The longtime dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin will leave his position shortly, in part due to his disagreement with a new Texas law allowing students to pack heat while attending classes.
Frederick Steiner has informed colleagues that he will leave at the end of June to become dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design.
A new Texas law called Campus Carry will allow people who are licensed to carry concealed handguns to carry their guns onto the campuses of four-year state universities in the state. The universities will be able to create gun-free zones — but those zones cannot include classrooms.
The law will take effect August 1.
Asked by CNN whether the Campus Carry law had played a role in his decision to leave, Steiner said, “Yes, it influenced my decision to explore other options.”
‘I would never have applied for another job …’
In a letter to colleagues informing them of his impending departure, he made no mention of the new law in Texas, saying only that “as an alumnus with three degrees from Penn Design, this is an unparalleled opportunity to lead a school at an institution that means a great deal to me.”
However, in an interview with the Texas Tribune he said he had turned down similar opportunities in the past and probably would have turned this one down, too, had it not been for the new law.
“I would have never applied for another job if not for campus carry,” he said, the newspaper reported. “I felt I was going to be responsible for managing a law I didn’t believe in.”
Steiner’s online CV does not say how long he has served as dean of the School of Architecture in Austin. But his letter to colleagues mentions his pride in what they have accomplished over the past 15 years.