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Friday, August 28, 2009

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UT System Forms Panel to Review Campus Police Departments

AUSTIN – The University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., has announced the creation of a systemwide panel that will be charged with reviewing operations at UT campus police departments.

The panel will be made up of senior UT System and campus officials, including auditors, law enforcement officials, business affairs executives and representatives from the UT System offices of General Counsel and Audit, and will examine day-to-day operations such as governance and reporting relationships, financial accounting systems, record-keeping and federal and state compliance issues.

The panel will be headed by Vice Chancellor for Administration Tonya Moten Brown, whose office directs the UT System Office of the Director of Police, the chief investigative law enforcement entity with oversight responsibility for the campus police departments.

Cigarroa called for the formation of the panel after several operational irregularities were discovered during routine inspections by UT System law enforcement officials at various campus police departments over the past year.

“The safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors is of the utmost importance.  And while the safety of the campus communities was never compromised, and in the spirit of the UT System's firm belief in continuous improvement, I felt it prudent to form a panel to review how these departments operate so that best practices can be determined and implemented,” Cigarroa said. The panel’s findings will be reported to the UT System Board of Regents later this year, he added.

The UT System operates 14 police departments across its 15 institutions and employs more than 450 sworn peace officers.  The majority of the officers undergo a rigorous training program as cadets at the UT System Police Academy in Austin.

About The University of Texas System
The University of Texas System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $11.9 billion (FY 2010) including $2.5 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Student enrollment exceeded 195,000 in the 2008 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's healthcare professionals annually. With more than 84,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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