Many years ago, Baylor University made a strong commitment to reflect the racial diversity of God’s creation among our students, faculty and staff. Through various task forces, the President’s Diversity Council and other initiatives, significant progress has been made in several areas, including admissions, faculty hiring and our campus climate, to name a few. Yet we recognize we must do more as Baylor strives to be a caring Christian community for all of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends.
Nearly two weeks ago, the Baylor Board of Regents announced an extension of our comprehensive, campus-wide work in living out this commitment and honoring our mission as a Christian institution of higher learning — the establishment of a Commission on Historic Campus Representations as part of a unanimously passed resolution by the Board acknowledging the University’s historical connections to slavery and the Confederacy.
As we noted at the time, the Commission will provide guidance on presenting Baylor’s complete history as the University continues striving to foster an environment through which racial equality is inextricably linked to our mission, and in which students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of color know they are valued and loved throughout the Baylor community, both on campus and in all reaches of the Baylor Family.
Today, we are sharing the following specific charges for the Commission to develop a set of observations for the Board of Regents and Administration to consider as to how best communicate and reflect the complete history of Baylor University for current and future generations.
Specifically, the Commission will:
- Review the complete historical record and context of the University and its founders and early leaders, including historical connections to slavery and racial injustice.
- Propose a plan for documenting and communicating the complete history of Baylor and its founders and early leaders, including historical connections to slavery and racial injustice.
- Evaluate all statues, monuments, buildings and other aspects of campus within this complete historical context and in reference to the original intentions behind their physical location, placement and naming and provide observations for consideration.
- Prepare a final report to be provided to the Board of Regents and the President no later than December 20, 2020.
We are grateful to the following individuals who have agreed to contribute their expertise and perspectives to this important work as members of the Commission.
Commission on Historic Campus Representations
Baylor Degrees in Parentheses
- Alicia D.H. Monroe, M.D., Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Faculty Affairs, Baylor College of Medicine and member, Baylor Board of Regents
- Gary Mortenson, D.M.A., Professor and Dean, Baylor University School of Music
- Walter Abercrombie (B.S. ’82, M.S.Ed. ’92), Associate Athletics Director for Baylor “B” Association
- Katie Adair (Doctoral Candidate), President, Graduate Student Association
- Joel Allison (B.A. ’70), retired President and CEO, Baylor Scott & White Health; former Chair, Baylor Board of Regents
- Jayson Baldridge, Senior, Student-Athlete, Track & Field
- Lexy Bogney, Junior, Secretary and Community Coordination Chair, Baylor NAACP
- Michael A. Evans, Sr. (D.Min. ’09), Senior Pastor, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Mansfield, TX member Baylor Board of Regents, and President, Baptist General Convention of Texas
- Malcolm Foley (Ph.D. Candidate), Special Advisor to the President for Equity and Campus Engagement
- Cheryl Gochis (B.A. ’91, M.A. ’94), Vice President, Human Resources/Chief Human Resources Officer
- Dominque Hill, Director of Wellness and Past-President, Black Faculty and Staff Association
- Sutton Houser, Senior, Student Body President
- Trent Hughes (B.A. ’98), Vice President of Sales, Curazene and Vice President, Baylor Alumni Board of Advocates
- Sher Isada, Junior, University Scholar, and Student Regent
- Alan Lefever (B.A. ’84), Director, Texas Baptist Historical Collection and member, Baylor Alumni Board of Advocates
- Sandra Lené, Associate Vice President, Operations and Financial Services, Advancement
- Mark Lovvorn (B.B.A. ’76, B.Acc. ’77), Chairman and CEO Providence Bancshares Corporation, Dallas, TX and member, Baylor Board of Regents
- Michael McFarland (B.B.A. ’93, Ed.D. ’05), Superintendent of Schools, Crowley Independent School District and member, Baylor Board of Regents
- Bill Neilson, M.D., (B.A. ’76), retired Associate Dean, Honors College and Clinical Professor, Medical Humanities
- Michael Parrish, Ph.D. (B.A. ’74, M.A. ’76), Linden G. Bowers Professor of American History
- Coretta Pittman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English and Chair-Elect, Faculty Senate
- Mia Moody-Ramirez, Ph.D. (M.S.Ed. ’98, M.A. ’01), Professor and Chair, Journalism, Public Relations and New Media
- Marcus Sedberry, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Development
- Tyrha Lindsey-Warren, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Marketing
- Doug Weaver, Ph.D., Professor of Religion, Undergraduate Program Director and Director of Church-State Studies
- Mya Ellington-Williams, Senior, member, Black Student Union
Ex-Officio Commission Members
- Kristy Orr (J.D. ’03), Baylor University Board Professional
- Todd Copeland, Ph.D. (B.A. ’90), Director, Advancement Marketing
- Karen Kemp (B.B.A. ’84, M.B.A. ’85), Associate Vice President, University Marketing and Brand Strategy
We believe now is the time for Baylor, as a Christian university, to lead by listening and learning with humility about our past and from voices that have been unheard for years while also taking tangible steps forward. In addition to making an important and visible contribution to today’s campus and Baylor community, the Commission’s work will create a lasting legacy for future generations of Baylor Bears.
Thank you for your love and support of Baylor University.
Chair, Board of Regents
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.