Panel of Experts Discusses 'Best Practices' in University Governance During Baylor Regents July Retreat

July 24, 2009

Contact: Jill Scoggins, Assistant Vice President for Media Communications, 254-710-1964

Board also funds new positions and programs, approves cheerleading as 11th women's varsity sport, receives annual report, honors former Regent Chair Drayton McLane Jr.

A daylong retreat featuring a panel of national experts discussing "Best Practices" for governing boards of universities highlighted the annual retreat of the Baylor University Board of Regents, held July 22-24 at the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center.

The Regents spent Wednesday afternoon discussing best practices in university governance with current and former board members of other leading universities. The panelists included:

• James Huffines of Austin, chairman of PlainsCapital Bank and senior executive vice president of PlainsCapital Corp. Huffines has served on the University of Texas System Board of Regents since 2003. He was chairman from 2004-2007 and was reappointed chairman of the Texas Board of Regents in April.

• David Laney of Dallas, an attorney with a law and transportation consulting practice who served as chair of the Texas Transportation Commission. Laney was appointed to the Board of Directors of Amtrak in 2002, and was elected chair of Amtrak's board in 2003. He served on the Stanford University Board of Trustees from 1998-2003.

• Drayton McLane Jr. of Temple, chairman of the McLane Group and chairman/CEO of the Houston Astros. McLane served on the Baylor Board of Regents from 1989-2006. He was chair of the Baylor board from 2002-2004.

• Philip W. Norwood of Charlotte, N.C., president and CEO of Faison Enterprises. Norwood was a member of the Board of Trustees of Washington and Lee University from 1998-2008, serving as the chair from 2003-2008.

Among the topics discussed were developing vision and strategy for a university, aligning board priorities with university vision and strategy, implementing effective committee practices, recruiting board members and university fundraising.

In regular business, regents approved $3.9 million in personnel and non-personnel requests that comprised the 2009 Summer Review, part of the university's ongoing practice of reviewing current budget savings and making reallocations to enhance university programs and services.

"At a time when many other private and public universities nationally are delaying projects, deferring maintenance of university facilities and postponing the hiring of needed faculty and staff, Baylor is moving forward to ensure that our students continue to receive the highest quality education that we can provide," Board of Regents Chair R. Dary Stone, JD '77, said. "This is due in large part to sound business practices at the university, and the generosity of Baylor's many alumni and friends. I commend President David Garland and the administration, faculty and staff for being responsible stewards of the resources entrusted to them, and I thank Baylor's many supporters for their continued commitment to Baylor."

New staff positions were approved in geology, art and enrollment management, among others, while non-personnel requests were approved for the build-out of space for the environmental science department on the fourth floor of the Baylor Sciences Building along with initiatives to improve security and accessibility in several areas of the campus.

In its continued commitment to Title IX, Baylor has selected competitive cheerleading to become its 11th women's intercollegiate athletics sport program, effective with the 2010-11 academic year. Baylor, which currently fields 18 varsity teams, will become the first Big 12 institution to implement a varsity competitive cheer program and one of three Bowl Championship Series members nationally, joining the University of Maryland and the University of Oregon.

A recent survey of Baylor's female undergraduate students revealed that competitive cheer was the overwhelming choice to become the school's next varsity sport for women. Nationally, 24 state high school athletic associations currently recognize competitive cheer as an interscholastic sport and offer a state association sponsored athletic championship. Competitive cheer has the ninth-highest number of high school participants of all female sports nationally, and club participation throughout Texas and the nation is strong.

The meeting also included the presentation of the university's annual report for the previous year. President Garland offered updates on progress made in achieving the imperatives of Baylor 2012, the university's 10-year strategic plan. Among the highlights of the past year were:

Increasing the number of doctoral programs. Doctoral programs grew from 19 to 21 in the past year.

Making progress for fiscal support of research. Total research and sponsored activity expenditures grew to more than $14 million.

Meeting the growing demand for on-campus housing. The percentage of undergraduates living on campus increased to 39 percent during the past year, showing that students are eager for the Baylor residential experience.

The creation of the university's ninth living-learning center, which allows students to enhance their education by connecting their residential experience with their academic major or a related interest. The Entrepreneurship Living-Learning Center has been created for students from the Hankamer School of Business.

Increasing minority enrollment. Undergraduate minority enrollment grew to 28.8 percent.

Increasing the focus on community service. Students contributed almost 70,000 man-hours to community service projects, up from 56,400 hours the previous year. The university also created the Office of Community Relations to strengthen the relationship between Baylor and the Central Texas community.

Enhancing alumni engagement. From June 1, 2007 through May 31, 2008 the Network hosted 555 events in 55 communities in Texas and six communities outside of Texas. A total of 17,347 constituents registered for these network activities. Growth among the Baylor Women's Network, the Baylor Business Network and the Baylor Sports Network indicate that the university is building strong relationships with alumni.

Construction of the Simpson Athletics and Academic Center and the McMullen-Connally Faculty Center. The Simpson Center houses innovative athletic training equipment and academic programs for all student-athletes. Across campus, the McMullen-Connally Center is an attractive, state-of-the-art meeting space for faculty and staff interaction and features more than 300 pieces of art with significant works from the California School of Watercolor and selected works by Eastern and Texan watercolorists.

A special feature of the three-day meeting was a dinner for regents and welcomed guests hosted by Waco residents and Baylor supporters Nell and Jim Hawkins at their home Wednesday evening. A number of prominent Baylor alumni joined regents to learn more about university initiatives and progress. Among those in attendance were Jay Allison, president and CEO, Comstock Resources Inc., Frisco and Jenny Allison, past-president, Baylor Women's Council of Dallas; Ken Carlile, co-chairman, Carlile Companies, his brother, Steve Carlile, chairman/CEO, Home and Garden Party, and Penny Carlile, president of Home and Garden Party, all of Marshall; Paul Foster, president/owner, Western Refining Co., El Paso; Bob Perry, Chairman of the Board, Perry Homes Ltd., Houston; Walter Umphrey, senior managing partner, Provost & Umphrey Law Firm, Beaumont; and John Eddie Williams, founding partner and attorney, Williams Kherkher, Houston.

Baylor University Regents also took time during their retreat to honor former Chairman Drayton McLane Jr. on the occasion of his birthday with a cake and a contribution to the Drayton and Elizabeth McLane Endowed Scholarship Fund in George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

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