Baylor ForwardJuly 29, 2013
Dear Baylor Nation,
I am happy to report that the litigation over the removal of the Hughes-Dillard Alumni Center has come to an end. The judge has removed the temporary restraining order that prevented us from moving ahead with our construction schedule which is so vital to the timely completion of our new Stadium. We are grateful that Baylor can now move forward.
We have before us the opportunity to enter a new era of unity with a focus on building Baylor University. An important part of establishing this new course forward will be the uniting of Baylor's alumni outreach efforts under one, in-house organization. The Transition Agreement - unanimously approved on May 31 by the executive leadership of the University and the BAA after almost a year of discussion - is now our next step.
On September 7, the BAA's 17,000 members will have the opportunity to vote on the Transition Agreement. The Transition Agreement is available for viewing on both Baylor's and the BAA's website. I encourage everyone interested in the matter to closely read the Transition Agreement and to consider its merits. The democratic governance structure of the BAA provides an occasion for members to exercise their powers of self-determination through a vote to accept or reject this agreement. I am hopeful that members will endorse this new path forward.
The Transition Agreement has numerous merits that make it worthy of alumni support:
The Transition Agreement will mark the advent of a truly dynamic era in alumni relations at Baylor. By coming together in this forward-thinking manner, we will have formed a single, comprehensive, university-based alumni engagement program whose reach will be worldwide and whose strength will be unparalleled.
The agreement honors the tradition of alumni joining forces with one another and their beloved University to build a greater Baylor - a tradition that has been at the heart of the alumni association since its creation in 1859. The alumni association's name and organizational structure have evolved over the decades in response to the University's needs. This agreement is another step forward in that relationship.
The Transition Agreement - in providing for the continuation of the Baylor Line as an independently-operated magazine - will preserve a significant voice in the Baylor conversation - enhancing the magazine's opportunity to serve as an institutional "round table" around which important and complex questions are raised, explored and debated for the benefit of the Baylor family.
The agreement provides for a non-voting alumni regent to be added to the University's governance - giving alumni both a seat and a voice at the regent table, while providing Baylor regents with the benefit of regular input and wise counsel from an essential constituent group.
By creating a representative Baylor Alumni Advisory Board (BAAB), the agreement will carry forward the time-honored and time-proven role of alumni acting as advocates for Baylor and partners with Baylor's leadership.
To assist those interested in developments related to the vote on the Transition Agreement, we have developed a web page www.baylor.edu/forward and a Facebook page www.facebook.com/BaylorForward. We invite you to consult these pages for the latest available information.
In closing, I would like to reiterate my firm belief that a vote in favor of the Transition Agreement will be an action that honors the heritage of the BAA's service to Baylor and its tradition of independent inquiry, while also positioning Baylor for the greatest possible advances in alumni engagement. For these reasons, I encourage all eligible Baylor Alumni Association members to vote in favor of the Transition Agreement on September 7.