William C. Powers Jr.

BIll Powers


28th President

President Bill Powers was the second-longest serving president in UT history when he stepped down in 2015. He joined the university in 1977 as a professor in the School of Law and would later become its dean, rising to national prominence when he was appointed to investigate the collapse of energy giant Enron.

As president, Powers presided over a reform of the undergraduate curriculum, instating mandatory Signature Courses for all freshmen and even teaching a signature philosophy course titled “What Makes the World Intelligible.” He founded two schools: the School of Undergraduate Studies and the Dell Medical School. He launched and finished the Campaign for Texas, an eight-year fundraising effort that raised $3.1 billion. Under Powers, the campus completed or began construction on 13 major new buildings. The final four years of the Powers administration was a period of controversy over how productivity should be defined. Supported by alumni, faculty, students, staff and the Texas Legislature, Powers defended the research university mission and was elected chair of the Association of American Universities in 2013. Other achievements include the launch of the ESPN-owned Longhorn Network, which will provide $300 million to the campus over 20 years, much of that endowing faculty chairs.

BIll Powers

The Legacy of President Bill Powers

For the past nine years, Bill Powers has challenged The University of Texas at Austin to rise to its full potential and been a champion for the soul of the public research university.

BIll Powers

Speeches & Commentary

A collection of just a few of the hundreds of speeches delivered by President Powers during his tenure

President Powers having a table discussion with students

Tower Talk

President Bill Powers on the Life of The University of Texas