I might have a theory on why the University of Texas System regents can’t keep their hands off UT-Austin’s administrative tasks.
Could it be that the guy who runs the system’s flagship campus, Bill Powers, isn’t a true-blue Longhorn?
I looked it up. Powers received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of California-Berkeley. He then earned his law degree from Harvard University. Both are fine institutions, two of the best in the world. However, it now seems that the regents – who are tasked with setting broad university policy – can’t seem to quit meddling in what ought to be Powers’s administrative purview.
Down the road, in College Station, the Texas A&M University System is being run by a bona fide Aggie, former Texas Comptroller/Railroad Commissioner/state Sen. John Sharp. I guess Sharp is fluent in Aggiespeak, enabling him to avoid the trouble that has befallen Powers over at UT-Austin.
I think the Dallas Morning News editorial board has it right in calling for the UT regents to let the man do his job.
I realize that Sharp’s role as A&M chancellor is a bit different from Powers’s role as president of the UT-Austin campus. They don’t share the same standing on their respective systems’ organizational charts.
But they both have key administrative roles to play in each institution.
My own advice to the UT board? Butt out.