UT regents chair says officials received threatening messages over Powers squabble

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AUSTIN, Texas — The chairman of the University of Texas System's regents complained that regents and the chancellor have been subjected to personal and "threatening" attacks.

That's as debate raged over whether to fire the popular president of UT's flagship Austin campus.

Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa told the regents Thursday that he has accepted President Bill Powers' resignation effective June 2015. Board of Regents Chairman Paul Foster then urged Powers' supporters — including prominent alumni, faculty and staff — to ease up on their criticism of the board.

Foster wouldn't describe in detail the messages to which he referred or how they were threatening. He also told state lawmakers — many of whom rallied behind Powers— to "let us do our job unimpeded."

Foster said a national search for Powers' replacement will start soon.

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