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Brooks steps down from board of regents

Sept. 19, 2003

By Sandi Villarreal, reporter

Duane Brooks stepped down from the Baylor Board of Regents Thursday after being made aware of a Baptist General Convention of Texas policy that prohibits relatives of senior staff members from serving on the board.

Brooks, brother of David Brooks, vice president for finance and administration, was elected by the BGCT in November 1999. He offered to step down from his position when David Brooks was hired in fall 2000 in order to remove any possibility of a conflict of interest, he said. However, the university's legal counsel and administration approved his appointment, saying that there was no conflict of interest with the university's policy.

'I have never served on any committee or participated in any board activity which directly related to my brother's work,' Brooks said in a statement following his resignation. 'I have voluntarily left board meetings when his salary or job performance was considered and voted upon.'

The BGCT re-elected Brooks to the board in 2002, unaware of his relationship to David Brooks.

'The nominating committee for institutional boards is made up of pastors and lay people and not BGCT staff,' Becky Bridges, communication director for the BGCT, said. 'The miscommunication came because the committee who re-elected him did not know that his brother was a senior staff member.'

Duane Brooks found out about the policy when he read an article in The Dallas Morning News concerning conflicts of interest within the board of regents. He has been working with Dr. Charles Wade, executive director of the BGCT, in determining what action to take.

'Most of the conversations [with] Dr. Wade and Dr. Brooks have been to be sure that this issue didn't become something that it was not,' Bridges said. 'Duane always acted in accordance with the highest level of integrity.'

The BGCT had no plans to force him to resign, and Wade encouraged him to find some way to work out the issue, Brooks said.

'No one asked me to resign,' Brooks said. 'I decided that as an integrity issue, I should not continue to serve on the board.'

'For over three years, Duane Brooks has served Baylor's Board of Regents with great distinction,' President Robert B. Sloan Jr. said in a press release. 'His service to the university through the governing board will be missed, but I look forward to Duane's future contributions as a trusted friend to me and as a loyal alumnus of Baylor.'

Duane Brooks also has been pastor of Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston since 1998 and has served the BGCT as part of the Human Welfare Board and the search committee for the executive director of the BGCT. He also has served as chairman of the search committee for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Texas, and he currently serves as an adjunct professor of preaching at Houston Baptist University.

Brooks plans to continue his involvement with Baylor. He has two children whom he plans to send to Baylor, and he plans to be an active alumnus in the university.

'I have loved Baylor University for a long time,' he said. 'I hope to continue to be an encourager from the outside and will try to help the Baylor family as it deals with its many concerns.'

Brooks' spot on the board of regents will be filled by the BGCT nominating committee at its annual meeting in Lubbock Nov. 10 and 11.