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Interview: Bill Powers on Funding, Philanthropy & UT’s New Med School

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

University of Texas at Austin President William Powers Jr. takes on another role this October: chairman of the elite Association of American Universities, a prominent pedestal from which to shape the national conversation about higher education. 

Austin just might have heard a sneak preview of where he plans to go with that discussion, through his annual State of the University address delivered last week.

Bill Powers recently sat down with KUT to share his thoughts on public funding, philanthropy, UT’s new medical school and more. Listen to the interview in the audio player above. Here are some highlights:

The role of philanthropy:

“I don’t think philanthropy can fully replace public support, But philanthropy will be playing a more important role in public higher education as we go forward.”

His statement faculty and staff need raises: 

“It is the case that our competitors – the Berkleys and the UCLAs and the Michigans and the North Carolinas and the Minnesotas and the private schools – remember were competing for faculty with Harvard and Yale and Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburg … they are getting their balance sheets back in order as we come out of the economic downturn. This is a very, very competitive environment to attract and retain the best faculty. Like any competition that is something we have to attend to.”

On the Dell Medical School:          

“We will look forward to hiring a dean, naming a dean … certainly within the next 12 months, maybe this fall …  We’ll do design development on the building of Seton, we’ll do design development on their teaching hospital … A year from now, they’ll be quite a bit of the infrastructure of the medical school in place.” 

David entered radio journalism thanks to a love of storytelling, an obsession with news, and a desire to keep his hair long and play in rock bands. An inveterate political junkie with a passion for pop culture and the romance of radio, David has reported from bases in Washington, London, Los Angeles, and Boston for Monitor Radio and for NPR, and has anchored in-depth public radio documentaries from India, Brazil, and points across the United States and Europe. He is, perhaps, known most widely for his work as host of public radio's Marketplace. Fulfilling a lifelong dream of moving to Texas full-time in 2005, Brown joined the staff of KUT, launching the award-winning cultural journalism unit "Texas Music Matters."
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