"But the path of the just is like the shining sun,
That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day."
Last Friday marked Greg Fenves' one-year anniversary as UT-Austin President. Perhaps it's just that he replaced the awful Bill Powers, but we've been pleasantly surprised a few times since he took over. Maybe we have Stockholm syndrome, but moving from an actively terrible UT President to a relatively nondescript one strikes us as progress.
Consider the following:
- The Confederate Statues -- Fenves' decision to move the statues to a museum stuck the right balance between whatever modest historical value those statues might have (mostly as a cautionary example) and declining to condone the horrific Woodrow Wilson era racism that inspired them in the first place.
- Firing Steve Patterson -- Do we even need to explain this one?!?
- Campus Carry -- UT-Austin's campus carry policy isn't great, but it could have been a lot worse. To his credit, Fenves refused to cave to the vulgar anti-Second Amendment protests last fall (which, we have no doubt, Bill Powers would have done). It's also worth pointing out that he's light years better than McRaven on this topic.
- Alcohol sales at Football games -- Fenves finally ended that particularly asinine prohibition.
- The Ami Pedazhur incident -- Last fall, an anti-Semitic lynch mob attempted to intimidate an Israeli professor; to it's credit, the Fenves administration stood by the professor.
- The Offensive Coordinator situation -- Fenves unintentionally undercut Charlie Strong's search for a new offensive coordinator last fall. To his credit, Fenves quickly cleaned up his own mess where Bill Powers would have pridefully dug in his heels. The early returns look promising.
- Salary -- In pretty much the most un-UT move of all time, Fenves (unlike McRaven) left money on the table when he was negotiating his compensation package with the Board of Regents.
Bottom Line: Our assessment last fall, "The Greg Fenves era might not be marked by great reform, but it could be a time when we stop actively making matters worse," was probably correct.