UT-Austin paid $ 1.1 million consultant to improve Song’s image

– In March, the University of Texas at Austin released a report by a panel that concluded the school’s song “Eyes of Texas” was not “overtly racist.” But while university president Jay Hartzell said the panel would be made up of athletes, historians, faculty and students, it also included a consultant who had been hired to revamp the song’s image. , the Texas Tribune reports. Brad Deutser – who was listed as chairman of the committee in his final report – and his company had won two contracts worth up to $ 1.1 million to improve the song’s image, as well as other communications projects . His contract says he was hired to “align the findings of the Eyes of Texas history committee with cultural imperatives” and to “use the results to develop the desired culture and necessary understanding.”

“Eyes of Texas,” which is sung at the end of Longhorns football games, made its debut at a minstrel show in 1903, though the committee said they found no evidence that it was. sung by blackface artists or was inspired by remarks by Robert E. Lee. The students tell the Tribune that in the meetings following the publication of the report, they felt that Deutser was not taking their concerns seriously. “It was kind of like he was really trying to convince us of what they were thinking, in terms of ‘this is what the song means’,” said Brianna McBride, former leader of the Black President’s Leadership Council. Despite persistent objections from the students, the university says the Longhorn Band will have to play “The Eyes of Texas”, and that another group will be formed that will not have to play the song, the Daily Texan reports. (Read more stories from the University of Texas.)

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