Gregory Fenves: An Unlikely Radical at the Helm of UT-Austin

  • Mark Pulliam

Gregory Fenves became President of the University of Texas at Austin in 2015, succeeding the scandal-plagued Bill Powers—who was forced to resign amidst revelations of a secret “back door” admissions process for influential legislators and UT donors. The Longhorn Nation yearned for a respite from the controversy Powers had shown a knack for generating. Powers’s long tenure (2006-2015) was notable for his frequent conflicts with his boss, UT Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, and the reform minded Board of Regents appointed by conservative Governor Rick Perry. Powers’s steadfast resistance to Perry’s proposed reforms was rewarded by the higher education establishment, which selected him to chair the prestigious Association of American Universities in 2013.

Unlike Powers, Fenves appeared to be an outsider to the tight-knit UT crony culture; he was hired as Dean of UT’s engineering school in 2008, after spending twenty years teaching at UC Berkeley. In the waning days of Powers’s embattled...

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Pulliam
    • 1
  1. 1.AustinUSA

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