University of Texas

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. 

Some students at UT-Austin are concerned about a new federal bill trying to address sexual assault on college campuses. They worry it will deter students from reporting assaults and UT Student Government recently passed a resolution against the bill.


Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

The University of Texas System plans to build a new campus on 300 acres in the southwestern part of Houston, an initiative its leaders say will drastically expand the system's presence in the state's biggest city.

It's not yet clear whether the land will be used for a branch campus for a particular school or as a hub for all the UT System's 14 academic and health institutions, but the land won't likely be for a new university. 

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