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18 UT students arrested, protest possible cutbacks

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - At least 18 University of Texas students have been arrested outside the Austin school president's office in a protest against possible staff cutbacks.

The students were arrested on misdemeanor criminal trespass charges after refusing to leave when regular business hours ended Wednesday afternoon.

The sit-in outside the office of President Bill Powers targeted a shared services proposal being considered by UT. The measure could eliminate 500 staff positions by consolidating operations such as finance, personnel, information technology and purchasing.

More than 100 faculty members earlier this month signed a letter to Powers against the measure.

UT officials say no final decision has been made on the shared services proposal.

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