Regents Extend Presidential Search, Approve Groundbreaking for New Basketball Practice Facility

Sept. 9, 2005

by Lori Fogleman (254) 710-6275 or cell (254) 709-5959

Streaming video of today's regent news conference is available at BaylorTV.com.

The Baylor University Board of Regents took no action today relative to the search for a new president after Interim President William D. Underwood informed the search committee that he did not wish to be considered for the position. Following a report from the Presidential Search Committee to the full board, Regents Chairman Will Davis announced the search process for a president will continue.

Davis appointed the 11-regent Presidential Search Committee last February, as well as a 10-member advisory committee composed of faculty, staff, students, alumni and Baptist representatives. The two groups have spent the last few months identifying, screening and interviewing presidential candidates.

"I have said from the outset of this search that is it more important that we find the right person to lead Baylor than to adhere to a particular timetable. We will take as long as necessary to identify a strong leader for Baylor University," Davis said.

"I had concluded over the last several months that to the extent I was a candidate for the long-term position as president, it would impair my ability to get some of the things done I needed to get done as interim. It caused people to question my motives on some things that I was doing," Underwood said. "I also believe that because of some of the controversial decisions I had to make at the very outset of my term as interim president that my being a candidate for the permanent job would be unnecessarily divisive, so I informed the search committee that I did not wish to be considered.

"I do appreciate the many people who have written me and written letters suggesting that I would be a good candidate for that position. I very much appreciate the confidence in me, but I did not think that was the right thing for Baylor University," Underwood said.

In other action, the board authorized construction to begin on a 42,000-square-foot basketball practice facility at the Ferrell Center. Groundbreaking is expected later this month.

The Board of Regents meets again Oct. 27-28.

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