March 10, 2019      11:17 AM
Former UT-Austin President Bill Powers has died
Current President Greg Fenves announces passing in e-mail
Fenves in letter to community writes:
It is with deep sadness that I write you today with the news that former UT President Bill Powers has died.
As president from 2006 to 2015, Bill was an eloquent and fierce champion for UT students, faculty and staff. Never was this more evident than in the early and mid-2010s, when Bill put every ounce of himself into defending the soul of our university. He bravely stood up for what was right, and he fought against a view of higher education that would have compromised UT’s constitutional charge to be a “university of the first class,” while setting a dangerous precedent for public research universities across the nation.
Bill Powers was the driving force behind the transformation of UT’s undergraduate curriculum and set us on a path to increase our four-year graduation rate to 70 percent. He launched the Dell Medical School and led UT to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the university prevailed in defending the educational benefits of diversity.