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Regents discuss BHCS options

March 4, 1997

By Hala Habal

Lariat Contributor

With emotions rising and tempers flaring, the explosive issue of the possible sale or merger of the Baylor Health Care System has brought out a spectrum of opinions.

Dr. Stan Madden, vice president for University marketing, and public relations director Keith Randall both say that this is a technical and complex issue that has not all been brought to light as of yet.

'Very little of the information concerning this situation has come out,' Madden said. 'We have agreed with BHCS not to respond to press in any significant way, so most of the bad press has come from outside institutions.'

Madden said that people are assuming that the issue at hand has two options: sale or no sale.

'Several options are being looked at,' Madden said.

The Baylor Board of Regents met Monday on campus to discuss these options. They were in a closed meeting all day and no decisions or voting took place.

'This (the meeting) was mainly to give information to our regents and discuss it,' Madden said. 'No options have been eliminated. The regents last met on Jan. 17 and a lot has happened since then.'

Madden would not comment on the various options because he said he 'didn't want to tie their (regents') hands.'

Madden said that a 'win-win' situation was desirable for the University and BHCS.

'Baylor has a legacy with BHCS, we want to preserve that position,' Madden said. 'There are several options to keep us competitive and strong in the Dallas market.'

In terms of the recent attention that has been directed the University, not much concern has been verbally displayed.

'Baylor has been placed in almost a defensive position,' Randall said. 'We are trying to work out an agreement, but things are so sensitive, not everything can be disclosed.'

Madden said the regents are asking questions and getting the truth, and the path to compromise is through education.

'When people get all the information, they tend to be pretty fair,' Madden said. 'People tend to rethink things when they know more.'

The public relations consulting firm of Fairchild-Opel has been representing the University out of Dallas.

'We have done some work on this issue for the Baylor Board of Regents but we have been specifically asked not to comment,' Ken Fairchild said. 'They (regents) have taken a vow of silence and ordered me to do so.'

Madden said that the regents would all gain the same level of information on this issue, and there has been no projected date for a final decision.

'Too much pressure equals hasty decisions,' Madden said.

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