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 Alexa Ura

Special Ventures editor recalls days at The Texan

Alexa Ura December 6, 2013

If you descended the stairwell into The Daily Texan basement during the two years I worked there, you might have found me poring over edits in the news pen with Matt and Sam or whispering numbers with...

Foundation brings in extra revenue to McCombs

Alexa Ura April 30, 2013

The McCombs School of Business Foundation has established revenue-generating enterprises to benefit the business school, while also attracting thousands of dollars in private gifts each year. As an...

Foundation to transfer full ownership of Suida-Manning collection to Blanton in 2016

Alexa Ura April 29, 2013

Created solely to acquire the $33 million Suida-Manning Art Collection for the Blanton Museum of Art in 1998, the UT Fine Arts Foundation is paying off the remaining balance on the collection and...

Foundation to transfer full ownership of Suida-Manning collection to Blanton in 2016

Alexa Ura April 29, 2013

Created solely to acquire the $33 million Suida-Manning Art Collection for the Blanton Museum of Art in 1998, the UT Fine Arts Foundation is paying off the remaining balance on the collection and...


Changes could be on the horizon for UT fundraising foundations

Alexa Ura and Megan Strickland April 26, 2013

Read the University External Foundations Profiles to learn more about the history and financial figures of each foundation. Recent public battles over lack of oversight in the University...


UT reaches out to alumni, community for firm fundraising base amid budget concerns

Alexa Ura April 26, 2013

After being admitted into the McCombs School of Business, finance senior Brittany Maki received a scholarship endowed by well known alumnus Joe Jamail. Years later, Maki is a student employee at UT’s...


UT System to make $1 billion in oil, gas revenue this year from production in Permian Basin

Alexa Ura April 12, 2013

MIDLAND — For many years, the landscape in West Texas was mostly uniform with dusty lots and artifacts of operating machinery left behind from a previous oil boom in the area. A generation removed...


UT System to make $1 billion in oil, gas revenue this year from production in Permian Basin

Alexa Ura April 12, 2013

MIDLAND — For many years, the landscape in West Texas was mostly uniform with dusty lots and artifacts of operating machinery left behind from a previous oil boom in the area. A generation removed...


UT System to make $1 billion in oil, gas revenue this year from production in Permian Basin

Alexa Ura April 12, 2013

For many years, the landscape in West Texas was mostly uniform with dusty lots and artifacts of operating machinery left behind from a previous oil boom in the area. A generation removed from that boom,...


After tense meeting, UT Regents cast narrow vote to continue Law School investigation

Alexa Ura and Jordan Rudner March 21, 2013

During an uncharacteristically heated meeting Wednesday, the UT System Board of Regents voted to continue an investigation of the UT Law School Foundation’s relationship with the University. In...

Investments link UT System investment company, regent with company that drills on university lands

Alexa Ura March 8, 2013

The flow of investments between five companies links an oil and gas production company that drills on university land to the UT System’s investment company and to UT System Regent Alex Cranberg. In...


SXSWedu panel examines the potential effects of increase in online, interactive college

Alexa Ura March 6, 2013

Higher education institutions can graduate more students by shifting the landscape of college classes toward innovative technological learning models, according to a panel of higher education officials...


SXSWedu launches with discussion on Texas higher education reform

Alexa Ura March 5, 2013

State Senate and House educational leaders discussed technological education reform and reformatting college readiness testing during a policy forum on the first day of SXSWedu. SXSWedu is a four-day...


In examining affordability, amount of graduation debt varies by college

Alexa Ura February 8, 2013

With college affordability becoming a more pressing concern among state and higher education leaders, almost a third of UT undergraduates left the 40 Acres with more than $24,000 in debt during the last...

Projected budgets for UT-Austin medical school lend insight on potential salaries

Alexa Ura January 24, 2013

Administrators are taking the first steps to get a UT-Austin medical school off the ground with estimates of first-year expenses for hiring and construction. Budget projections for the new medical school,...

After leading University Unions for 27 years, Andy Smith plans to retire

Alexa Ura January 15, 2013

More than two years after a controversial recommendation to close down the Cactus Cafe & Bar, University Unions executive director Andy Smith will retire from his position on Aug. 31 after 27 years...

UT System to consolidate UTPA, UT-Brownsville and medical center into major South Texas university

Alexa Ura December 7, 2012

The UT System Board of Regents approved the creation of a new university in south Texas with an accompanying medical school that will be made up of UT-Brownsville, UT-Pan American and the Regional Academic...

Students trying to transfer between Texas universities and colleges may be aided soon by statewide course transfer agreements

Alexa Ura December 6, 2012

A bill filed for the upcoming legislative session could standardize the process for students transferring between Texas colleges and universities. The bill, filed by state Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas,...

UT pushes for students to graduate on time

Alexa Ura December 6, 2012

The UT System released a recommendation report on reducing student debt Wednesday night that states students can decrease debt by graduating on time, which could be more easily obtained by incentivizing...

Bill on fixed tuition rates aims to increase affordability of education

Alexa Ura December 4, 2012

In an effort to reduce the cost of college degrees in Texas, four-year fixed tuition rates could become a reality at public Texas universities after the upcoming legislative session. A bill filed by Rep....

Outcome-based funding may increase from 10 percent to 25 percent

Alexa Ura December 3, 2012

More state funding for UT will be tied to measures of student success if a bill filed for the upcoming legislative session passes. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recommends how much funding...

Regents to review, decide on goals for UT System presidents’ pay-for-performance bonuses at meeting

Alexa Ura December 3, 2012

During its upcoming meeting Thursday, the UT System Board of Regents is expected to consider approving recommended goals that the presidents of the System’s nine academic and six health institutions...

Fiscal cliff expected to harm university

Alexa Ura November 29, 2012

University officials say UT could feel repercussions from the automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to kick in as part of the fiscal cliff on Jan. 2, 2013. If the U.S. Congress does not act,...

State representative files bill to prohibit human cloning in universities

Alexa Ura November 28, 2012

More than 10 years after the Human Cloning Prohibition Act failed to pass at the federal level, state Rep. Richard Raymond, D-Laredo, has filed a bill proposing the prohibition of human cloning at institutions...


Cigarroa brings medical approach to his duties as UT System Chancellor

Alexa Ura November 26, 2012

Even in his role overseeing one of the nation’s largest university systems, UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa is first and foremost a physician. Since his appointment as chancellor in 2009,...

Perry and Powers begin to share similar views on higher education, funding, tuition

Alexa Ura November 21, 2012

Funding for higher education makes up almost 13 percent of the state’s budget, and going into the 2013 legislative session UT President William Powers Jr. and Gov. Rick Perry are each expected to...

Board of Regents will form advisory task force to re-evaluate UT, UT-affliated foundations

Alexa Ura November 16, 2012

The UT System Board of Regents announced an advisory task force on relationships between UT institutions and UT-affiliated foundations in response to a report deeming the procedure of obtaining a forgivable...

UT Center for Students in Recovery hopes to expand program to other schools

Alexa Ura November 15, 2012

The University’s Center for Students in Recovery will lead an effort to establish similar centers at the UT System’s eight other universities after the UT System Board of Regents approved $942,000...

UT System Board of Regents approves downtown administrative building

Alexa Ura November 15, 2012

The UT System Board of Regents approved $102.4 million for a new administrative building slated for completion in 2016 that will consolidate its current five-building complex in downtown Austin. The new...

UT System report deems Law School Foundation’s loan program inappropriate

Alexa Ura November 14, 2012

A report released by the UT System Tuesday determined the interaction between the School of Law and the University’s central administration is insufficient in regards to faculty compensation. Last...

President Powers is nominated for Dallas Morning News’ Texan of the Year

Alexa Ura November 14, 2012

UT President William Powers Jr. was nominated for the Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year. Powers said he appreciated the Dallas Morning News’ recognition and plans to stay focused on maintaining...

UT System Board of Regents to vote on future consolidating administration building

Alexa Ura November 14, 2012

The UT System Board of Regents will vote Wednesday on a proposed $102,417,000 administration building intended to consolidate offices from its five downtown buildings. The regents will vote on a 16-story...

UT System official set to retire in 2013

Alexa Ura November 14, 2012

Kenneth Shine, UT System’s executive vice chancellor for health affairs, announced Monday he plans to retire in 2013. As vice chancellor for health affairs, Shine was charged with developing health-related...

Senators, representatives file bills regarding higher education for new Texas Legislative session

Alexa Ura November 13, 2012

Monday marked the first day of filing bills for the 83rd session of the Texas Legislature, and several bills related to higher education have already been filed. A total of 231 bills were filed with...

Faculty donations lean toward Obama

Alexa Ura November 12, 2012

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a three-part series examining UT officials’ political donations. This installment examines contributions made by UT faculty members. The College of...

Former UT deans paid more than current deans

Alexa Ura and Bobby Blanchard November 8, 2012

UT pays former deans who now serve as professors in the School of Social Work and the School of Architecture at higher rates than the schools’ current deans. From data obtained through a public...

Texas House of Higher Education Committee to retain most members, commitment to education reforms

Alexa Ura November 7, 2012

The Texas House of Representatives gained seven Democrats, increasing the number of Democratic seats to 55. Republicans will continue to make up the majority of the House with 95 seats. Democrats...

UT Regent Hicks donates $1,000 to PAC supporting Prop 1

Alexa Ura November 6, 2012

UT System regent R. Steven Hicks donated $1,000 to Keep Austin Healthy, a political action committee supporting the establishment of a proposed UT-Austin medical school. The Keep Austin Healthy PAC supports...

UT System Board of Regents donate more to Perry than all Democratic candidates combined

Alexa Ura November 5, 2012

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a three-part series examining UT officials’ political donations. This installment examines contributions by members of the UT System Board of Regents. The...

UT System’s debt accounts for over half of Texas’ total public university debt

Alexa Ura November 1, 2012

The UT System’s $7.3 billion worth of outstanding debt accounts for 58 percent of the state’s total public university debt, according to a report released by Susan Combs, Texas comptroller...

Texas Exes scholarship named for Senator Judith Zaffirini

Alexa Ura October 31, 2012

The Texas Exes announced a new scholarship named for Sen. Judith Zaffirini, a long-time champion of affordable higher education. The Senator Judith Zaffirini Scholarship was announced Tuesday morning...

Association of American Universities names Powers vice-chair

Alexa Ura October 30, 2012

UT President William Powers Jr. was elected vice-chair of the Association of American Universities, a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of higher education institutions. Powers will...

UT officials have donated funds to numerous political campaigns and political action committees

Alexa Ura October 29, 2012

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a three-part series examining UT officials’ political donations. This installment examines contributions by administrators at UT-Austin. Subsequent stories...


Faculty, staff occupy more than half of UT parking

Alexa Ura October 26, 2012

Faculty and staff parking spots account for almost half of on-campus spots, but many employees still struggle to find parking. Parking for UT’s 23,000 employees is scattered throughout campus,...

Parking for UT’s disabled flawed despite meeting state guidelines

Alexa Ura October 26, 2012

Last week Jeff Butler, a management information systems senior, arrived 30 minutes late to his database management class. Butler uses a wheelchair and can only take accessible routes through campus, so...


University administrator reaches out to students through social media

Alexa Ura October 24, 2012

In her short time as vice president for student affairs, Gage Paine has taken on a bold goal of meeting all 50,000 UT students and is using Twitter to reach out to students she might not be able to meet...

UT’s self-supporting entities helpful in a time of cuts

Alexa Ura October 18, 2012

Although UT has compensated for state appropriation cuts by increasing tuition and implementing internal reductions, the University’s self-supporting entities have increased their budgets in the...

UT System regents approve new online courses to be offered worldwide

Alexa Ura October 16, 2012

UT System institutions will join the ranks of major universities that offer massive open online courses to individuals around the world. After a unanimous vote by the UT System Board of Regents, the System...

Gag law keeps B-On-Time Loan funds underused

Alexa Ura October 15, 2012

In 2011, UT financial aid administrators were prevented from promoting a state loan program that would forgive up to $7,100 in loan debt per year. The B-On-Time Loan Program may face changes if recommendations...

Supreme Court appears skeptical of UT admissions policy

Alexa Ura and Andrew Messamore October 12, 2012

As the Supreme Court examines the University’s race-conscious admissions process in Fisher v. Texas, the future remains uncertain for students who don’t qualify for automatic admission. If...

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University Lands sales down from record highs in 2011

Alexa Ura October 12, 2012

University Lands, operated through the UT System’s Office of Business Affairs, sold a combined $72 million in oil and gas leases during its 2012 semiannual sales. The leases come on the heels of...

Massive new Iraq oil well could make UT System regent a billionaire

Alexa Ura October 11, 2012

A UT System regent’s day job could make him a billionaire thanks to a new oil well drilled in Iraq. ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. announced a new well last month in Iraq’s Kurdistan region could...

Total transfers via CAP stay low

Alexa Ura October 8, 2012

Enrollment figures for the UT Coordinated Admission Program show that despite reaching the highest rate of students accepted this year, less than half of the students who participate in the program actually...

Senate leadership shuffle resurfaces discussion of education

Alexa Ura October 5, 2012

In an unexpected reshuffling of state Senate committee chairmanships, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst replaced a longtime Democrat from the Higher Education Committee. Dewhurst announced a reorganization...

University close to reaching fundraising goals despite harsh economic times

Alexa Ura October 4, 2012

With two years to go, the University’s Campaign for Texas is more than halfway toward reaching its $3 billion fundraising goal despite harsh economic times. First announced in 2008, the Campaign...

UT ranks 25th in Times Higher Education survey

Alexa Ura and Bobby Blanchard October 4, 2012

UT-Austin jumped into the top 25 in a listing of the world’s top universities after ranking 29th last year. The University ranked 25th best in the world on the 2012-2013 Times Higher Education’s...

Texas Exes launches campaign in support of Proposition 1

Alexa Ura October 3, 2012

The Texas Exes joined the ranks of supporters of a local initiative that would increase property taxes in Travis County to help fund a new UT medical school and teaching hospital. The UT alumni association...

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Gov. Perry demands frozen four-year tuition for students, proposes more funding for higher graduation rates

Alexa Ura and Bobby Blanchard October 2, 2012

Texas Gov. Rick Perry renewed demands for four-year tuition freezes and $10,000 degrees at Texas public universities during a news conference Monday afternoon. Perry said he wants to improve higher education...


Powers emphasizes academic prestige, progressive policies at UT in University address

Alexa Ura September 28, 2012

UT President William Powers Jr. promoted a balance between University business plans and the mission of higher education during his seventh State of the University address. Powers spoke to a crowd of more...

Latino Media Studies Program officially recognized on UT transcripts

Alexa Ura September 27, 2012

The University will now recognize the Latino Media Studies Program, a certificate program in the College of Communication, on transcripts. Students must complete 18 credit hours to receive the transcript-recognized...

Student regent voting is topic of discussion

Bobby Blanchard and Alexa Ura September 27, 2012

University governing boards commonly include student representatives, but most student regents, including the UT System’s student regent, are forced to advocate for students without a vote. State...

Proposed funding cuts to medical program could send prospective doctors out of the state

Alexa Ura September 24, 2012

Additional cuts to a medical program for economically disadvantaged students may impact student enrollment and the state’s ability to keep prospective doctors in Texas. Passed in 2001 by the Texas...

UT system executives receive pay raise

Alexa Ura September 20, 2012

The University has reduced academic programs and laid off staff during the past three years, but this month the UT System Board of Regents awarded substantial raises to various executives, including all...


University switches to four-category review of tenured faculty

Alexa Ura September 18, 2012

The University will now review tenured faculty annually on a four-category scale instead of every six years, as part of a new post-tenure review process. The new rating system will also extend to non-tenured...

Bomb threat caller’s description raises concern about racial bias on campus

Bobby Blanchard and Alexa Ura September 18, 2012

English associate professor Snehal Shingavi opened his class, Literature of Islamophobia, to the public Monday in response to the UT Police Department’s initial statement during Friday’s bomb...

Concerns raised over racial bias

Alexa Ura September 17, 2012

UT community members have raised concerns of racial bias in the UT Police Department’s description of the man behind a false bomb threat to the UT campus, and UTPD is standing behind its decision...

New financial aid program to help out with loans

Alexa Ura September 13, 2012

As part of the University’s efforts to decrease the burden of college loans on students, a UT administrator presented a pilot program intended to generate faster loan forgiveness and increase four-year...

Financial aid office deals with overflow

Alexa Ura September 10, 2012

Despite facing a staff shortage and a larger than normal incoming class, the Office of Student Financial Services managed to release more than $196 million in financial aid during the first two weeks of...

Pay increases award talented faculty and staff

Alexa Ura September 6, 2012

UT colleges and departments have awarded pay increases to faculty and staff with the help of advanced budget planning despite the failure of two of the University’s major funding sources to keep...

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Approved incentive pay plan remains in the works

Alexa Ura September 5, 2012

UT President William Powers, Jr., one of the state’s highest paid educational executives, could receive a bonus of more than $60,000 under a new incentive pay plan approved by the UT System Board...

UT considers mass distribution of free online courses

Alexa Ura August 30, 2012

Classes with 200 students could soon expand to include thousands if UT follows through with plans to launch online courses open to individuals around the world. UT is in discussions with Coursera and...

University welcomes new and returning students

Alexa Ura August 29, 2012

UT President William Powers Jr. personally greeted students moving into the Almetris Duren Residence Hall as part of one of the largest incoming freshman classes the 40 Acres has ever seen. Powers was...

UT Regents approve millions in allocations for Austin medical school

Alexa Ura May 4, 2012

Austin is one of the largest U.S. cities without a medical school, but that may soon change after a historical vote by the UT System Board of Regents. The Regents approved a proposal to allocate $30 million...


Students and alumni race in weekly cycling series

Alexa Ura May 4, 2012

Austin cyclists have participated in Thursday night races for 25 years, and UT students past and present have geared up for the challenge. The PURE Austin Driveway Series hosts more than 200 riders every...


Austin History Center presents history of Austin cinematic experience in latest exhibit

Alexa Ura May 2, 2012

Almost a century after it was first built, the Paramount Theatre remains a staple in downtown Austin. The theater is one of the many movie houses featured in a local exhibit. “The First Picture...


Admiral William McRaven speaks at Gala to raise money for returning Texas veterans

Alexa Ura May 2, 2012

A year after he led the mission to apprehend Osama bin Laden, Adm. William H. McRaven returned to his alma mater to advocate for legal assistance for returning service women and men. McRaven was the keynote...


Latino freshmen defy statistics by attending college, becoming role models

Alexa Ura April 25, 2012

Editor's note: This story is the first in a series exploring race, racism and diversity on the UT campus. Two UT students aim to challenge common conceptions about young Latino men in college during...

University statistics reflect data showing higher-achieving women

Alexa Ura April 25, 2012

Women outnumber men at UT, and college-age women care more about having a successful, high-paying career, according to recent research. For the last four years, the enrollment of women at the University...

Friends of Leslie to organize fundraiser benefitting Hospice Austin

Alexa Ura April 20, 2012

Friends of the late Austin icon Leslie Cochran are planning a fundraiser to help the hospice facility that saw the homeless hero through his last days. Leslie Fest 2012 will be held on June 24, the day...


Communication Center elevator catches fire

Alexa Ura April 20, 2012

The Austin Fire Department responded to a fire alarm in Building B of the Jesse H. Jones Communication Center Thursday evening after smoke was reported from the building. The alarm was set off after the...


Mopac to expand with addition of tollroad

Alexa Ura April 13, 2012

Far West student commuters may be saying goodbye to sitting in traffic for hours on MoPac Boulevard. Last week, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority submitted a proposal to direct $200 million...


Austin takes action in stopping hate crimes

Alexa Ura April 13, 2012

The Austin/Travis County Hate Crimes Task Force is trying to instill a new message in the community: respect is not a passive mind-set. More than 50 representatives from various groups of the Austin community...


White House Young American Series makes stop at UT

Alexa Ura April 11, 2012

Representatives from the White House connected with young community leaders Tuesday evening to learn about the social issues that are most concerning to today’s youth. Officials from President Barack...

New committee to investigate biased events on campus

Alexa Ura April 9, 2012

Commissioned to investigate racial and discriminatory incidents on campus, the Campus Climate and Response Team is the new liaison between the University community and the administration. The CCRT was...


UT students gather to rally against discriminatory labeling

Alexa Ura April 4, 2012

Sparked by the scrutiny of stereotypes uprooted by the killing of Trayvon Martin, more than 100 students rallied against discriminatory labels at the Main Mall Tuesday night. Despite sudden rain, students...


Business students voice opinions, suggestions for McCombs’ undergraduate curriculum

Alexa Ura April 4, 2012

Ethical business on a global level and skills-based courses are important issues to students in the McCombs School of Business. The Undergraduate Business Council hosted the McCombs Curriculum Review...


Jordan Shipley speaks about how his faith has impacted his life

Alexa Ura March 30, 2012

Jordan Shipley has a bared a number of hits during his football career that have kept him on the sidelines, but he said he continues to push through because of his faith. Shipley, UT alum and Cincinnati...


Organization raises genocide awareness

Alexa Ura March 30, 2012

University students are working to prevent future genocide by promoting consciousness about the Holocaust. The White Rose Society, a student organization focused on Holocaust remembrance and genocide...


Journalist Seymour Hersh talks at UT about just world reporting

Alexa Ura March 23, 2012

Today’s war on terrorism originated from an idea pushed by a president that terrified his country, said award-winning journalist Seymour Hersh. Hersh, contributor for The New Yorker and Pulitzer...

San Marcos bans alcohol in city parks, along river

Alexa Ura March 23, 2012

UT students heading to the San Marcos River may have to leave beer and other alcoholic beverages out of their coolers if San Marcos city officials pass a proposal banning alcohol in public parks. The...


ONE Campaign student leader hopes to attend summit, intern in Africa

Alexa Ura March 21, 2012

A UT student empowering others through her work against poverty is vying for a chance to take her cause to Africa. Philosophy and psychology senior Paulina Sosa is a finalist for an Are You the One? internship,...


Austinites remember local icon Leslie with memorial parade

Alexa Ura March 9, 2012

Austin has lost a public figure and homeless hero who provided the city some of its weirdness. Local icon Leslie Cochran died around 1 a.m. Thursday at Christopher House, an inpatient hospice, said close...


Standardized testing switch to STAAR stirs controversy

Alexa Ura March 9, 2012

New standardized testing replacing the state-mandated TAKS test is raising concerns among the academic community. Representatives from various areas of academia gathered on campus Thursday to discuss...


Austin, home of the Lorax, brings in largest Dr. Seuss art exhibit

Alexa Ura March 7, 2012

Austin has been the home of Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” since the 1970s, and two local exhibits are celebrating the historical connection this month. ART on 5th is hosting the largest Dr....


Assistant professor explores lack of women in computer sciences

Alexa Ura March 7, 2012

America’s perception of computer scientists has shifted from the 1960s computer girl to the modern IT guy because of a masculinization of the industry and sexist advertising content, said Nathan...


Darrell K Royal Fund to jumpstart Alzheimer’s research in Texas

Alexa Ura March 2, 2012

Legendary football coach Darrell K Royal left behind a legacy on the football field that will also continue into the field of Alzheimer’s research. The Darrell K Royal Fund for Alzheimer’s...


University, SG election results announced, tuition referendum also attached

Alexa Ura March 2, 2012

Newly elected University and Student Government student representatives celebrated the end of their campaigns at the announcement of campus-wide student election results Thursday. Election Supervisory...


Student organization proposes gender inclusive housing

Alexa Ura February 29, 2012

Students at the University are petitioning for on-campus gender neutral housing options targeted at students who don’t adopt traditional gender identities. Members of StandOut, a student organization...


Conference promotes Latino community in politics, features Eva Longoria

Alexa Ura February 27, 2012

Latinos must become more civically engaged by overcoming negative labels and empowering themselves, said actress Eva Longoria during a speech on campus for the 2012 Lozano Long Conference on Saturday. Longoria...

Future of proposed fall break uncertain due to regulations

Alexa Ura February 24, 2012

Even with faculty and student support, the implementation of a fall break for the University remains uncertain because of scheduling constraints. Associate registrar Brenda Schumann said the feasibility...

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