AUSTIN (KXAN) - The University of Texas board of regents spent two hours behind closed doors on Sunday afternoon, posted to discuss policies around inappropriate employee-student relationships and assignment of duties.
Regents made no statements after the executive session, but the board released a statement just before early evening newscasts:
"As leaders of The University of Texas System, our chief concern is and always will be the safety and welfare of the students at our 15 institutions. The No. 1 priority of all UT administrative leaders, faculty, staff and athletic personnel should be protecting our students and ensuring that their experience at any UT institution is a positive and safe one.
"Today, we are announcing that Paul Foster, First Vice Chairman of the Board of Regents, will lead a dedicated and focused effort to review and study all policies in place concerning relationships between UT employees and students at all 15 UT institutions. The review will include policies concerning disciplinary actions and procedures as well as compliance with policies for immediate notification of institution administration and the Board of Regents whenever and wherever policies are violated. (Current UT System Rule 178 which went into effect November 1, 2012 covers these policies and requirements, but the rule will be reviewed for possible strengthening.)
"We will reach out to national experts to assist in this review and will provide a timeline and announce more details over the next several days.
"Our goal is to be both timely and thorough in building a model that can be used nationwide as an example of best practices in dealing with these critically important issues of student protection and student safety."
Friday night, news of an inappropriate, consensual relationship between current Texas co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Major Applewhite and a student during the week leading up to the 2009 Fiesta Bowl came to light.
Applewhite was punished internally with a salary freeze for the rest of 2009, until Jan. 1, 2010, and was forced to attend counseling.
This news comes after Hall of Fame women's track coach, Bev Kearney was forced to resign in January after it was revealed that she had a relationship with one of her student-athletes.
The first death in Travis County attributed to the H1N1 virus has been confirmed, according to Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services. A second death is being investigated.
A father surprised his son after returning from a year-long military tour in Afghanistan by presenting him with his award during his school's holiday show.
President Barack Obama has ordered federal aid to help state and local recovery efforts in areas of Central Texas hit with severe storms and flooding in late October.
When seconds count, Austin-Travis Co. EMS now has new high tech cardiac monitors that could save time and lives.
The decision to sentence a Fort Worth teenager to probation for the drunk driving accident which killed four people has touched a nerve with many in the legal community across the state and country.
Six charter schools across the state, including one in Austin, are being ordered to close their doors due to a history of underperformance.