January 23, 2012


A. Report from Tim Taliaferro, editor-in-chief of Alcalde.

Mr. Taliaferro explained that the Texas Exes alumni organization is 126 years old and seeks to promote and protect the University. The alumni group’s major tools in accomplishing its mission are The Alcalde magazine, which is published six times a year, and the organization’s website where The Alcalde Blog is regularly updated. Mr. Taliaferro said topics that are addressed in the organization’s publications generally fall into three areas: what is happening at the University, events and happenings at the Texas Exes, and stories about UT alumni. He said the alumni magazine mimicked the University’s mission to be “first class” and sought to be an “intellectual crossroads on the campus instead of a cul-de-sac.” He emphasized the independence of the organization and its publications from the University by indicating that the Texas Exes and The Alcalde were willing to tell the institution when it is doing something wrong; however, he added that the organization and its publications were also willing to speak out when the University was being unfairly attacked. Mr. Taliaferra invited Council members to join the Texas Exes, even if they did not hold degrees from UT, because he thought the organization’s publications would be worthwhile for Council members to read. For example, he said the debate about the value of higher education was extensively covered in a recent issue of The Alcalde. He added there had also been articles about Jeff Sandifer, Judith Zaffirini, Gene Powell, and the value of research and teaching, and he noted that a forthcoming article would be exploring issues pertaining to MyEdu. Mr. Taliaferra also pointed out a section of the website, called “Promote and Protect,”  where  policy discussions were featured. He closed his remarks by inviting Council members to feel free to contribute new material and ideas to the organization’s publications.

Chair Friedman thanked Mr. Taliaferro for his report and said he had been impressed with what the Texas Exes and The Alcalde had accomplished during the last couple of year. He said he thought it was important for faculty members to acknowledge and respect as well as make use of these resources for the University.

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