Baylor Board of Regents Welcomes New Members, Begins New Era of Governance
Board also approves new academic degrees, enhances collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine and sets tuition and fees for 2018-2019
WACO, Texas (July 21, 2017) – The Baylor University Board of Regents held its first meeting since adopting a slate of best-practice governance reforms in the spring that enhance operations, Board diversity, open communication and constituent representation.
The regular quarterly Board meeting also was the first official meeting for Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., who took office as the University’s 15th president on June 1, and for Board Chair Joel T. Allison, B.A. ’70, of Dallas, retired president and CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health.
The Board welcomed seven new members, who participated in new Regent orientation, which included training by the Association of Governing Boards as well as Title IX training. The new Board members are:
- Jill Manning, B.B.A. ’84, of Dallas, retired vice president and chief financial officer, Efficient Networks Inc.
- Alicia D.H. Monroe, M.D., of Missouri City, provost and senior vice president for academic and faculty affairs, Baylor College of Medicine
- Melissa Purdy Mines, B.A. ’90, of Austin, alumni-elected Regent, vice president of client success at Bulldog Success
- Gaynor I. Yancey, D.S.W., Honoris Causa Faculty Regent, professor, Master Teacher and director of the Center for Family and Community Ministries, Diana R. Garland School of Social Work
- Dusty Sanderson, B.A. ’79, of Amarillo, Honoris Causa Baylor “B” Association Regent
- Hannah Vecseri, Honoris Causa Student Regent, junior University Scholar from Houston
- Will Cassara, Honoris Causa Student Regent, sophomore pre-business major from Keller
As it does each summer, the Board participated in retreat sessions, during which they continued to discuss best governance practices and also assessed the results of the Board’s AGB self-study. They also operated under a new committee meeting structure, as each committee focused on the major strategic initiatives of their areas: Academic; Advancement and Development; Audit; Compliance and Regulatory; Finance and Facilities; Nominating, Governance and Regent Leadership; Student Life; and University Leadership and Compensation. The new structure also allowed Board members to attend their assigned committee meeting as well as any of the other sessions.
The Board also appointed a new alumni-elected Regent – Gordon Wilkerson, B.B.A. ’82, of Lubbock – who will serve a nine-month term before proceeding through the election process. Wilkerson’s appointment ensures compliance with the Board’s member composition agreements.
“This meeting was marked by many significant changes for the Baylor Board of Regents, and we will continually evolve and change based on best practices and the needs of the University and Baylor Family overall,” Allison said. “There is a renewed sense of collegiality among the Regents as a result of the new governance reforms and a strong desire to support President Livingstone and the University leadership in helping Baylor achieve its full potential.”
“I continue to be impressed with the passion of the Board for Baylor and the incredible experience and insights the Regents bring to the table,” Livingstone added. “The Regents expressed strong support for our aspirations to become a ‘tier one’ Christian research university and we will soon launch a comprehensive academic planning strategy, which we are calling ‘phase two’ of Pro Futuris. Baylor has a distinct place in higher education, and we are committing to elevate our academic profile even further for the benefit of our students, faculty, staff and the Baylor Family.”
In other action, the Board approved two academic degrees programs and authorized a pledge payment as part of the University’s affiliation agreement with Baylor College of Medicine. The two degrees are:
- A joint degree program in all-level physical education and sport pedagogy, which allows students to obtain both a bachelor of science in education (B.S.Ed.) and master of science (M.S.) degrees and a Texas teaching certification in five years rather than the traditional six-to-seven years. The program will begin this fall.
- An Executive LL.M. in Litigation Management at Baylor Law School, modeled after Executive MBA programs and blending online courses with residential sessions. The program, designed for medium or senior'?'level corporate professionals, directly addresses a critical problem in the legal field and a major gap in legal education: how to strategically manage litigation to control the continued escalation of litigation costs. The program will begin in fall 2018.
The Board authorized the University’s final $2 million pledge payment as part of a June 23, 2013 affiliation agreement with Baylor College of Medicine. The agreement preserved and strengthened the historic ties between the institutions through the expansion of educational initiatives for Baylor students, such as the undergraduate summer program on tropical medicine and the B2B program that provides provisional acceptance of six Baylor students per year to matriculate to BCM upon graduation. The agreement also allowed for joint appointments of faculty at both institutions.
The Board also set tuition and fees for the 2018-2019 academic year, approving a 4-percent increase in tuition – the lowest percentage increase in more than two decades – and achieving the five-year goal under Pro Futuris to reduce tuition increases to a steady level.
With its flat-rate tuition structure, Baylor’s tuition will be $41,194 for the 2018-2019 academic year (or $20,597 per fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters), while the general student fee will be $4,348 for the 2018-2019 academic year (or $2,174 per fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters). The University will continue to offer a Guaranteed Tuition Option set at $43,194. Tuition for graduate and professional programs will increase similarly.
Baylor’s tuition and required fees continue to remain lower than peer private institutions in Texas, including Rice, Southern Methodist University and Texas Christian University, and well below those of most private universities of comparable size outside of Texas, such as Boston University, Duke University, Emory University, Stanford University, University of Notre Dame, University of Southern California and Wake Forest University.
In addition to providing students with the highest quality Christian education, the increase will allow Baylor to support its current operations, provide for new faculty and staff hires, create a merit raise pool for faculty and staff, fund priorities within Pro Futuris, such as investments in new research and graduate initiatives, and maintain a growing University campus.
“Baylor is incredibly strong and resilient, as evidenced by the strength of our faculty and staff, the academic credentials and talent of our students, the ongoing financial support of the Baylor Family and a significant interest of prospective students in a Baylor education,” Livingstone said. “Baylor has an exciting future ahead, and I look forward to working with the faculty and campus community in developing our strategic academic priorities as we commit to ‘tier one’ status.”
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.