New University of Texas President Pledges to Reexamine Issue of Statues of Confederate Leaders on Campus

William Powers Jr., the new president of the University of Texas, announced the appointment of a committee to make recommendations on what should be done, if anything, about the four bronze statues of Confederate leaders on the Austin campus. “A lot of students, especially minority students, have raised concerns. And those are understandable and legitimate concerns,” Powers told the Austin American-Statesman.

Outgoing university president Larry Faulkner had said that the statues conveyed “institutional nostalgia for the Confederacy.” Faulkner added, “Most who receive that message are repelled.”

In 1999 funds were raised to install a statue of Martin Luther King Jr. on the Austin campus. That statue has been defaced on several occasions. A second statue honoring an African American is planned for the Austin campus. It will depict former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.