A. Comments by the President.

Because President Powers had limited time before he had to leave for a Board of Regents meeting, Chair Friedman asked him to make his comments and address questions at the beginning of the meeting. President Powers thanked the chair and said he could only stay for about ten minutes, but he wanted to welcome everyone back to campus. He said he found the beginning of the fall semester especially meaningful and energizing as the students and faculty members returned to campus to focus on the business of the University. After agreeing with the chair’s comments about there being challenges ahead, he said he did not wish to repeat what he had said in his State of the University address, other than to say he had “never been prouder to be part of this University community,” especially given how well the campus, alumni, and legislative friends of UT Austin had responded to the difficulties facing the University. As an example of the campus getting back to work this fall, he mentioned his attending a meeting of the Faculty Advisory Committee on Budgets. He wanted to echo Chair Friedman’s request that Council members actively participate by soliciting and sharing the viewpoints of their faculty colleagues at Council and standing committee meetings about issues facing the University throughout the coming year. He said there is a regular time for him to make comments and answer questions during the monthly Council meetings on issues of importance to the faculty, e.g., how the faculty information program will work and what hiring and budgetary priorities are. Sometimes he and his administrative colleagues are unaware of specific issues and concerns addressed in the questions and need to do further information gathering. Although he said he could not resolve every problem or issue, he invited Council members to “use this period, not as an exclusive opportunity, but as an opportunity to ask questions.”

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