A university president who puts himself in danger of being fired summarily is likely a president who needs…well, not necessarily firing but certainly an earnest talking-to.
The talking-to that UT-Austin’s Bill Powers hasn’t gotten from a UT establishment enamored of his gifts – he has many, including fund-raising skill – explains Powers’ present plight. Quit or be shown the door when the Board of Regents meets on Thursday: such is the president’s choice, as laid out by UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, who seems pretty much to have had it with the controversy always swirling around the president’s door.
For this regrettable state of affairs, President Powers deserves an impressive share of responsibility. But certainly not the whole helping. Powers’ enablers include political and academic leaders convinced that the president’s critics are a bunch of rustic boobs, deserving the back of his imperial hand rather than some efforts at outreach; some efforts at simple listening; some efforts to respond, in the spirit of stewardship over a vast and much-beloved public institution.