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BU in talks to build strength

Jan. 22, 2010

Stronger affiliation main point of Baylor, med school discussions

By Sara Tirrito
Staff Writer

In an e-mail to the university Thursday, Interim President David Garland announced publicly for the first time that Baylor is in discussions with Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital regarding a strengthened affiliation, but not a merger.

"We believe that such a strengthened affiliation could be helpful to the University's continued growth and advancement," Garland stated in the e-mail. "Talk of a strengthened affiliation has encouraged us to think broadly about some exciting new opportunities for the faculty and students of Baylor University."

However, Garland said there have been misstatements and misperceptions about the university since word of the discussions got out.

"As word of our conversations with BCM and TCH has spread, a variety of the misperceptions about Baylor University have been reported in the news media," he said. "There also have been misstatements about our history and current relationship with the Baylor College of Medicine. We are working with colleagues at BCM and TCH to ensure that accurate information is conveyed within their respective communities."

Still, no details on the strengthened affiliations have been made public.

"As you can well imagine, the issues associated with a strengthened affiliation between three very mature organizations are complex and so we are not at liberty presently to say anything specific about our conversations," Garland said. "I can tell you, however, that we are not interested in any arrangement that would put our campus at undue risk. We are carefully examining the issues related to a strengthened affiliation agreement and will not make any decision until we have completed our due diligence."

Lori Fogleman, director of media relations, said Garland's letter was the only statement the university would make at present.