University of Texas

From Texas Standard:

Out of the Blue: 50 Years After the UT Tower Shooting” is Texas Standard’s oral history on the anniversary of the first public mass shooting of its kind. Throughout the week, we'll be bringing you more stories about the impact the shooting had on Texas and the world.

The University at Texas at Austin motto is meant to inspire: "What starts here changes the world."

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.

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