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Letters to the editor

Sept. 12, 2003

Senate is accurate portrayal of faculty

Dear Professor Cox:

Please convey my admiration to your colleagues on the Baylor Faculty Senate for the courage of your recent actions.

I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been to have entertained, much less taken, a no-support vote for your president, particularly given what I have read in press reports concerning lobbying of senate members by the Baylor administration.

As an outsider, I will not comment on the appropriateness of your cause except to say that power must be coupled with accountability.

My concern in writing to you is that sources in your administration are now charging that the Faculty Senate does not actually represent the views of your faculty. I can imagine many responses that could have been made. Dr. Sloan could have said, 'yes, I have made mistakes but I wish to remain in office in order that my administration can achieve redemption for the good of BU.'

Or, he could have asked to meet with the senate in order to reach consensus on future policy which could address your concerns. Instead, he has chosen to challenge your very legitimacy.

I know that Baylor senators, including those who voted in opposition to your recent actions, will not allow this view to prevail. For the sake of all of us who see higher education as a calling, I wish you success!

Paul King

Professor of communication studies and former chair of Faculty Senate

Texas Christian University

Academics should be Baylor's priority

As an alumnus living in New York, it seems pretty clear that the three former regent chairmen who demanded Sloan's resignation probably had a heavy hand themselves in Baylor's disastrous decision to join the Big 12. Sloan is not the problem; the problem is the Big 12 conference in particular and NCAA Division I-A in general. Programs in that division are rife with potential abuse and no school is immune.

Baylor should drop down to Division I-AA or II-A and concentrate its limited resources on becoming a premier academic institution. Competing against Harvard, Yale or Chicago in athletics as well as academics doesn't seem to be such a bad alternative.

Stephen Guittard '58

New York City

Board should call for 5 regents to resign

It is with absolute conviction that I urge the Baylor Board of Regents to request the immediate resignations of regents Carl Bell, Mary Chavanne-Martin, Toby Druin, Jaclanel McFarland and John G. Wilkerson.

These five individuals are undermining fellow members of the board of regents and our current president, and chief executive officer, Robert B. Sloan Jr.

In a recent letter sent from these five individuals, there is mention of reviewing issues 'at a superficial level.'

The board of regents serves as the backbone to the body of Baylor University. Current and former students desire members of the board to handle issues beyond a superficial level. I believe the letter sent by these five, is in itself superficial, lacking credibility or merit, and should be handled in such a way.

It is important that the board position itself to fully support President Sloan once the board has agreed on a direction for the university.

They also state that a major step in the process of healing would be 'a change of leadership at the top.' Perhaps I am incorrect, but the board of regents is 'at the top.'

If Bell, Chavanne-Martin, Druin, McFarland and Wilkerson are adamant about a change, then the first step should include the tendering of their resignation, or a vote for the relinquishment of their duties.

Almost two years ago, the Board unanimously approved Vision 2012, and more recently reaffirmed the vote in July 2003. If there are issues with Vision 2012, the entire board of regents should take some responsibility with those challenges at hand. Keep in mind that President Sloan cannot approve and implement Vision 2012 without the board of regents' support.

The integrity of Carl Bell, Mary Chavanne-Martin, Toby Druin, Jaclanel McFarland and John G. Wilkerson is in question. If these five members cannot stand by the board's initial decision and affirm support for Vision 2012 and President Sloan's efforts to fulfill that mandate, it is clear that the only solution is a call for their immediate resignation.

David E. McCallister '97

Faculty Senate made best decision for BU

I agree heartily with the Faculty Senate's 26-6 'no-confidence' vote with regard to the current administration at Baylor. Sloan has presided over the worst scandal in the history of the university, and the buck should properly stop at his desk.

David Stowers

Class of '71

Regents should hear Faculty Senate voice

As a 1978 graduate of Baylor, I would like to register my opinion on the no-confidence vote that the Faculty Senate gave President Sloan.

I believe that the board of regents should remove Dr. Sloan as president of the university, due to the problems that have been voiced by the Faculty Senate and others.

If Vision 2012 is good for the university, and I feel that it is, then it is larger than one man and will continue under new leadership.

Jean Carruthers Adams

Students need to trust in our leaders

It is without sincere regret that I request a vote of the students of Baylor University, that the service of regents and faculty be examined immediately.

I've heard that there is a grand and powerful conflict among the BU family over the implementation of the 2012 vision, including that of the Faculty Senate and regents. Take note, we who actually pay to attend this university. I sure would hate our collegiate home to be labeled a part of the axis of evil since Dr. Sloan instituted the long overdue increase in tuition.

That's right, it's long overdue. Organizations grow and expenses are incurred. After all, the separation of church and state and the freedom of religion do not come parsimoniously in the 21st century.

I'm sure five out of 36 regents would never consider taking out a mortgage on a house, or apply for alternative loans for their childrens' education. Why should Baylor be any different? Well, bonded debt is good debt. Baylor, like the U.S. government, has never failed to fully repay a debt. I wonder if Regent Carl Bell ever visited the 80-year-old USS Brooks Hall submarine. He could ask his colleague John G. Wilkerson about it. John probably loved 1950s residence life in the 9'x 9' rooms with double lofted beds.

We state publicly to the world that we are a Christian institution. Tier One status will be achieved, though certain people like pointing fingers so they can sleep better at night. But, someone forgot that when you point blame that three fingers always point right back. It takes hard work to be good, but 26 of 32 Faculty Senate members don't seem to agree. It is time to put these fury-filled firy fingers on ice and then chill graciously.

Let us pray for our leaders, for the spirit of patience and self-control.

Michael A. RuizBusiness Administration '05

Baylor should learn not to blame others

Waco is the city that accepts responsibility for nothing except the creation of Dr Pepper. When a lunatic with more weapons than Iraq was claiming to be the Messiah, who was to blame for the many lives that were lost during this tragedy? Oh, that was Janet Reno's fault.

When Baylor's football records became dismal, all Wacoans shouted, 'It's the coaches' fault! It has nothing to do with the players, our absence from the games, or lack of school spirit!' When a criminal investigation was compromised, the accused regent chose to relive her childhood with a 'You did it! No, you did it!' performance that was very impressive, to say the least.

When a former basketball player confessed to murder, he quickly retracted his confession only to blame it on the voices in his head. When a basketball coach conspired to cover up his own NCAA infractions with an attempt at attacking the character of a person who was no longer living, who was to blame this time? Certainly not any of the parties actually involved. Let's blame it on Dr. Sloan or Drayton McLane.

But this is no time to shift blame. This is a time to unite and stand up for our university, its students, its faculty and its staff. I will always be proud of my university and the ideals on which it was founded.

Julianne Phelps