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AM Update: UT Law School's New Dean, Sales Tax Revenues Rise, Fat Lady Sings for San Antonio Opera?

Former UT Law Dean Larry Sager tendered his resignation last December. He now works as a faculty professor.
Photo courtesy of Marsha Miller for the University of Texas
Former UT Law Dean Larry Sager tendered his resignation last December. He now works as a faculty professor.

UT Announces New Dean of Law School

Ward Farnsworth, an associate dean at Boston University’s Law School, will replace Interim Dean Stefanie Lindquist as leader of the law school on June 1.

Before joining Boston University, Farnsworth clerked for Richard Posner on the 7th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Anthony Kennedy on the U. S. Supreme Court.

Farnsworth say his first order of business is "learning from the faculty, the alumni and the rest of the community down there about their views and abilities, and how we can use them to advance the mission of the school," reports the Alcade.

Farnsworth takes over after former dean Larry Sager’s controversial resignation relating to the law school’s compensation practices, complaints about sexual discrimination and questions about abuse of funds.

Farnsworth says he is excited to begin his term at UT, stating that “I regard it as the finest truly public law school in the country.” He says his goal for the school is “to deliver our students the highest quality of legal education in the country, to do it more affordably than is done elsewhere, and to inspire them to give back to the community when they leave,” notes the Alcade.

Sales Tax Revenue in Texas is on the Rise

According to the Texas Comptroller’s Office, the state’s sales tax revenue is up compared to last year.

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs tabulates sales tax revenue for April at $2.07 billion. That’s a boost of almost 11 percent over that time last year.

Combs says the oil and gas sectors led growth. Retail and restaurants also saw significant gains.

The comptroller’s office distributes local sales tax allocations to cities, counties and transit systems across the state. Austin is getting more than a million dollars more than this time last year. Allocations also rose in Round Rock, San Marcos and Cedar Park.

New Braunfels, Georgetown and Buda all saw declines in allocations.

Financial Woes for San Antonio Opera

The San Antonio Opera has filed for bankruptcy, after claiming over $800,000 in debt and canceling its last two performances, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

The opera house claims $1,500 in assets and $893,677 in debts to creditors including musicians, local businesses and season-ticket holders, says the Express.

Tenor Placido Domingo and conductor Enrique Patrón de Rueda are both listed as creditors, and are owed over $66,000. The founder of the 16-year-old opera house, Mark Richter, told the Express some of the fees for Domingo have been paid. He describes most of the company’s debt as stemming from contracts that never came to fruition.

Meanwhile, another opera company is scrambling to fill the shoes of its predecessor. The Opera Theater San Antonio is readying performances as soon as May 23, reports the Express.

The website for the San Antonio Opera house is no longer operative and its Twitter page has not been updated since mid-February. The Lila Cockrell Theater, where the company performed its work, lists the last three performances of The Barber of Seville as canceled.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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