The Waco Tribune-Herald: Baylor regents add student, faculty member to board

May 14, 2012

Article reprinted with the permission of the Waco Tribune-Herald

By REGINA DENNIS

Saturday May 12, 2012

Baylor University students and faculty will have a voice on the school's board of regents after the board approved adding two new seats reserved for a representative from each campus group.

The regents voted to add a student and a faculty position during the board's two-day quarterly meeting in Waco this week. Each of the new appointees will serve a one-year term as a non-voting member, effective June 1.

Incoming Student Body President Kelly Rapp was appointed as the student representative, while Faculty Senate chairman Todd Still, professor of Christian scriptures at Truett Seminary, will serve as the faculty board appointment.

Board Chairman Buddy Jones called the measure a "very significant" move that will aid the regents in their decision- making.

"We always try to take the student and faculty perspective into account when we make our decisions, and sometimes we have to guess at it," Jones said. "We don't have to guess at it now. We'll have somebody right there to say, 'Here's what the student body feels,' or 'here's what the faculty is thinking.' "

Jones said the board did not have time for a thorough nomination process to fill the newly created seats since the terms begin in a few weeks, so the regents opted to select the elected leaders of student and faculty government.

He said the board may continue the same selection method next year or change it.

New appointments

The regents also confirmed new board appointments this week, electing James Cary Gray, a Houston attorney and president of Looper Reed & McGraw P.C., to a three-year term that begins June 1.

The board also welcomed three regents who were appointed by the Baptist General Convention of Texas, which nominates 25 percent of the board.

Joel T. Allison, president and CEO of Baylor Health Care System in Dallas; Jennifer W. Elrod, a U.S. Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit judge based in Houston; and Dr. Kenneth L. Hall, retired president and CEO of Buckner International who lives in Longview, also will begin their terms June 1.

Regent Richard S. Willis of Colleyville was elected as chairman for the upcoming year, while Robert E. Beauchamp of Houston again will serve as vice chairman.