Statement of Senator Judith Zaffirini Regarding the Resignation of UT Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa

“It is with deeply mixed emotions that I wish Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa only the best as he departs the UT system and resumes his career as a full-time pediatric liver transplant surgeon. Although I share his joy in his returning to his first professional joy and San Antonio family, I am distressed that he is leaving higher education at a time when his leadership is needed. Given the circumstances, no one can blame him, and everyone can understand his decision and support it—myself included.

“The chancellor’s accomplishments surpassed even his own expectations. After starting his tenure on a high note with exemplary goals that included enhancing research and South Texas opportunities, he will end it only after reaching those goals and more, including creating medical schools for UT-Austin and for South Texas. This is as impressive as it is noteworthy and will be part of his legacy at the UT system.

“Dr. Cigarroa is a polished statesperson who always casts issues in a positive light and sees conflicts as opportunities for building consensus. Undeniably, however, he has endured unmitigated stress from the rogue regents who want UT President Bill Powers fired. Those who were unhappy with his recommendation to continue the heavily supported employment of President Powers reportedly turned their powerful weapons on him.

“Although I am confident that he will deny any disharmony, I am equally confident that his decision was influenced by the continued negative circumstances at hand. His action personifies the harmful repercussions of the current attack on those who pursue excellence, protect the privacy of students and strive for true transparency for all.

“It is ironic that the very regents who ostensibly demand transparency and accountability from educators whom they disrespectfully perceive as their minions simultaneously are secretive about their own public records and actions.

“Now is the time for the strong majority of the UT Board of Regents to express their strong support for President Powers, to search for a chancellor who is committed to excellence, to demand that the regents practice good governance and to assure the Longhorn Nation that they will do their best to meet expectations and responsibilities.”

CHANCELLOR FRANCISCO CIGARROA has led The University of Texas System since 2009. He has worked closely and effectively with Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, to prioritize access, affordability and excellence in higher education.

CHANCELLOR FRANCISCO CIGARROA has led The University of Texas System since 2009. He has worked closely and effectively with Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, to prioritize access, affordability and excellence in higher education.

Senator Zaffirini Welcomes Students from Mexico and Spain to Texas Capitol

(AUSTIN) — Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, today (Tuesday) honored students from Mexico and Spain who attend The University of Texas at Austin (UT) with a reception at the Texas Capitol.

Sponsored for the thirteenth consecutive year by BBVA Compass Bank, the reception provided students an opportunity to interact with legislators and top-ranking UT officials.

“As a proud alumna of The University of Texas at Austin and the first Hispanic woman in the Texas Senate, I am delighted to welcome these students from Mexico and Spain to the Texas Capitol,” Senator Zaffirini said. “By offering outstanding exchange programs, UT-Austin is not only promoting intercultural exchange and understanding, but also enhancing the educational experience for all students.”

Welcoming the students to the State Capitol were Senator Zaffirini; Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, chancellor of The UT System; Bill Powers, UT Austin president; and John Jett, BBVA Compass Executive Vice President. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst also hosted the event in the historic Lieutenant Governor’s Reception Room.

Jair Aguilar, a doctoral student from Mexico studying mathematics education, gave the students’ official response by thanking Senator Zaffirini, legislators, UT officials, guests and the event’s sponsors. Alba Vicente, a graduate student from Spain studying finance, accepted an official Senate proclamation commemorating the event.

Students from Mexico have studied at UT since 1940, and the university’s Graduate School of Business offers joint degree programs with Mexican higher education institutions. More than 500 students from Mexico and 68 students from Spain are enrolled at UT. What’s more, 36 UT students are studying in Mexico, and 337 are studying in Spain.

UT STUDENTS FROM MEXICO AND SPAIN are honored at the thirteenth annual reception at the Texas Capitol. Among the hosts and student honorees are (L-R) Jair Aguilar from Mexico; Bill Powers, UT-Austin president; Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, chancellor of UT System; Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo; John Jett, BBVA Compass Executive Vice President; and Alba Vicente from Spain.

UT STUDENTS FROM MEXICO AND SPAIN are honored at the thirteenth annual reception at the Texas Capitol. Among the hosts and student honorees are (L-R) Jair Aguilar from Mexico; Bill Powers, UT-Austin president; Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, chancellor of UT System; Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo; John Jett, BBVA Compass Executive Vice President; and Alba Vicente from Spain.