mitigation response firm, at a meeting over...

UT System continues with MOOCs program despite low completion rates

Alex Wilts September 11, 2014

It’s been a year since UT launched its first massive open online courses, or MOOCs, and, despite low completion rates, Steven Mintz, executive director of the UT System’s Institute for Transformational...

University drops to 53rd in 2015 U.S. News and World Report ranking

Alex Wilts September 10, 2014

UT dropped one spot to 53rd on the 2015 U.S. News and World Report national university ranking released Tuesday. University spokesman Gary Susswein said the University’s drop in rankings...


New dean reviews Dell Medical School

Alex Wilts September 8, 2014

Clay Johnston started in March as the dean of the Dell Medical School, which is set to open in fall 2016. Johnston previously served as the associate vice chancellor of research at the University of California,...


Regent Wallace Hall to be investigated by grand jury

Alex Wilts September 5, 2014

In a public interview with The Texas Tribune on Thursday, UT System Regent Wallace Hall said the Travis County district attorney will take his case to a grand jury to investigate him for his alleged release...

Committee publishes report on technology commercialization

Alex Wilts September 4, 2014

The Technology Commercialization Committee published a report Wednesday that discussed ways to improve the commercialization of technology developed at the University. The committee was formed based...

Increase in UT System funds allows for tuition offset plan

Alex Wilts September 2, 2014

Recent increases in oil production in West Texas have also increased the amount of money available to the UT System, according to Scott Kelley, the System’s executive vice chancellor for business...


‘Campaign for Texas’ raises total of $3.1 billion

Alex Wilts September 2, 2014

The University announced Tuesday that it raised $856 million in 2013-2014 for "The Campaign for Texas," successfully completing and passing its goal to raise $3 billion in eight years. The...

Seton breaks ground on Dell Medical School teaching hospital

Alex Wilts August 27, 2014

Tuesday, construction crews broke ground on the Seton Medical Center at UT, a $295 million teaching hospital. Located on the site of the Dell Medical School on Red River and 15th streets, the 211-bed...

President search committee starts coming together

Eleanor Dearman and Alex Wilts August 26, 2014

With President William Powers Jr. set to leave his position in June 2015, Paul Foster, UT System Board of Regents chairman, is in the process of forming a search committee to find candidates to replace...


Moody College Dean Roderick Hart to resign in May

Alex Wilts August 26, 2014

After a decade of administrative service, Roderick Hart, Moody College of Communication dean, announced that he will resign from his post in May 2015, in an email sent to faculty Monday. Hart said after...


Law professors say Fisher case has uncertain future

Alex Wilts August 25, 2014

A full appeals court panel may not hear the Fisher v. UT case, according to two law professors at the University.   In late July, denied University applicant Abigail Fisher asked the U.S. Court...

UT System hires firm to investigate University admissions process

Alex Wilts August 25, 2014

The UT System hired Kroll Associates, Inc., a risk mitigation response firm, in August to conduct an investigation into the University’s admissions process, according to System spokeswoman Jenny...


Regents approve budget, offset lack of tuition increases

Jacob Kerr and Alex Wilts August 21, 2014

In accepting the UT System’s operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year, the Board of Regents approved Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa’s proposal Thursday to utilize more of the System’s...

UT ROB Initial Rendering

Updated: Regents approve changes to new UT System headquarters

Alex Wilts August 20, 2014

Update (Aug. 21): The UT System Board of Regents approved the design changes to the new System administration building and the total project cost increase on Thursday. Original Story (Aug....


Two regents express disagreement with recent Moody’s analysis

Alex Wilts August 19, 2014

Paul Foster, UT System Board of Regents chairman, and Regent Jeffery Hildebrand said they "strongly disagreed" with Moody's Investor Services determining recent tensions in the...


UT passes $3 billion fundraising goal with Livestrong donation

Alex Wilts and Eleanor Dearman August 19, 2014

The University announced it passed its goal to raise $3 billion in eight years on Tuesday with a $50 million donation from the Livestrong Foundation to the Dell Medical School. The donation will...

At UT, women have higher average GPAs than men

Alex Wilts May 1, 2014

With women outpacing their male counterparts in average GPAs in every college at UT, some faculty members say the reasons could range from gender socialization to the realities of the job market. Across...


Students read out Holocaust victims’ names in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day

Alex Wilts April 29, 2014

Throughout Sunday night and for most of the next day, volunteers read the names of thousands of Holocaust victims in recognition of Holocaust Remembrance Day. Aaron Liener, Hebrew language and literature...


UT officials do not intend to ban graduation selfies

Alex Wilts April 25, 2014

Despite other colleges taking action against graduation selfies, UT will not do the same, according to University commencement planners.  Two colleges — Bryant University in Rhode Island...


Mexican economy still has room to grow

Alex Wilts April 24, 2014

Despite having the 14th largest economy in the world, Mexico is still suffering from long-term development issues, according to Mexican politician Gabriel Quadri, a former presidential candidate who spoke...


Associate professors salaries increase at a slower rate than salaries of assistant professors

Alex Wilts April 18, 2014

Associate professors may be ranked higher than assistant professors, but that does not mean their salaries are likely to rise as quickly, according to The Daily Texan’s analysis of University...

Civil Rights Summit increases donations to LBJ Foundation

Alex Wilts April 16, 2014

Along with bringing four U.S. presidents to the University, the Civil Rights Summit also brought an increase in donations to the LBJ Foundation, according to LBJ Library spokeswoman Anne Wheeler. The...


Planning of Texas Revue changes, but one winner stays the same

Alex Wilts April 14, 2014

Hula hooping, beat boxing and Indian classical dance were only a few of the acts performed Saturday in the Hogg Auditorium at the Texas Revue, the University’s annual talent show that was attended...


Increase in part-time community college faculty poses threat to student success

Alex Wilts April 10, 2014

Community colleges’ increasing use of part-time faculty to teach courses may have a negative impact on students, according to a report published Monday by UT’s Center for Community College...

UT to offer dual-credit courses to high school students

Alex Wilts April 8, 2014

Beginning in fall 2014, Austin high school students will be offered the opportunity to receive college credit in computer science through UT’s OnRamps dual-credit program.   The Austin Independent...


At UT, students prefer to go banana

Alex Wilts April 1, 2014

Students consume about 77 percent more bananas than they do apples, according to 2013 data from the Division of Housing and Food Service, making them the most popular fruit sold by the University. In...


With new exhibit and renovations, LBJ Library to gain from Civil Rights Summit exposure

Alex Wilts March 31, 2014

For the Civil Rights Summit in April, the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum has introduced the “Cornerstones of Civil Rights,” an exhibit that includes the original Civil Rights Act of 1964...

Study shows ‘red sneaker effect’ demonstrates professional competence

Alex Wilts March 28, 2014

Nonconforming clothing shows competence, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Research. The study states that individuals can demonstrate higher status and competence in...


Study abroad programs affected by political conflict in Ukraine

Alex Wilts March 21, 2014

Political conflict in Eastern Europe has not only affected Russia’s relations with the West, but also UT summer study abroad programs in the region. Russian Express, a language and culture program...

Underground University building houses back-up computers

Alex Wilts March 21, 2014

As students walk down the stairs in the East Mall every day, they may fail to notice they are walking over the Computation Center, an underground building built in the 1970s to house the University’s...


UK professor connects nutrition to heredity

Alex Wilts March 7, 2014

People really are what they eat, according to epigenetics professor Randy Jirtle of the University of Bedfordshire, Bedford, U.K. At the 2014 Jean Andrews Lecture Series on Thursday, Jirtle discussed...


Dan Patrick, David Dewhurst to face off in run-off election in Republican lieutenant governor primary

HOUSTON — After a close and hard-fought primary election, state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, took a lead over incumbent David Dewhurst in the race for the Republican candidate for lieutenant...


Psychology graduate students discuss science behind hook-ups on podcast

Alex Wilts February 28, 2014

Sex and hook-ups are only a few of the topics discussed on, a student-run website featuring podcasts focused on academic research involving relationships. Brian Wilkey, Lucy Hunt...


Artist brings life to fourth dimension art

Alex Wilts February 21, 2014

Even hip replacement surgery couldn’t stop artist Dean Fleming from presenting his gouache paintings from 1964 on Thursday at the Visual Arts Center. Fleming used Skype to tell the story of his...

Preliminary research suggests maternal stress may have little effect on babies in utero

Alex Wilts February 18, 2014

The effects of mothers’ stress on child development during pregnancy may be low, according to ongoing research by economics professor Sandy Black. At a lecture Monday, Black discussed her preliminary...


Visiting professor explores connection between Judaism and 20th century feminists

Alex Wilts February 14, 2014

A disproportionately high number of Jewish women influenced the second wave of feminism in the 1960s and 1970s, according to Daniel Horowitz, an American studies professor from Smith College. “There...

Visiting art history professor discusses the freedoms afforded to ancient Roman slaves

Alex Wilts February 7, 2014

At a Thursday lecture, UT alumna Lauren Petersen said that unlike American slavery in the 1800s, ancient Roman slaves from Pompeii were not distinguished by race or ethnicity.  Petersen, an...


Sculpture relocated during medical school construction

Alex Wilts February 4, 2014

Charles Umlauf’s “Three Muses” sculptures received a new temporary home Monday after being removed from Centennial Park on Red River Street to make way for the construction of the Dell...


UT faculty members host top podcast on iTunes U

Alex Wilts January 31, 2014

“15 Minute History” began as a project to provide history content to high school teachers and evolved into the top podcast collection on iTunes U with close to 200,000 subscribers, according...


UT researchers say frog croaks attract bats

Alex Wilts January 28, 2014

The calls the tungara frog uses to attract a mate sound like dinner bells to bats, according to UT researchers. Male tungara frogs, a species native to Central and South America, use mating calls that...

UT professor brings black queer film to campus community

Alex Wilts January 23, 2014

The omnipresence of the Internet and search engines such as Google has not made professor Matt Richardson’s search for black queer films, literature and music any easier. Richardson, associate...

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