Texas Board of Regents approves new agreement that could end prior review of student paper

The University of Texas Board of Regentsapproved a new agreement Feb. 8 with the University of Texas at Austin studentpublications board, moving one step closer to abolishing a decades-old priorreview policy for The Daily Texan student newspaper.

The regentsvoted unanimously to scrap the previous agreement, which since 1971 had declaredthe university liable for the publication’s content and thus required anappointed editorial adviser to have final say on what the student newspaperpublished. The regents’ new agreement assigns responsibility for The DailyTexan’s content to the campus student media board, although the regents willretain control of student publication assets.

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SPLCView: This dispute, it seems, has been going on forever. The University ofTexas at Austin is one of the last major universities in the country to havea  prior review policy, which, based on existing law, the Student Press LawCenter has long said it believes to be unconstitutional. Fortunately, it appearsthat an end may finally be in sight, thanks to a committed group of studenteditors and professionals who have worked for change for many years.