University of Texas at Austin students will hold referendum on “Eyes of Texas”
The nonbinding referendum is meant to gauge student opinion on the divisive alma mater but would not result in any changes to the song. Student leaders called for it in response to a 2021 university report on the song’s history that found it was “not overtly racist.”
Texas universities block access to TikTok on campus Wi-Fi networks
Students and faculty will not be able to access the popular social media app while connected to university internet servers. It’s the latest step to limit access to the service after Gov. Greg Abbott directed state agencies to ban the app on government-issued devices citing cybersecurity risks.
In lawsuit, UT-Austin professor accuses Texas A&M faculty program of discriminating against white and Asian men
UT-Austin professor Richard Lowery is represented by America First Legal — a group created by Stephen Miller, a policy adviser for former President Donald Trump, and Jonathan Mitchell, a former solicitor general for Texas and the legal architect of the state’s six-week abortion ban.
As monkeypox spreads, health experts urge Texas universities to prepare for outbreaks
While the risk of exposure to monkeypox remains low, health experts say college students living in close proximity to each other could spur outbreaks. They encourage schools to share their plans and relevant information about the virus.
Texas universities grapple with how to provide reproductive health care information to students amid new abortion laws
The changing legal landscape is raising questions for public colleges about how to talk to students about reproductive health care options and creating hesitancy among students about whether they can trust their universities’ health centers.
University of Texas selects new director — and new name — for its conservative institute
The University of Texas at Austin selected Justin Dyer to run The Civitas Institute, formerly referred to as the Liberty Institute. The center raised concerns among faculty after The Texas Tribune reported UT-Austin worked with conservative donors and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to bring the institute to the flagship UT campus.
Settlement with conservative free speech group forces University of Houston to keep amended anti-harassment policy
The conservative group Speech First argued that the anti-discrimination policy restricting “offensive speech about personal characteristics such race, ethnicity or gender” violates students’ First Amendment rights. The university agreed to keep its amended policy as part of a settlement.
UT Austin will allow students to live together on campus regardless of gender or sexual identity
The two-year pilot program comes after at least 15 years of students asking for the change. It will allow UT-Austin students to live together in certain residence halls with students of any gender or sexual identity.
UT-Austin President Jay Hartzell defends faculty tenure after Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick proposes to end it at all public universities
Patrick’s suggestion to end tenure at public universities received swift criticism from faculty and higher education experts who said it would negatively impact the reputation of Texas’ colleges and universities.
UT-Austin professors criticize university for halting antiracism study with preschoolers
The decision to halt the study comes after a University of Michigan-Flint professor filed an Office for Civil Rights complaint against the study, arguing it discriminates against children of color. But professors said pausing the study sets a negative precedent that could impact academic freedom.
UT-Austin to keep Stan Richards’ name on advertising school after he called motel campaign “too Black”
Richards’ comments in 2020 led to his resignation from his Dallas-based company, The Richards Group, as well as calls for the university to change the name of the Stan Richards College of Advertising and Public Relations, which launched in 2014.
More Texas voters unhappy than satisfied over power grid, abortion and property taxes, UT/TT Poll finds
Most voters approve of using state money to add border barriers between Texas and Mexico. But 57% disapprove of a new abortion law’s provision allowing lawsuits against people who help someone get the procedure.
UT-Austin attempts to calm faculty concerns over planned Liberty Institute organized with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, conservative donors
Provost Sharon Wood attempted to reassure faculty that the new institute is an investment in politics, philosophy and economics to attract new faculty. But some professors said they’re concerned UT-Austin is allowing the Legislature to politicize the university with the new center.
Texas NAACP, students file federal civil rights complaint over UT-Austin’s ‘Eyes of Texas’
The complaint signals a continued desire among some UT-Austin students and alumni to push administrators to discontinue using the song as the university’s alma mater, despite the university’s insistence that it will remain.
University of Texas president defends decision to join SEC as lawmakers criticize timing and impact on other schools
Jay Hartzell said the switch to the Southeastern Conference was the best thing for UT-Austin’s student athletes and the university. Texas senators expressed disdain for the move and questioned how it came about.
After UT-Austin signals a Big 12 exit, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick moves to create a Senate panel focused on college sports’ future
The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Oklahoma are expected to leave the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference. The move throws the athletics future of several other Texas schools into uncertainty.
KPRC 2 Senior Scholarship: Meet Alexa Piedra, the ambitious senior who wants to make an impact on future generations
KPRC 2 and Texas Mattress Makers are surprising 20 deserving high school seniors with scholarships. All students selected for scholarships have been nominated by their high schools. This academic year was particularly challenging because of the pandemic, but these students still rose above and beyond in school. The third $2,500 Senior Scholarship was awarded to Alexa Piedra from the Energized for STEM academy in Houston ISD. Piedra has been accepted to the University of Texas-Austin, where she will be pursuing a degree in philosophy.