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Bill Addressing UT Regents Reaches the House

Daniel Reese for KUT News

A bill codifying and clarifying the roles and responsibilities of Texas' higher education governing boards, regents, systems and institutions has reached the Texas House of Representatives after passing the Senate.

House Rep. Don Branch, R-Dallas, gave his take on SB 15 to the Higher Education Committee.

"This is meant to clarify. There is going to be a role for the chancellor, there is going to be a role for the regents, and there is going to be a role for individual university institutional leadership," Branch said.

"Presidents are going to be held accountable largely by the chancellor, and chancellors are going to be held accountable by the regents,” he continued.

This comes two weeks after the University of Texas System Board of Regents agreed tothe release of emails and documents requested by lawmakers. Hours later, SB 15 passed in the Texas Senate.

Relations between the regents and U.T. President Bill Powers have soured since the board relaunched an investigation last month into a loan program  when the Powers was dean of the UT Law School.

Rep. Branch says the bill will reduce the ambiguity created by current statute’s that guide universities to prevent future conflicts between university systems, boards, and institutions by making it clear cut what the responsibilities of each party are.

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