Director of U of Texas Student Media Unit Quits Under Pressure

Ann McClure's picture
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The director of Texas Student Media, which oversees the newspaper, TV station, radio station and other student-run media at the University of Texas, resigned under pressure.

Two current members and one former member of the organization's quasi-independent Board of Operating Trustees, a panel of students, faculty members and media professionals, say the development is troubling because of how the university's administration handled the matter. They say administrators conveyed no sense of dissatisfaction with the performance of Gary Borders, who was hired in June, and did not consult with board members before his departure.

"I think the issue here is the actions of the vice president of student affairs without the advice and consent of the Board of Operating Trustees," said Wanda Cash, a clinical professor and associate director of the School of Journalism and former chairwoman of the board's executive committee. "It's troublesome."

Borders, 56, told the American-Statesman on Thursday that he resigned Feb. 8 after Juan González , vice president for student affairs, informed him that he could quit or be fired. González had been unhappy with a proposal Borders floated to sell the TV station's federal operating license, Borders said, adding that he had dropped the idea upon learning of the vice president's opposition. Borders said a major part of his job was to reduce a deficit that was $175,000 when he came aboard.

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