Friday, August 15, 2014

Cigarroa sets the record straight

"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
John 8:32

Before he leaves office, Francisco Cigarroa has a few things to say:
Before he returns to a full-time career as a transplant surgeon in 2015, Francisco Cigarroa intends to spend his final months as chancellor of the University of Texas System combating what he says are misunderstandings, including at the upper echelons of academia, about his nearly six-year tenure.

“One has to be proactive,” Cigarroa said, “because I have not really been pleased with the direction of where the story has gone, because it’s wrong. We have to make our record better-known.” He indicated an intention to travel the country, talking to editorial boards and others to lay out a record of which he is “extremely proud.”

Cigarroa has spent much of the last three years caught in the middle of public conflicts among members of the UT System board of regents, the University of Texas at Austin administration, and legislators over how the flagship university should be managed.

While acknowledging that his tenure has corresponded with a period of political turmoil, he said it also was a time of major investment by the system in UT-Austin. He objected to insinuations that he has done Gov. Rick Perry’s bidding on policy or personnel decisions.


“While you cited the politicization of higher education in your message and implied that the situation between President Powers and Chancellor Cigarroa was politically driven, be assured that it was not,” Cigarroa and Paul Foster, the chairman of the UT System board, wrote to Rawlings this month in a three-page rebuttal.


Rather than adopting the governor-backed proposals in 2011, Cigarroa proposed his own vision for the system, calling for establishing medical schools in Austin and South Texas and committing financial resources to faculty recruitment and retention.

Today, both medical schools are under development, and the chancellor said that based on data reviewed by the system, “the idea that we are losing faculty is entirely false.”
Read the whole thing here.

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