Baylor Regents Announce Structural Completion of the 105 Recommendations, Updates Governance Leadership and Structure
Board also welcomes new members; approves operating budget, new communication studies degree
WACO, Texas (May 12, 2017) – At its regular spring meeting, the Baylor University Board of Regents announced structural completion of the 105 recommendations related to the institution’s response to sexual violence and implementation of best-practice governance policies and procedures, and took action to approve new Board members, a $621.7 million operating budget for 2017-2018 and a new joint B.A./M.A. degree in communication studies.
In addition, the Board announced the establishment of the David E. Garland Scholarship Fund in appreciation of Dr. Garland’s service on two occasions as interim president (2008-2010, 2016-2017) and as interim provost (2014-2015). The $5 million fund will be dedicated to scholarships for students at Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, where Dr. Garland will return to teach in spring 2018.
The 105 recommendations
In June 2016 under the leadership of Interim President Garland, Baylor began implementing the 105 recommendations in response to incidents of sexual violence within the Baylor community. On Thursday, the Board received a briefing affirming that all 105 recommendations are now structurally complete, with some elements that remain ongoing to sustain this effort. For each recommendation, the infrastructure and foundation are in place, and the University continues to work diligently to integrate implementation efforts across campus. Later this summer, the University anticipates releasing a written report by national experts Gina Maisto Smith and Leslie M. Gomez of Cozen O’Connor detailing both an internal and external audit of the completion of the recommendations.
“My top priority during my interim presidency was to implement these expansive corrective actions that demonstrate Baylor’s firm institution-wide commitment to improving our processes, communication, training and response. We want to re-ignite a culture of respect and character that reflects Baylor’s Christian mission,” Garland said. “I appreciate the work of the many task forces and implementation groups consisting of members from Baylor’s faculty, staff, students and administration. They cared deeply about their work, and their dedication has led to greater awareness of and the prevention of sexual assault that plagues campuses across the nation. Their efforts led to the development of a robust Title IX office, with mandatory Title IX training for all students, faculty and staff; and additional support services for all students who need them, among many other significant improvements.
“It is important to note that for some of the recommendations, there is no completion point as they speak to an overall culture of compliance and commitment to ongoing initiatives, not necessarily a one-time ‘to-do list.’ These recommendations will be ongoing as we continue to make them operational throughout the campus. We look forward to sharing a public accounting of the University’s response related to the recommendations and institutional focus on Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act, which we believe may serve as an industry benchmark for all of higher education.”
On Friday, the Board received a year-end update from Regent J. Cary Gray, B.A. ’79, B.Acc. ’80, J.D. ’83, chair of the Board’s Governance and Compensation Committee, on additional improvements to the Board’s structure and progress toward implementing the best-practice recommendations from an independent Governance Review Task Force. In February, the Board approved the slate of governance recommendations, which will go into effect on June 1.
Among the adopted recommendations were restructuring committees and enlarging the Board’s Executive Committee. Regents voted to approve the new committee structure and new officers and committee chairs, who also will serve on the Executive Committee:
Elected as chair, vice chairs and committee chairs are:
- Joel T. Allison, B.A. ’70, of Dallas, Chair
- Daniel H. Chapman, B.B.A. ’66, M.B.A. 73, of Dallas, Vice Chair
- Jerry K. Clements, J.D. ’81, of Austin, Vice Chair
- Mark Hurd, B.B.A. ’79, of Redwood Shores, California, Vice Chair
- Drayton McLane Jr., B.B.A. ’58, of Temple, Chair, Regent Emeriti
- Larry P. Heard, B.B.A. ’80, of Houston, Chair, Finance and Facilities Committee
- J. Cary Gray, B.A. ’79, B.Acc. ’80, J.D. ’83, of Houston, Chair, Nominating, Governance and Regent Leadership Committe
- Bob Beauchamp of Houston, Chair, University Leadership and Compensation Committee
- David H. Harper, B.B.A. ’88, of Dallas, Chair, Academic Committee
- Jennifer Walker Elrod, B.A. ’88, of Houston, Chair, Student Life Committee
- Mark Rountree, B.B.A. ’86, M.T.A. ’87, of Dallas, Chair, Audit Committee
- Dan Hord III, B.B.A. ’89, of Midland, Chair, Compliance and Regulatory Committee
- Jeff D. Reeter, B.B.A. ’84, of Houston, Chair, Advancement and Development Committee
- Ronald D. Murff, B.B.A. ’75, of Dallas, Past Chair
- Dr. Linda A. Livingstone, President-Select.
In other action, the Board elected three new at-large Regents:
- Jill Manning, B.B.A. ’84, of Dallas – three-year term; retired vice president and chief financial officer, Efficient Networks Inc.; member of Park Cities Baptist Church
- Alicia D.H. Monroe, M.D., of Missouri City, Texas – three-year term; provost and senior vice president for academic and faculty affairs, Baylor College of Medicine; member of Windsor Village Methodist Church, Houston
- Julie Hermansen Turner, B.B.A. ’67, M.S.E.D ’68, of Dallas – two-year term; community volunteer and philanthropist; member of Park Cities Baptist Church; previously served a one-year term on the Board as part an agreement with the Baylor Line Foundation.
Elected by Baylor alumni and welcomed by the Board to a three-year term as an alumni-elected Regent is:
- Melissa Purdy Mines, B.A. ’90, of Austin; vice president of client success at Bulldog Success; member of First Baptist Church of Austin.
Regents re-elected by the Board to three-year teams are:
- Miles Jay Allison, B.B.A. ’78, M.S. ’80, J.D. ’81, of Frisco, Texas (final three-year term)
- Kenneth Q. Carlile, B.A. ’69, Ph.D. ’96, of Marshall, Texas (final three-year term)
- Jerry K. Clements, J.D. ’81, of Austin, Texas (final three-year term)
- Mark A. McCollum, B.B.A. ’80, of Houston (final three-year term)
- C. Clifton Robinson, B.B.A. ’63, of Waco, Texas (final three-year term)
- Mark Hurd, B.B.A. ’79, of Redwood Shores, California (second three-year term)
- Neal Jeffrey, B.B.A. ’75, of Plano, Texas (second three-year term)
- Mark E. Lovvorn, B.B.A. ’76, B.Acc. ’77, of Dallas (second three-year term).
Regents reappointed by the Baptist General Convention of Texas last fall and confirmed by the Board are:
- Milton Hixson, B.B.A. ’72, of Austin (final three-year term)
- Dennis R. Wiles, Ph.D., of Arlington (second three-year term).
Honoris Causa Faculty Regents elected by the Board are:
- Andrea L. Dixon, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing and director of the Keller Center for Research and Center for Professional Selling, Hankamer School of Business; member of the Faculty Senate (served one year and reelected to serve through 2019)
- Gaynor I. Yancey, D.S.W., professor, Master Teacher and director of the Center for Family and Community Ministries, Diana R. Garland School of Social Work; University Faculty Ombudsperson (elected to a three-year term.
Honoris Causa Student Regents approved by the Board for one-year terms are:
- Hannah Vecseri, a junior University Scholar from Houston
- Will Cassara, a sophomore pre-business major from Keller.
Upon completion of the selection process, the Board also expects to elect Honoris Causa Athletic Regents from The Baylor Bear Foundation and the “B” Association.
Terms begin on June 1.
“I can assure the Baylor Family that the members of the Baylor Board of Regents – the overwhelming majority of whom are active alumni or parents of students transformed by this University – are continuously working to improve the Board and our governance structures,” Murff said. “We love this University and voluntarily give of our time and resources to support it. We strive to understand the laws governing private university boards, study other universities to determine best practices we can incorporate into our own operations, engage with experts who have a national view of higher education trends and Board governance, and continue to enact improvements that help us be efficient, effective and forthright. This commitment to continuous improvement reflects the pursuit of excellence that is the cornerstone of Baylor University.”
The Board also expressed its appreciation to Regents who have completed their terms of service: former Board chair Richard S Willis, B.B.A. ’81, M.B.A. ’82, Boulder, Colorado; “B” Association Regent Debbie Bradley Mann, B.S.H.E. ’80, of Henderson, Texas; and Student Regents Emily Neel, senior entrepreneurship/corporate innovation major from Waco, and Daniel S. Thomas, a senior Baylor Business Fellow/economics major from Charlotte, North Carolina.
Board approves operating budget, new communication studies degree
In other news, Regents approved a $621.7 million operating budget for 2017-2018, which includes an additional $16.8 million for scholarships – both merit and need-based – for undergraduates, graduates and professional students, and graduate assistantships.
The budget supports new and replacement faculty and staff positions, merit raises, more competitive stipends for graduate assistants and increased funding for student workers. It also includes $10.6 million for continued initiatives in student counseling, Title IX and campus safety. The budget takes effect June 1.
In addition, the Board approved a joint B.A./M.A. degree in communication studies (CSS), a traditional bachelor’s degree combined with a 30-hour master’s degree that will enable high-performing CSS majors on the corporate communication track to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years. The program offers an academically rigorous experience that positions students to be more competitive in a variety of communication-centered fields or continue on to an advanced degree in communication or a related discipline. The program will begin accepting students this fall.
On Thursday night, Regents and University administration gathered for a special reception and dinner in the Paul and Katy Piper Great Hall at Truett Seminary celebrating graduating seniors and their families. With four commencement ceremonies this weekend, the University will confer degrees on more than 2,500 graduates.
Regents also were updated on the incoming freshman class, which will be the most selective and among the most academically talented freshman classes in Baylor’s history. Admissions officials reported that the University has received the anticipated number of confirmations by the May 1 deadline and expects to meet its freshman enrollment goal. In addition, retention of all undergraduate students continues to rise and is on track to reach an all-time high of 91 percent.
“We join together in celebration of our students who will graduate from our University this weekend. They are the best of Baylor,” said Interim President Garland. “Their journeys have been shaped by personal drive and outstanding faculty who have walked beside them. They developed lifelong friendships, overcame challenges and were encouraged to find the path God had in store for them as they and their families invested their lives in this University. We welcome them with open arms into the long and historic line of Baylor alumni.”
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.