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     A Publication of THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN
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January 29, 2002
Vol. 28, No. 14

Headlines:

UT faces projected deficit; proposes $230 increase in student fees

Teresa Graham Brett named dean of students

Behavior of midwater fishes under Antarctic ice: Observations by a predator

Student group displays pro-life exhibit at West Mall area

Meningitis ruled cause of university student's death

New study examines effects of memory training

Endowed scholarship honors Myers

Researchers get $4.5 million to study child language therapy

New engineering chair made possible by $2.35 million gift

Global extinction rate reaches historical proportions

Special programs highlight celebration of Black History Month

Nichols named associate vice president for research

Texas Exes to honor teachers for their excellence as educators

Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Program Policy Statement

University approves new policy for lighting UT Tower

Coral study challenges long-held theory on glacial cycles

UT research shows radiation zapping Mars may affect biological evolution

Growing number of U.S.-Mexican border residents using herbs to treat ailments

News Briefs

Faculty Council

UT researchers receive $5.5 million to study effects of curricular changes in schools

Dana Center receives $94,000 award for math education

KUT adds Marketplace and The World to its program lineup

Arete: Harlan Miller

Critics program Viewpoint 2002 begins on Jan. 31

UT student returns home to conduct Corpus Christi Symphony in Rockport

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ON CAMPUS is published by the Office of Public Affairs for The University of Texas at Austin community. Publication is monthly during the academic year, except holiday periods. Text from On Campus may be reprinted as long as credit is given.

University of Texas at Austin faces projected deficit; proposes $230 increase in student fees

The University of Texas at Austin must raise $150.7 million in new annual recurring funding over the next five years to offset projected budget deficits rooted in declining state financial support, President Larry R. Faulkner said.

Faulkner has recommended an initial $230-per-student-per-semester infrastructure fee to pay for building repair and renovations, and financial aid. University of Texas System Board of Regents will consider the proposal at the February board meeting.

Faulkner
Faulkner
"The university is at an important juncture in its life," Faulkner said. "We have critical choices to make. Declining state financial support and fees raised from existing sources will no longer support maintenance or enhancement of the university and its mission."

There has been a steady decline in the purchasing power of general revenue support from the state over the past several years. In fiscal year 1985, state appropriations accounted for 44 percent of the university’s operating budget. Since that time, increases in state support have fallen short of increases in consumer prices. By fiscal year 2000, state appropriations had dropped to less than 24 percent of the $648 million core operating budget. Assuming the past is a reflection of the future, current sources of revenue will not support the funding necessary to maintain the current programs at the university, Faulkner said.

The university is near completion of a seven-year, $1 billion fund-raising campaign to enhance academic excellence and ensure its position as a national leader in teaching, research and service. These dollars will enhance the university’s fundamental building blocks by increasing faculty endowments, adding student scholarships and fellowships, creating and supporting innovative research and programs, and providing state-of-the-art facilities for faculty and students.

However, the capital campaign funds are overwhelmingly restricted gifts — designated for specific purposes by the donors themselves and not available to address the university’s maintenance needs, salaries or other areas of its mission. To date, the campaign has raised more than $970 million. Of this total, only $1.6 million are unrestricted funds.

A substantial portion of the university’s buildings and other facilities, constructed during the 1950s through 1980s, now require significant repair and renovation, Faulkner said. The essential new recurring funding is expected to reach $150.7 million by 2006-07.

FULL STORY          

Teresa Graham Brett named associate vice president and dean of students

Teresa Graham Brett, associate dean of students at the University of Michigan since 1998, has been appointed associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students.

Vice President for Student Affairs James Vick said the appointment resulted from a nationwide search by a 13-member committee composed of members of the university's faculty, staff and student body. The position has been vacant since Dean of Students Sharon Justice retired on Aug. 1. Tom Dison, associate vice president and director of recreational sports at The University of Texas at Austin, has been serving as the interim dean of students during the search process.

"Teresa Graham Brett is a talented, experienced leader with a clear vision of the major issues we face in serving students," Vick said. "Her strengths in bringing together diverse groups of students, bridging the boundary between student affairs and academic affairs, and resolving conflict will be valuable to the Dean of Students Office and the university."

FULL STORY          

 

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On Campus Produced by the Office of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin
P.O. Box Z   Austin, Texas   78713-8926
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Behavior of midwater fishes under Antarctic ice: Observations by a predator

Enlisting the help of 15 Weddell seals as under-water photographers, researchers from The University of Texas at

weddell seal
Researchers used video sequences with synchronized positional data recorded by Weddell seals to describe behavior of two important fish species.
Austin have discovered important new information about two ecologically important fish species living far beneath the ice pack in the dark and frigid waters of Antarctica’s McMurdo Sound.

The research team discovered that silverfish (Pleuragramma antarcticum) migrate from depths of 827 feet at night to 1,132 feet by day. These movements coincide with changes in surface light intensity — even during Antarctica's months of constant sunlight. Toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni), previously thought to be a species living in deep water, frequently occurred at shallow depths, between 39 feet and 591 feet. The depth at which they swim may also change with the time of day.

FULL STORY          

Student group displays pro-life exhibit at West Mall area through Feb. 1

An exhibit sponsored by the pro-life student group Justice For All is being displayed on campus this week through Feb. 1.

Members of the group have secured permission to display the exhibit, which is expected to feature photos of graphic displays, at the West Mall area. The group has received permission to speak on the topic from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. during each of the five days of the exhibit.

FULL STORY           

Meningitis ruled cause of university student's death

Preliminary tests involving the death of a University of Texas at Austin student who lived in an off-campus apartment indicate he had bacterial meningitis, health department officials said.

Joseph Slade Blackstock, 21, arrived at Austin's Brackenridge Hospital at 4 a.m., Jan. 22, and died shortly afterward. Blackstock, a junior studying business at the university, lived at 1600 Wickersham Lane in Austin.

Jeanne Carpenter, director of University Health Services, said her office contacted students who attend classes with Blackstock on Thursdays to provide them with information about meningitis and offer other assistance — including medication, as needed.

FULL STORY           

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Offices: Walter Webb Hall, 25th and Guadalupe
P.O. Box Z, Austin, TX 78713-7509
Phone: 471-3151
Web: www.utexas.edu

Vice President for Public Affairs: Don Hale
Editor: Richard Bonnin
Staff Writers: Robert D. Meckel, Nancy Neff
Photographer: Marsha Miller
Web: Stephen Cooper