Barry Burgdorf, the general counsel and vice chancellor of the University of Texas System, will be leaving his post May 3, bound for what he terms in an email “kind of two jobs.” Specifically, Burgdorf at the beginning of each week will serve as an outside general counsel and strategic advisor to Vucomp.com, a private Plano-based company that designs computer-aided systems for analysis of medical images. Then for the balance of each week he will serve as a partner in Austin-based Beatty Bangle Strama, where he writes, he will serve "a host of other clients in the healthcare, educational and public policy space.”
Burgdorf, who has been in his UT position since 2005, announced his resignation in early March. In an email announcing his departure addressed to colleagues, which Burgdorf forwarded to Texas Lawyer, the GC offers details about what he gained from his eight-year UT experiences after signing on as “a 40-year-old corporate securities lawyer” who got “the chance to run the most prestigious university legal department in the world.” He also writes: “With my friend [UT President] Bill Powers, I enjoyed pondering the world and how to make it a better place . . . ."
Burgdorf is not looking back though. In a telephone conversation, he says he is “happily recusing” himself from ongoing and much-aired differences between the UT System’s Board of Regents and the UT-Austin administration, which have unfolded in part based on events at UT School of Law and the UT Law School Foundation. In November 2012, Burgdorf released a report about former law school Dean Larry Sager’s handling of a forgivable loan program for faculty members. The foundation funded the program. In the report, Burgdorf cited the lack of transparency of the program, criticized Sager’s handling of it, but did not direct any of his criticism to Powers, who, when he served as law school dean, had also used foundation funds to recruit and retain law school faculty. Since Burgdorf issued the November report, the UT Board of Regents voted on March 20 to establish a task force to further investigate the law school, its foundation, and other foundations affiliated with UT.“I’ll be honest,” says Burgdorf, “This is not the kind of thing I want to spend the rest of my life doing. I’m an old deal lawyer . . . I’m not interested in looking at the past. I want to move forward.”