University of Texas

In a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the University of Texas' affirmative action program.

"The race-conscious admissions program in use at the time of petitioner's application is lawful under the Equal Protection Clause," the court held.

Allison Shelley / The Texas Tribune

A federal civil rights lawsuit brought against the University of Texas admissions policy will be resolved by the U.S Supreme Court this month.  And  it could mean whether colleges and universities can use a person’s race as a component of their admissions policy.

The case was first filed in 2008 after Abigail Fisher alleged she was disqualified from admission at UT-Austin because she is white.  As part of the university admission’s policy, race can benefit consideration.

Courtesy photo

Fifty years ago a lone gunman ascended the University of Texas tower and opened fire on passersby, killing 16, wounding three dozen others, and terrorizing people for 96 minutes until three police officers and one citizen were able to get up to the observation deck and end the carnage. The campus itself still bears physical scars from that tragic day.

Ryan E. Poppe

In 2003, state lawmakers voted to cut the budgets for state colleges and universities by 11 percent per student. In return, lawmakers gave up their right to set the cost of tuition.  They gave universities control over tuition so the schools could make up for the loss of state dollars.

Steve Leslie is the deputy vice chancellor of the UT System.  He says since 2003 then the Texas Legislature has cut millions more in state funding for public universities.

The University of Texas

University leaders from across Texas may face tough audiences this week as they are asked to explain their ambitious expansion plans before two key higher education policy boards. 

On Wednesday, the Texas House Higher Education Committee will discuss state colleges' efforts to grow "educational offerings and programs." The next day, University of Texas System Chancellor Bill McRaven will brief the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on his strategic vision. 

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