Coach Strong doing a tough job well

In recent days, criminal charges and violations of team rules have led Coach Charlie Strong to dismiss and suspend multiple students from our football team. These are unfortunate losses, but I fully support Coach Strong and the hard line on discipline he takes. Indeed, this trait is among the reasons he was hired.

There’s no more demanding job in college sports than coach of the Texas Longhorns football team. In Charlie Strong, we have the right person for the job. Young players across Texas and beyond know that when they come to UT Austin, they’ll live by Coach Strong’s rules or they won’t play football. This will attract the best young men, and they will make all of us proud on the field and off.

Bill's Signature

Update on campus leadership

I’m delighted to inform you that I will be serving as president of The University of Texas at Austin through the 2014-2015 academic year and the coming legislative session, after which I will return to teaching and my faculty position in the Law School.

I am deeply grateful to Chairman Foster and Chancellor Cigarroa for their leadership of The University of Texas System and for working together on this plan. It is truly in the best interest of the university, our students, faculty, staff and alumni. It will allow me to continue to build on our student success initiatives, complete our $3 billion capital campaign, and bring the Dell Medical School closer to reality over the next year while ensuring a smooth transition to my successor. It will also allow me to work with elected officials in the 84th Texas Legislature.

Most of all, I want to thank all of you for your tireless support of our university. Serving as president of The University of Texas at Austin has been the highest honor of my life. Even more, the friendship and support of alumni and friends has been a great blessing for me, Kim, and our family.

Thank you and Hook ’em!

Bill's Signature

Stanzione to lead Texas Advanced Computing Center

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One of UT Austin’s premier research units is the Texas Advanced Computing Center. I’m proud to announce that Dan C. Stanzione Jr. has been named executive director of TACC. Dan has served as deputy director since June 2009 and assumed his new post July 1.

UT Austin has become a global leader in supercomputing thanks to TACC and the research it supports. Under Dan’s leadership, I believe our computers will become even more powerful and our research even more world-changing.

Dan is the principal investigator for several leading projects including a multimillion-dollar National Science Foundation grant to deploy and support TACC’s Stampede supercomputer over four years. In Stampede’s first year of operation, 3,500 researchers nationwide used it to further their science and engineering research projects. He is also principle investigator of TACC’s upcoming Wrangler system, a supercomputer designed specifically for data-focused applications.

Dan will preside over the construction of a new office facility adjacent to the research complex at the Pickle Research Campus in North Austin. This facility will allow TACC to expand its visualization capabilities and provide new spaces for training, collaboration, and public events.

Dan earned three degrees from Clemson University, where he later directed the supercomputing laboratory and served as an assistant research professor of electrical and computer engineering. He previously served as the founding director of the Fulton High Performance Computing Initiative at Arizona State University and served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Policy Fellow in the NSF’s Division of Graduate Education.

I’m looking forward to watching TACC’s growth under Dan’s leadership.

Bill's Signature

Longhorn Network providing opportunities for students

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One little-known benefit of the Longhorn Network to the University is the opportunity for our students to work as interns at the network. The recent success of many interns suggests we have tapped into a valuable feeder system for the ESPN family of networks.

Since the ESPN-run network launched, the experience gained at LHN has helped eight students get entry-level positions inside the ESPN family. Ten others have gone on to secure full-time positions in video production, marketing, sports journalism, and business operations at companies such as NBC, the Texas Rangers, and Yeti.

I’m proud of the Longhorn Network and all it has brought to the University, from its great sports and academic programming to its financial support for numerous faculty chairs. And we’re just getting started.

Hook ’em Horns,

Bill's Signature

Two Tonys for Longhorns

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Robert Schenkkan, BA’75, and Kevin Adams, BFA ’84

Longhorns are celebrating the two alumni who won Tony Awards on Sunday.

Robert Schenkkan won for Best Play of the Year for “All the Way,” his play about LBJ starring Bryan Cranston. Schenkkan, who lives in Seattle, has been commissioned to write a sequel, which will be “The Great Society.” In 1992, Robert won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his work “The Kentucky Cycle.” Robert was a Plan II student who graduated with a B.A. in drama in 1975.

Kevin Adams, B.F.A. ’84, won for Best Lighting Design for a Musical for “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” This is Kevin’s fourth Tony Award.

The Longhorn Family is proud of these two Texas Exes who have reached the pinnacle of their profession.

What starts here changes the world.

Bill's Signature

Horns up for baseball team

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Photo: UT Athletics

I know you all join me in congratulating the Longhorn baseball team and five-time Coach of the Year Augie Garrido for advancing to the College World Series. The Horns booked their ticket to Omaha with a sweep of the University of Houston over the weekend. Their season now stands at 43-19.

The Horns will face UC Irvine this Saturday, June 14, at 2 p.m. I’m proud of these young men.

Hook ’em Horns!

Bill's Signature