University, Association announce new era of partnership, new Regents appointed

Baylor University and Baylor Alumni Association (BAA) announced the settlement of all claims in their pending lawsuit. The university and the BAA have come together, motivated by a unity of purpose and a deep and abiding love for Baylor University, to advance a bold, forward-looking agreement that aligns support for Baylor students and engagement with all alumni.

The agreement includes these important elements:

  • Baylor University will continue to operate its comprehensive outreach, events and engagement programs for all alumni, parents and friends across the United States and around the world through the Baylor Alumni Network.
  • The BAA will remain an independent not-for-profit entity and change its name to the Baylor Line Foundation, which will continue to publish the Baylor Line with editorial and operational independence.
  • The Baylor Line Foundation will focus its fundraising efforts toward student scholarship funds and will host activities and events that support its membership and purpose.
  • Baylor University will make a monetary contribution to the Baylor Line Foundation, which may be used in any way that furthers the organization's charitable purposes.

On April 30, 98.5% of BAA members participating in the vote were in favor of the settlement agreement, with an overwhelming final vote total of 3,548 to 53.

"The BAA is proud of its 157-year association with Baylor University. With this lawsuit behind us, we look forward to ushering in an exciting new chapter for our members and for Baylor, an institution we all hold dear. We are eager to move forward together--united as one Baylor family," said Tom Nesbitt, BA '94, president of the BAA.

The agreement also provides for the addition of three alumni-elected members to the Baylor Board of Regents. The first three Regents appointed to the Board in June 2016 are Daniel H. Chapman, BBA '66, MBA '73, of Dallas and Crested Butte, Colo.; Wayne Fisher, BBA '61, JD '61, of Houston; and Julie Hermansen Turner, BA '67, MS '68, of Dallas. They were mutually agreed upon by the Board and the Baylor Alumni Association as part of a settlement reached in March. Through a random selection process, Turner was appointed to serve a one-year term through May 2017, Fisher to serve a two-year term through May 2018, and Chapman to serve a three-year term through May 2019. In each year following, all University alumni will be invited to participate in annual open elections, which determine new alumni-elected members of the Board of Regents. The first alumni-elected Regent to succeed the one-year appointee will be seated in June 2017.

"Over the past four years, the Baylor Board of Regents has expanded its membership by including a representative from the Baylor Bear Foundation and the Baylor 'B' Association, two student Regents and a faculty Regent. This diversity of perspectives has enhanced our conversations on a variety of topics. The majority of Regents are also alumni, and we value that distinct perspective and look forward to welcoming these alumni-elected Regents to the work of the university," said Richard Willis, BBA '81, MBA '82, then chair of the Baylor Board of Regents. “I add my gratitude to all the individuals who worked so thoughtfully and deliberately on this agreement."