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Photo Credit: Lauren Ussery | Daily Texan Staff

Track and field

Over the weekend, Texas men’s and women’s track and field claimed both titles in the Big 12 Championships for the first time since 2006.             

In the women’s event, the Longhorns sat in second place by 7.5 points coming down to the ending events. With five runners in the 200 meters, Texas claimed three top-five spots and sixth- and eighth-places to pick up 21 points. From there, the Longhorns took the lead from Kansas State and finished just over three seconds ahead of the Wildcats in the 4x400-meter relay to seal their Big 12 title.

On the men’s side in Ames, Iowa, Texas outperformed the competition by more than 40 points, as it collected 140 points over the event. Sophomore Senoj-Jay Givans continued his impressive season, edging out the two best 60-meter runners in the nation by .003 seconds after official review. Givans’ time of 6.585 qualifies him for the NCAA Championships, where he will be joined by junior thrower Ryan Crouser, who improved on his nation-leading mark with a shot put throw of 21.14 meters (69-4.25). 

The Longhorns’ indoor season now comes to an end, except for individuals who qualified for the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in two weeks.

Men's golf

For the second time this season, Texas golf returns from Florida with a victory.

Sophomore Beau Hossler and the Longhorns traveled to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, this weekend for the Johnny Hayt Collegiate Invitational, where the sophomore earned his first career win and led the team to its second victory of the 2015 season in as many contests.

Hossler shot a 4-under-par 212 (76-77-70) over the three-day tournament, finishing five strokes ahead of the runner up, This is his first time finishing in the top five this season and third time overall.

Senior Kramer Hickok recorded the Longhorns’ other top-10 finish, shooting 4-over par to land in seventh place. 

Rounding out the team were freshmen Scottie Scheffler, Doug Ghim and Taylor Funk, and sophomore Gavin Hall, who contributed to Texas’ 8-over par first place finish.

Next up, Longhorns head to the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas, Nevada from March 9–11.

Women's tennis

Texas women’s tennis’ road struggles continued over the weekend.

Women’s tennis head coach Danielle McNamara returned to her alma mater Michigan — this time as coach — but couldn’t bring back the win for the Longhorns.

The Wolverines took an early lead Friday, sweeping the doubles points as Michigan senior Emina Bektas and freshman Alex Najarian defeated Texas freshman Dani Wagland and senior Lina Padegimaite, 6–0, in first doubles. Michigan junior Ronit Yurovsky and senior Sarah Lee locked in the victory when they defeated Texas junior Lana Groenvynck and sophomore Neda Koprcina, 6–0.

Michigan didn’t hold back going into singles and swept the first three matches, leaving Texas’ score still at zero (4–0). In fourth singles, Texas’ only score came when Padegimaite pushed Michigan freshman Mira Ruder-Hook into a third set and claimed the victory, 6–2, 5–7, 1–0.

Texas forfeited the last two singles matches to drop the match, 6–1.

On Sunday, Texas tried to redeem their loss to the Wolverines but fell to Northwestern, 6–1.

Northwestern easily routed Texas to take the doubles points and continued to win singles up until the fifth match, when Groenvynck defeated Northwestern Rheeya Doshi, 6–4, 6–4.


Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

Kevin Hegarty, UT’s vice president and chief financial officer, will step down from his position to become executive vice president and CFO at the University
of Michigan.

Mary Knight, associate vice president for finance, will serve as interim CFO until Hegarty’s position is filled.

Hegarty will make the transition from Texas to Michigan during this semester, pending approval from Michigan’s Board of Regents. His last day working on campus will be Feb. 26.

Since 2001, Hegarty has overseen finance, budget, real estate, information technology, open records, payroll and purchasing at UT. 

Mark Schlissel, president of the University of Michigan, spoke about Hegarty in a speech to Michigan’s Board of Regents.

“Mr. Hegarty is strongly committed to the role of public universities and brings a valuable combination of private sector and public higher education experience to the appointment,” Schlissel said. “I am confident he will serve our university well in meeting the challenges ahead.”

President William Powers Jr. said Hegarty has been a valuable resource to the University with regards to improvements in efficiency.

“Few people in our University’s history have served the campus with as much dedication and honor as Kevin,” Powers said. “He will be sorely missed and will always be a great friend. Kevin’s love for the Longhorns is exceeded only by his accomplishments improving the university, making us one of the most productive and efficient campuses in the nation and leading us through very challenging budget years.”

Hegarty has contributed to large-scale projects at UT, such as information technology, finance and procurement services and Shared Services, a plan to centralize the University’s human resources.

“If you look at any of the main initiatives that have happened at the University — things as big as the creation of the Dell Medical School — Kevin and his expertise [have] really been central to that,” UT spokesman Gary Susswein said. “This is a big loss for the university, but we wish Kevin well.”

Susswein said the search for Hegarty’s replacement will not begin until after the next UT president is in office.

Knight, who worked with Hegarty for the duration of his 13 years at UT, said she will continue to expand Shared Services while serving as interim CFO.

“We’ll continue to move forward with the Shared Services Initiative,” Knight said. “It’s currently in a pilot phase, so it has a relatively small impact on the campus as a whole.”

Knight commended Hegarty for his ability to work closely with faculty and administrators on campus.

“He’s got fabulous working relationships with the deans and the vice presidents and really has the attitude of ‘we are here to help with the academic and research mission, and we want to do our jobs well so that the mission of the University can be accomplished,’” Knight said.

Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

The No. 9 Longhorns men’s tennis team will host the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at the Weller Indoor Tennis Center this weekend.

The Longhorns need two victories in the ITA Kick-Off to qualify for the ITA National Indoor Championship, which will be held in Chicago from Feb. 13-16.

Texas is one of 22 universities selected to host the start of the 2015 spring season. In the current system, three visiting schools travel to a host team’s courts for a four-team tournament.

Coming off consecutive road victories against No. 41 Tulsa and No. 58 Arkansas, the Longhorns look to build on their 2-0 start when they face No. 49 Minnesota, No. 34 Florida State and No. 42 Michigan.

The event will feature seven ranked singles players — including two-time All-American senior Søren Hess-Olesen and fellow senior Adrien Berkowicz, who led the Longhorns in singles wins last fall.

Hess-Olesen and Berkowicz have a combined seven singles wins and eight doubles wins, and they enter this season ranked No. 13 and No. 48, respectively. They are 1-1 together in doubles play.

Junior Nick Naumann and freshman John Mee look to continue their impressive doubles play in a potential, consolation-play matchup against Florida State’s junior duo Marco Nunez and Benjamin Lock, who are ranked 24th in doubles.

Naumann and Mee, who hold a 4-0 doubles record, could also face Minnesota’s senior Leandro Toledo and freshman Felix Corwin, who are ranked 58th in doubles.

Freshman Adrian Ortiz-Ruiz is also off to an impressive start. Ortiz-Ruiz, a Mexico native, picked up his first career dual match singles
victory against Arkansas and currently holds a 3-2 singles record.

Junior Michael Riechmann holds a 4-1 singles record. He and Ortiz-Ruiz have a 2-2 doubles record as partners.

Senior All-American Lloyd Glasspool and sophomore George Goldhoff will remain on the sidelines during this tournament because of minor injuries, but they went undefeated at the UT Invitational in both singles and doubles play earlier this month.

The tournament begins at 10 a.m. Saturday with UT squaring off against Minnesota, followed by Florida State versus Michigan. Consolation play begins at 10 a.m. Sunday, and the championship match will follow at 1 p.m.

Men's swimming and diving

In a quad meet characterized by electric times and tight finishes — including one touch separated by one one-hundredth of a second — the men’s swimming and diving team defeated Indiana and Louisville comfortably, but was narrowly edged out by Michigan.

The Longhorns took down the Hoosiers by a 91-point margin and the Cardinals by 81 points. Long before the final event — the 400-yard freestyle relay — Texas had secured its win over the two teams, but the overall victor of the meet remained uncertain.

All-American sophomore Will Licon captured first in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:57.11, good for the nation’s top time to date in that event.

Sophomore Jack Conger also got national recognition, earning the second-fastest time in the country this season with a dominating win in the 200-yard individual backstroke with a time of 1:45.18. Freshman Jonathan Roberts also hopped on the record train with the nation’s top mark in the 500 freestyle.

Michigan held the lead, but Texas kicked up a rally that narrowed its deficit, thanks to sophomore Mark Anderson’s and senior Will Chandler’s second- and  third-place finishes in the 3-meter diving event.

However, Texas couldn’t catch up and was closely defeated by Michigan, 183-170.


Texas softball won its third fall scrimmage against Galveston Community College in a 10-3 blowout this weekend. 

Galveston scored all three of its runs in the top of the third off a fielder’s choice, an illegal pitch by sophomore pitcher Lauren Slatten and an RBI groundout. To revive Texas’ pitching, freshman pitcher Erica Wright retired six hitters in order.

“Once you get on the mound, adrenaline takes over you, and you just get in the moment,” Wright said. “Erin [Shireman], the catcher, made some
really nice calls.”

The Longhorns scored scored one run in the bottom of the third and three in the fourth before blowing the game open in the fifth with six runs.

Texas faces St. Edward’s at McCombs Field at 5 p.m.  Thursday.

Women's rowing

The women’s rowing team grabbed three first-place finishes Saturday at the Austin Rowing Club’s Head of the Colorado Regatta. Although it’s traditionally a 5,000-meter course, this year’s races were limited to 4,000 meters because of an infestation of cabomba weeds in Lady Bird Lake.

The first top finish came early in the day for the Longhorns, with Texas’ boats claiming the top seven spots in the open pair race at 8:10 a.m. The first-place boat finished with a time of 16:23.5.

Success continued in the open 8+ race, taking the top three spots.

Texas edged out a boat from Big 12 rival Oklahoma to place second in the first novice 8+ race with a time of 15:50.1.

The Longhorns also grabbed first place in the open 4+ race with a time of 15:34.3, which was good enough to beat out teams from SMU, Texas A&M and Rice.

Texas finished the day with 10 top-three finishes and will look to carry that momentum into next weekend when it competes at the Head of the Hooch in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Women's soccer

Although Texas soccer entered the weekend barely hanging on to the final spot in the Big 12 Championship tournament, wins Friday and Sunday over Oklahoma and Baylor punched Texas’ ticket to the postseason.

It took only 45 seconds for the Longhorns to generate enough offense to knock off conference rival Oklahoma on Friday night.

Less than one minute into regulation, senior defender Whitney Jaynes gained possession along the left flank and chipped a cross into the 6-yard box where leaping freshman forward Morgan Murphy nodded the ball in for her first career goal.

Murphy’s header was Texas’ only shot on goal, but a stifling Longhorn defense held the Sooners to just six shots all game, with only two of those
on goal.

“Anytime you can get a ‘W,’ you’ll take that opportunity,” Texas head coach Angela Kelly said. “Credit to Oklahoma, this match was a back-and-forth battle. I’m just really pleased with the win.”

Texas took much longer to get the offense clicking Sunday against Baylor, but late heroics by sophomore midfielder Julia Dyche allowed the Longhorns to leave Waco with a 2-1 victory.

Junior midfielder Lindsey Meyer equalized with a goal in the 75th minute, and Dyche put Texas in the winner’s column when she blasted a rebound into the back of the net with just 30 seconds to go in regulation.

The Longhorns’ next action will take place in the regular season finale at home against Oklahoma State at 7 p.m. Friday.

Women's swimming and diving

Texas’ women’s swimming and diving team kicked off its season with a 3-0 start after a two-day quad meet this weekend against Michigan, Louisville and Indiana. Texas beat Michigan by a 199-154 margin, Indiana by a 204.5-148.5 margin and Louisville by a 243.5-109.5 margin.

Michigan and Indiana battled for a few wins in the pool and proved to be tough competitors, but by the conclusion of day one, Texas led after winning three events.

Sophomore Tasija Karosas, senior Gretchen Jaques, sophomore Brynne Wong and senior Sarah Denninghoff started off the meet with a 400 medley relay victory in 3:38.87. Jaques won again, leading a 1-2 Texas finish with a split of 1:01.37 in the 100 breaststroke, just in front of freshman Bethany Leap, who finished in 1:02.36.

It wasn’t until later in the day that sophomore Madisyn Cox solidified the third win for Texas, winning the 200 IM with a mark of 1:58.56. Cox also came out with a win in the 400 IM with a time of 4:14.51, due to the in-race disqualification of Louisville senior Tanja Kylliainen. 

Day two began with a swift comeback by freshman Rebecca Millard, who closed the gap to gain yet another win for the Longhorns in the 200 freestyle relay. Jaques, Millard, Wong and Denninghoff clocked in at 1:32.24.

All-American senior diver Emma Ivory-Ganja placed first in Texas’ big 1-2-3 finish in the one-meter dive with 301.85 points, alongside teammates junior Meghan Houston and sophomore Murphy Bromberg.

Women’s swimming and diving preview

This weekend, the women’s swimming and diving team will fly to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to swim at the Canham Natatorium in its first intercollegiate competition of the season.

The No. 6 Longhorns have their work cut out for them in this two-day quad meet. Although the 2014-2015 rankings have yet to be posted, three fellow top-20 2014 NCAA Championship teams will be competing: No. 11 Indiana, No. 20 Michigan and No. 13 Louisville.

Though Louisville is new to the mix this year, this trip will be familiar for the Longhorns. Last year, the women crushed their competition with eight victories, beating Indiana by a 155-141 count and Michigan by a margin of 210-90.

Head coach Carol Capitani desires more success this season, and hopes Texas can be a top competitor alongside Cal, Georgia and Stanford.

“Coming in ninth every year, it’s getting a little old,” said Capitani. “In swimming life, if you’re staying the same, you’re getting worse.”

The team will be led by seniors such as Gretchen Jaques, who won the 50 and 100 freestyle last year at this meet, and diver Emma Ivory-Ganja, who placed first in the three-meter event. 

Women's golf to Travel to San Antonio for Alamo Invitational

Following an eighth place finish at their home course in the Betsy Rawls Invitational, the women’s golf team will travel to San Antonio for the Alamo Invitational being held Sunday through Tuesday. 

The invitational will be hosted by UTSA at the Briggs Ranch Golf Club (par 72, 6,428 yards).

Texas will tee off for its first round at 11:40 a.m. Sunday, matched with Florida State and Tulane.

The invitational will host 15 teams, two of which are ranked in Golfweek’s Top 20: No. 7 Arkansas and No. 19 Auburn. The Longhorns have fallen four places to 44th since their last performance at the Betsy Rawls Invitational.

Other Texas teams will be in attendance, including SMU, TCU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Houston.

Softball looks to win third fall scrimmage

The softball team will host Galveston College at 7 p.m. Friday in the third fall scrimmage at Red and Charline McCombs Field. 

The Longhorns have played well through the first two games, with a 5-0 win against McLennan Community College and an 11-0 victory over the University of Incarnate Word.

Through two games, sophomore infielder Kelli Hanzel is 4-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs. Junior infielder Erin Shireman is also hot at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs.

If Texas continues to play the way its are playing, expect to see dominating performances from the pitching staff. In the first two scrimmages, the pitching staff has not allowed a run and has combined for a whopping 24 strikeouts.

Soccer to take on Baylor, OU in tough rivalry road trip

Texas soccer has another tough pair of conference games this weekend. The Longhorns will take on Oklahoma (8-5-3, 2-2-1 Big 12) in Norman, Oklahoma, Friday at 7 p.m., and then turn around and head to Waco for a 6 p.m. Sunday tilt against a physical Baylor squad (8-5-2, 2-2-1 Big 12).

Oklahoma was ranked as high as 15th in early September, but the Sooners have dropped off since then and are winless in their last three contests.

This season, Baylor’s offense has excelled where the Longhorns have struggled. The Bears have made the most of their opportunities, seeing just over half of their shots this season come on goal, while Texas has hit just 41.9 percent of its shots on target.

Junior goalkeeper Abby Smith will have her hands full against the pair of Big 12 offenses, but she should be fresher since head coach Angela Kelly gave her the night off against Arkansas-Little Rock.

Oklahoma and Baylor are hardly the elite of the Big 12, but the Longhorns have not made much of an impact since knocking off a then No. 6 Texas Tech team back in September. A 2-3-0 conference record puts Texas in a tie with TCU for the last spot in the Big 12 tournament, but wins this weekend could bring the Longhorns some much needed insurance in the closing weeks of the season.

Rowing team to kick off season

The rowing team will race in its first regatta of the fall season on Saturday at the Head of the Colorado, a 5,000-meter course on Lady Bird Lake. 

The regatta, which is hosted by the Austin Rowing Club, will be new head coach Dave O’Neill’s first opportunity to see his team in competition.

“I really won’t worry about the results from an outside perspective,” O’Neill said. “It’s going to be about, ‘Are we getting stronger physically? Are we rowing better? Is the team culture improving?’”

In past races at the Head of the Colorado, Texas has competed against schools such as Texas A&M, Baylor and Louisiana State University, all of which are club rowing teams. The Longhorns will face their true Division I competition later in the spring, using this weekend’s race to get all NCAA-eligible rowers, including walk-ons, practice in competition. 

“I’ll take a look at how hard they raced and how well they raced against each other,” O’Neill said. 

Men's swimming and diving faces first true test of season

In the men’s swimming and diving season opener last week, No. 6 Texas handily defeated the Aggies, winning all 15 individual and relay events. With a sweep over a rival fresh on their minds, the Longhorns will travel to Michigan for a quad meet with Michigan, Indiana and Louisville from Friday until Saturday.

At the NCAA Championships in March, all four programs finished in the top 11. Texas took second, Michigan took fourth, Indiana took 10th and Louisville took 11th.

It will be a showdown between some of the best teams in the country. At their last meeting, Texas dominated Indiana with a 204-96 win, but fell to Michigan, by a smaller margin. The Longhorns and the Cardinals have never competed against one another in a dual meet.

Texas has eight swimmers ranked in the top 20 nationally for their perspective events.

Texas basketball claims first 2015 commit

Coming off a year in which Texas secured McDonald’s All American Myles Turner, as well as top twenty five recruit Jordan Barnett, the Longhorns basketball program now has its first basketball commitment for the Class of 2015.

Eric Davis, a guard from Saginaw, Michigan, announced his decision to attend Texas and play for the Longhorns in a press conference on Tuesday, September 16, at his high school, Saginaw Arthur Hill.

Davis, the No. 41 ranked player in the nation according to the ESPN 100, will bring a much needed spark to the Longhorns offense, an offense that finished 84th in the NCAA last season in points per game and 238th overall in field goal percentage. At 6-foot-3, Davis is thought to be one of the best scoring guards in the country.

"I think that Davis' biggest strength is that he is a pure scorer," Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Eric Bossi said. “He has a high skill level, can put the ball on the floor to create his offense and is a good enough shooter from deep to keep defenders guessing”. 

This ability to score off the dribble as well as shoot from outside has many comparing Davis to current NBA guards James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Monta Ellis of the Dallas Mavericks. Davis earned All-State honors as a sophomore at Saginaw Arthur Hill, but truly began to shine during his junior year in which he averaged 27 points per game and led Saginaw Arthur Hill to a league championship while being awarded the Michigan Class A Player of the Year award. 

Despite the Michigan product receiving offers from in-state powers Michigan and Michigan State -- as well as out of state programs LSU, UCLA, and UNLV -- Davis chose Texas, mainly due to his relationship with head coach Rick Barnes.  

"Me and Coach Barnes have a great relationship that we developed over time and on my visit," Davis said in his press conference. "I just felt really comfortable. I felt like I was on the team when I was on my visit."

In a conference that has produced 20 first round draft picks in the past five years, recruiting top rate talent is essential. With the additions of Myles Turner and Jordan Barnett in the Class of 2014, and now Eric Davis in the Class of 2015, the Longhorns are once again acquiring top tier high school talent, and look to be one of the preeminent programs in the Big 12 once again. 

In a March 31 file photo, Republican Land Commissioner candidate George P. Bush speaks to the UT chapter of College Republicans.

Photo Credit: Ethan Oblak | Daily Texan Staff

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of columns on conservatives on the UT campus.

“What starts here changes the world.” 

We regularly encounter this phrase. We are the future leaders of Texas. We are expected to be at the forefront of progress and innovation in America. With these expectations in mind, I am a conservative college student because conservative values and policies empower individuals to better themselves and society. 

Conservatism revolves around the premise of limited government, free enterprise, liberty, fiscal responsibility and personal prudence. Conservatives look at a problem and think, “How can the private sector, charities, grassroots organizations, religious groups and I create a solution?” In contrast, liberals look to raising taxes, deficit spending, bureaucracy and extensive regulation. The conservative model produced Uber, Airbnb, Apple and Starbucks; while services run by the federal government — Social Security, the U.S. Postal Service and Medicaid — are largely unsustainable or bankrupt. 

Growing up, I was aware of the local economy and how it impacted people’s livelihood. In my home state of Michigan, we had eight years of a Democrat-controlled state government. This resulted in Michigan having the second highest unemployment rate in the union. The state budget had a $1.5 billion deficit. Morale was low and people were leaving the state in droves. I can even remember losing friends because their parents had been laid off and could only find jobs in other states. 

After moving to Texas, I quickly noticed the contrast in state government models. This year Texas is ranked number one in job creation across all pay levels. Our system of low taxes and reasonable regulation has made Texas an attractive location to create and run a business. 

The primary purpose of attending a university is to increase your salary and employment opportunities. In order for this to occur, we need to enter a strong and growing economy upon graduation. The pro-growth economic policies that conservatives champion make an optimal hiring market that recent graduates can thrive in. However, since President Barack Obama took office, the national unemployment rate for recent college graduates has grown to 8.5 percent. In Obama’s America, well after graduation you are expected to still be financially dependent on your parents. Twenty-six-year-old “children” can stay on their parents’ health care plans. However, I, for one, refuse to accept this path for myself.

Nabozny is a history and government junior from Farmington Hills, Michigan. She is the president of College Republicans.

Photo courtesy of University of Texas at Austin 

Kedra Ishop, vice provost and director of admissions, is leaving her position at the University in July after working in the admissions office for 16 years.

Ishop is resigning to become the associate vice president of enrollment management at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, if approved by Michigan’s Board of Regents. Ishop began working in UT’s admissions office in 1998 as an admissions counselor and in 2009 became the director of admissions.

“It has been a fulfilling challenge to select for the University of Texas at Austin some of the most dynamic classes in our history,” Ishop said in an email. “Seeking excellence has been our challenge both in our recruitment practices and admissions practices.”

Ishop is leaving the office as the UT System opens a new investigation into the University’s admissions process to be carried out by an outside firm. UT spokesman Gary Susswein said the University will be complying with the investigation.

In a statement, President William Powers Jr. said he believes there have been positive changes at the admissions office under Ishop’s leadership, such as its emphasis on holistic review during the application process.

“[Ishop] has spearheaded UT Austin’s efforts to use holistic admissions policies to put together outstanding incoming classes and she has helped us defend our values in the U.S. Supreme Court,” Powers said. “We will miss Kedra immensely but couldn’t be prouder of her as she accepts this opportunity to shape enrollment and student success at one of the nation’s best public research universities.”

Holistic review is one of the two ways freshman applicants can be admitted to the University and is used by the admissions office when an applicant is not automatically admitted under the Texas Top 10 Percent Rule.  Under the University’s holistic review policy, an applicant’s academic achievement, personal achievement and special circumstances are considered.

Gregory Fenves, executive vice president and provost, said Ishop’s endorsement of the holistic review process and her role in its development have been one of her most important contributions to the University.

“Dr. Ishop was a national leader in developing a holistic review [process] for undergraduate admissions,” Fenves said in a statement. “UT Austin is now seen as having one of the best admissions processes of any public university in the country.”

In 2009, the Texas Legislature passed a bill lowering the number of Texas students the University must automatically admit to below 10 percent. According to Ishop, the changes were necessary because the number of applicants have greatly increased in the past 20 years.

“Modifications to the Top 10 Percent law has allowed the university to not only honor the diversity of the top students of high schools across Texas but to also fulfill the mission to identify talent and leadership across the spectrum of a student’s application,” Ishop said.

At Michigan, Ishop will oversee admissions, the registrar’s office, new programs for student success and financial aid. The University will conduct a national search for a new director.

This Jan. 25, 2012 file photo shows the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington. The justices are unlikely to have the last word on America's tangled efforts to address health care woes. The problems of high medical costs, widespread waste, and tens of millions of people without insurance will require Congress and the president to keep looking for answers.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court added yet another chapter to the ongoing narrative of race-based admissions processes in U.S. colleges. Announcing its decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, the court upheld the state of Michigan’s ban on using race as a factor in university admissions, explaining that nothing in the U.S. Constitution allows judges to set aside popularly decided state initiatives, such as Michigan’s prohibition on race-based admissions. 

Ultimately, this case does not make a ruling on the constitutionality of race-based admissions policies. As Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his opinion, “This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it.” 

However, the decision will allow state legislatures to potentially ban affirmative-action policies in public state universities through voter-led initiatives. 

The decisions is most definitely a blow to affirmative action policies, but it is far from a final verdict on the constitutionality of affirmative action programs — such as UT-Austin’s holistic review process. That case is likely still years away. The possibility that the court’s decision will have an immediate impact on the autonomy of individual universities, however, could become a reality as soon as 2015, when the Texas legislature next convenes. It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to assume that some states, such as Texas, could follow Michigan's suit and pass voter-led referendums that ban race-conscious admissions programs. 

Granted, the entirety of this issue applies only to public schools, and that distinction is an important one. But, while we wait for the dust to settle around a “national consensus” about affirmative action at U.S. universities, we think it best to leave these decisions to the individual schools, who best know their own needs in regard to diversity. 

Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

In a 6-2 decision Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued a ruling allowing the state of Michigan to ban the use of race as a factor in its college admissions processes, and, according to a UT law professor, this may open the door for a constitutional ban on affirmative action in Texas. 

The ruling comes nearly a year after the Court sent Fisher v. Texas, the case determining the legality of the University’s race-conscious admissions policy, back to the Fifth Circuit District Court. Judges on the court have yet to issue their ruling on the Fisher case.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion of Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, ruling that neither the Supreme Court nor Congress has the authority to prevent state voters from deciding whether to allow affirmative action polices in government decisions, including college admissions processes.

The decision upheld the legality of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, also known as Prop. 2, a 2006 ballot initiative that amended the state’s constitution to prohibit discrimination or preferential treatment for any individual or group “on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.”

Kennedy wrote that the Michigan case, like the Texas case, is not about the constitutionality or merits of race-conscious admission policies.

“The question here concerns not the permissibility of race-conscious admissions policies under the Constitution, but whether, and in what manner, voters in the states may choose to prohibit the consideration of racial preferences in government decisions, in particular with respect to school admissions,” Kennedy wrote.

In his opinion, Kennedy also addressed Fisher v. Texas, in which Abigail Fisher sued the University after it denied her undergraduate admission in 2008. Fisher, who is white, claimed UT denied her admission because of her race.

Four states — California, Florida, Washington and Michigan — currently ban the use of affirmative action in admissions processes. Adjunct law professor David Gonzalez said Tuesday’s decision will likely cause many senators and representatives across the country to draft laws addressing affirmative action. Gonzalez said he believes in the next few years, Texas voters will likely amend the state’s constitution to ban affirmative action.

“I would guarantee that someone is going to try and draft a law and say ‘let’s ban this — let’s ban any preferential treatment for race,’” Gonzalez said.

In her dissenting opinion, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Michigan’s ban on affirmative action will “uniquely disadvantage racial minorities” and argued that governing boards at individual universities should have the power to determine admissions policies for themselves.

Joshua Tang, a representative of We Support UT, a group formed to support the University’s admissions policies, said he thinks the use of race in the admissions process allows universities to fully evaluate an applicant.

“Race, in this country, still plays an important role in the experiences that people have, and it’s important that those experiences are recognized when universities are deciding who to admit to their schools,” Tang said.