When Baylor's Board of Regents next convenes in mid-July, the group will include a new chair, four newly elected Regents and -- for the first time in memory -- direct representatives of the faculty and student body.
In May, the Board voted to appoint a member of the faculty and student body to one-year terms as non-voting members of the Board. Dr. Todd Still, a Truett Seminary professor and chair of the Faculty Senate, and senior Kelly Rapp, the student body president, will serve in these new roles for 2012-13.
"We always try to take the student and faculty perspective into account when we make our decisions, and sometimes we have to guess at it," outgoing Board Chair Neal T. "Buddy" Jones, BA '73, JD '75, told the Waco Tribune-Herald. "We don't have to guess at it now. We'll have somebody right there to say, 'Here's what the student body feels,' or 'Here's what the faculty is thinking.'"
Three of the four new Regents elected to the Board are Baylor graduates: Joel T. Allison, BA '70, president and CEO of Baylor Health Care System; Judge Jennifer W. Elrod, BS '88, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; and James Cary Gray, BA '79, BACC '80, JD '83, attorney, president and managing partner of Looper Reed and McGraw P.C.
The fourth, Dr. Kenneth L. Hall, is the retired president and CEO of Buckner International and served as chair of Baylor's Presidential Search Advisory Committee three years ago. Allison, Elrod and Hall were elected by the Baptist General Convention of Texas; Gray was elected by Baylor's Board.
Third-year Regent Richard S Willis, BBA '81, MBA '82, will serve as Board chair for the coming year; Robert E. Beauchamp was re-elected as vice-chair.