Baylor Regents Approve Governance Reforms
- (L to R) Gregory D. Brenneman, executive chairman of CCMP Capital and chair of the Governance Review Task Force, and Ronald D. Murff, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents, spoke with media about a slate of governance changes adopted by the board. (Matthew Minard/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- Ronald D. Murff, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents, spoke with reporters during one of two media availabilities Friday as the board held its regular February meeting at the BRIC. (Matthew Minard/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
- Interim President David E. Garland provided reporters with an update on several items, including the implementation of Pepper Hamilton recommendations, admissions and SACSCOC. (Matthew Minard/Baylor Marketing & Communications)
Board adopts more than 30 detailed recommendations for changes to bylaws and guidelines for board operations
WACO, Texas (Feb. 17, 2017) – At its February meeting, the Baylor University Board of Regents approved the best practice recommendations of a six-member Governance Review Task Force that completed a detailed, independent review of the Board’s governance policies and practices.
“Combined with the changes we've already taken, these actions today will make Baylor's governance model one of the most responsive and transparent of any major private university,” said board chair Ronald D. Murff, B.B.A. ’75, of Dallas. “At the recommendation of the current student Regents, the Board approved an amendment to the committee’s report to extend voting privileges to the second-term student Regent. As we seek to continuously improve, we appreciate the feedback from the entire Baylor Family.”
A full release about these actions may be viewed here: Baylor Board of Regents Adopts Slate of Governance Changes
Over its two-day meeting, the board also heard a number of reports, including those on the ongoing implementation of recommendations received in May, the University’s presidential search, SACSCOC reaccreditation, admissions and athletics.
Interim President David E. Garland reported that 80 of the 105 recommendations, which are focused on improving Baylor’s prevention and response to sexual violence, are complete or have been operationalized, with 25 in progress. Among the most recent implemented recommendations are:
- Revised Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Interpersonal Violence Policy (formerly known as the Sex Discrimination, Sexual Violence, and Sexual Harassment Policy): The policy, which was rolled out to students, faculty and staff Jan. 9 by the Title IX Office, outlines procedures to investigate and respond to reports of prohibited conduct. The policy was carefully revised to better meet the needs of the Baylor community and evolve with continuously developing federal guidance.
- Social Climate Survey: The student survey, which began on Jan. 31 and is available through March 13, will directly inform Title IX training and education efforts. Using a confidential questionnaire, this tool will gauge social interactions on campus – from healthy relationships to harassment and abusive interactions – and help Identify areas in which campus culture can be positively impacted. Aggregate data from the survey is expected in May.
Garland provided the board with an update on the SACSCOC (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges) reaffirmation of accreditation process as well as an update on the SACSCOC warning issued in December. During this process, the University remains accredited:
- The University continues to follow the timeline established by SACSCOC in January to document the effectiveness of the full implementation of significant and broad-ranging improvements related to three SACSCOC standards (Student Support Services, Control of Intercollegiate Athletics, and Institutional Environment).
- The University plans to host an on-site committee in October 2017, with the goal of demonstrating at that time that the University is fully in compliance with SACSCOC standards.
Presidential search committee chair Bob Brewton, B.B.A. ’74, of Houston, president and principal owner of Brewton Investment Corp., updated the board on the effort to select the University’s 15th president. Brewton reported that in-person interviews are currently underway. The Board anticipates having a president identified by the end of the spring semester.
Jennifer Carron, associate vice president of undergraduate enrollment, updated the board on where the University stands on undergraduate admissions for the upcoming fall. Carron reported that:
- The number of completed application files has surpassed the completed files of the last two years.
- Deposit submissions are strong and are tracking as expected in comparison to the past several years.
- The profile of the deposited student population is excellent. They are strong academically, racially diverse, a higher percentage out of state, and approximately 1/3 have a legacy connection.
- Students are graduating and being placed at increasing rates (86.5 percent) last year. (Percentage of students who have found a job or are studying in a graduate school program within 90 days of graduation)
Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades introduced new head football Matt Rhule to the board and reported on several items, including student-athlete success in the classroom:
- During the fall 2016 semester, 37 student-athletes earned 4.0 GPAs, 137 were named to the Dean’s List and 307 were recognized on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
- With an overall 3.27 GPA, Baylor athletics extended its academic success to 17 consecutive semesters with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- Seven teams tied or set a new record for highest fall term GPA, including baseball (3.22), football (2.64), acrobatics and tumbling (3.23), equestrian (3.42), soccer (3.57), men's tennis (3.62) and women's tennis (3.52). The women's golf team posted the highest GPA of all athletic programs in the fall at 3.75.
In addition, the first slate of alumni-elected Regent candidates have been presented for election. Candidates, whose nominations were supported by the signatures of at least 50 other Baylor graduates or were nominated by official advisory and advocacy boards and groups of the University were considered by a Nominating Committee. The committee was comprised of the two sitting alumni-elected Regents and two other Regents.
The candidates are:
- Julie Hermansen Turner, Dallas, Texas: Turner is a former full-time instructor at Baylor and several other institutions and a longtime community volunteer. She is a 1967 Baylor graduate with her B.B.A. and earned her M.S.Ed. in 1968.
- Melissa Purdy Mines, Austin, Texas: Mines is the head of brand content for Cisco Systems and is a 1990 Baylor graduate with a bachelor of arts. She also earned an M.B.A. and Master of Public Affairs from University of Texas in 1996.
- Steven Ryan Mitchell, Tulsa, Oklahoma: Mitchell is CEO of Argonaut Private Equity and is a 1992 Baylor graduate with a B.B.A. He also earned a J.D. from University of San Diego Law School in 1995.
Voting for the alumni-elected Regent will be conducted by an independent third party in late April/early May. More information about the candidates will be provided to the alumni in the next issue of Baylor Magazine and online at www.baylor.edu. Credentials for voting will be provided to all degree-holding alumni of the University by mail in advance of the voting period. A full list of guidelines for the election can be found here: www.baylor.edu/alumni/regents.
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.