For William C. Powers, 2011 has been a year full of upheavals.
Certain issues were foreseeable for the president of the University of Texas at Austin, the state’s largest and arguably most prestigious public university. State lawmakers were heading into a legislative session with budget axes at the ready, and nationally there were questions about the value of higher education.
Then, in early February, when he should have been testifying at the Capitol about the university’s financial needs, Mr. Powers suffered a pulmonary embolism. He was in the hospital for a week.
It was the first struggle in a year marked by high-profile battles involving Mr. Powers — to some, the university’s very own Dumbledore; to others, a particularly large bee in the bonnet of higher education reformers.