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UT Pres. Powers on Fisher v. Texas, Nick Saban & That Farrah Fawcett Portrait

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News
Bill Powers Jr.

University of Texas at Austin President William Powers Jr. is steering the university through two court cases and a football coach that’s making news both on and off the field.

Powers recently sat down with KUT’s David Brown to talk about what’s happening at the 40 Acres. Listen to the extended interview in the Soundcloud player below. Here are some highlights:

On the UT System suing actor Ryan O'Neal over a portrait of actress Farrah Fawcett:

“This was her wish, that her alma matter have it. It is a very valuable painting. … To have this pair of very iconic Warhol portraits would be very valuable as a cultural archive for our museum – and of course she’s one of our Texas Exes, so it’s important for us to have this painting.”

On the rebooted Fisher v. University of Texas affirmative action trial

“The Supreme Court did not say we cannot use ethnicity. They sent it it back to make sure the right standard was used. … We are optimistic that we will prevail because we have followed the constitution. … I think we need to have that flexibility as we go forward to address diversity in higher education.”   

On the Mack Brown/Nick Saban rumor mill:

“Mack Brown is our coach … I read the blogs about Nick Saban. I have never met Nick Saban. I have never talked to Nick Saban on the phone. We’ve had no contact at all. The first I learned that some people had contacted him back in September was when I saw it in the blogs. … There’s been no contact, from the university, with Nick Saban at all."

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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