Saturday, May 6, 2017

UT Board of Regents' DEAFENING silence following second on-campus Murder in 13 months.


"He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy."
Proverbs 28:13

[CORRECTION/UPDATE: WE MISREAD THE AGENDA.  THERE ACTUALLY IS AN ITEM ABOUT SECURITY BURIED IN THE EXECUTIVE SESSION SECTION.  WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE ERROR.

That being said, discussing the issue in executive session doesn't change the fact that the response from the Board of Regents remains woefully inadequate.  At a minimum, a direct statement and a public discussion at the regularly scheduled Board meeting would seem in order.  And there really should have been a special called board meeting last week.

But that doesn't change the fact that we read the schedule inaccurately.  It was an unacceptably sloppy mistake about which we regret.  We apologize.]

For the past week, we've been conducting an experiment.  Following last Monday's stabbing at UT-Austin, we decided to wait and see how the reconfigured board would react.  Friday morning, we got our answer in the form of a press release:

Regents award students for exceptional work in creative writing

Soo...the Board of Regents' first communication with the public since last Monday's tragedy (the second in 13 months) was about a creative writing award?!?

Got it.

Moving along, there's a regularly scheduled board meeting next week; the agenda arrived yesterday afternoon:





Soo...a 19 item agenda and on-campus security isn't one of them is only being discussed in Executive Session?!?

Got it.

In fairness to the UT System, the Chancellor did release a statement on Monday afternoon...but the Board of Regents didn't even sign onto that statement.

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Here's the thing: There should have been a special called meeting of the Board to discuss on-campus security last week.  The stabbing was on Monday; there's no reason they couldn't have held one on Thursday.  If it were too difficult to make the logistics work, they've done them by conference call in the past.

But they didn't, and now they're not even discussing on-campus security during the regularly scheduled Board meeting only discussing it in executive session at the regularly scheduled Board meeting.

Once again: Two murders in 13 months.

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Also remember that last weeks incident comes on the heels of the recurrent vandalism against fraternities that we've seen recently.

In other words, these are no longer isolated incidents; it's getting worse.

Yet the Board of Regents isn't going to discuss on campus security in a public setting.

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Fun Fact: Remember when Governor Abbott said that he likes to give the Boards of Regents "Marching Orders":
"I will give them marching orders about what I want them to achieve, and I expect them to achieve it without micromanaging."
With Greg Abbott's appointees, for better or worse (Note: Mostly the latter), it begs the question: Does Governor Abbott consider a rexamination of on-campus security following the second murder in 13 months "micromanaging" and, if not, where are the marching orders?!?

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Bottom Line: Sometimes, the silence location of what little discussion is held speaks volumes.

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