William Powers, Jr.

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William Charles Powers Jr. (born May 30, 1946) is the 28th president of The University of Texas at Austin, a position he has held since February 1, 2006.[1]

Powers was selected in November 2005 as the sole finalist for the position of president of the University of Texas at Austin.[2] In December 2005, he was officially named president of the University and succeeded Larry Faulkner when he left office in February 2006. Prior to his appointment, he served as Dean of The University of Texas School of Law since 2000, a position that was later filled by Constitutional Law scholar, Lawrence Sager. President Powers also serves as University Distinguished Teaching Professor and holds the Hines H. Baker and Thelma Kelley Baker Chair in Law at the School of Law.[3]

Powers obtained his B.A. in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and his juris doctor from Harvard Law School. During his undergraduate years at Berkeley, he became a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, and at Harvard he was managing editor of the Harvard Law Review.[citation needed]

Powers has also worked at Southern Methodist University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington.[citation needed] Powers is a former member of the Enron Corporation Board of Directors and chaired the Special Investigative Committee to investigate the causes of Enron's bankruptcy. He was also a member of the Board of Trustees of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary from 2004-2010.[4]

Powers has authored several notable law texts, including but not limited to:[citation needed]

In 2008, Powers was appointed to the rank of Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in France’s orders of chivalry.[5] In 2012, he became Vice Chair of the Association of American Universities and is expected to become Chair in 2013-2014.[6] He is a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in Austin.[citation needed]


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Academic offices
Preceded by
Larry R. Faulkner
President of University of Texas at Austin
Succeeded by