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Baylor University, Baylor College of Medicine remain separate

Jan. 27, 2010

The following letter was sent to Baylor students, faculty and staff by Interim President David Garland regarding the Baylor College of Medicine. In the e-mail, Garland states that Trustees at BCM voted "continue as an independent, autonomous institution."

Dr. David Garland's e-mail

You will be interested to know that there are significant developments this evening related to our recent conversations with the Baylor College of Medicine (BCM).

I have included a letter (below) sent this afternoon to faculty at BCM by Interim President William T. Butler, M.D. In the letter, Dr. Butler reports that Trustees at BCM voted today to "continue as an independent, autonomous institution." As a result, Baylor University is suspending its conversations with BCM regarding a strengthened affiliation.

Our conversations with BCM have helped us to identify areas of potential research collaboration between our institutions, as well as joint educational programs to benefit our students. We look forward to further exploration of these possibilities in the future.

Dr. David E. Garland
Interim President
Baylor University

Dr. Butler's letter to BCM faculty

January 27, 2010

To Members of the Baylor College of Medicine Community:

Fourteen months ago, I agreed to take the position of interim president of Baylor College of Medicine at a time when our leaders were working to define what the future of the college should be.

Facing financial difficulties caused in great part by a slumping economy, we were open to considering all types of solutions.

I am announcing today that the Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees has unanimously approved that Baylor College of Medicine will continue as an independent, autonomous institution. We are not considering any additional partnerships at this time, but we will be free to develop relationships with other institutions when needed to strengthen and expand our academic programs.

Baylor College of Medicine has found its solution .... And it's Baylor College of Medicine.

We have had some high profile discussions with Rice University and with Baylor University. In both cases, all parties involved decided it was best to support each other without any change in our affiliation status. All are agreed that we have identified many areas where we can develop joint programs.

Rice University and Baylor University are both respected institutions and we have high regard for their leaders, faculty, staff and students. We move forward in a spirit of mutual respect.

We are grateful for the support of Texas Children's Hospital, who helped us in this process of exploring partnerships. We would like to thank Texas Children's CEO Mark A. Wallace and his leadership team.

These months of discussions with others and thousands of hours spent looking at our organization have left us with one obvious path to take. We are particularly grateful for the advice and counsel from our faculty, students, staff and alumni. Baylor College of Medicine must take charge of its own destiny.

Our board of trustees has unanimously endorsed a three-point plan: establish a long-range comprehensive strategy; reach an agreement with the college's creditors, which will include the appointment of a chief implementation officer to oversee adherence to the comprehensive plan; and begin the search process for a new president.

Over recent months, we have had a significant improvement in our financial performance. We have a positive cash flow and our cash and investments now exceed

$1 billion. Both clinical services and research revenue are up and the margins in both of those activities have increased. We will face some tough challenges, but I'm confident we will be successful.

With the decision on our independence made, the board will name a search committee as soon as possible to begin identifying candidates to lead the college in the future. I will continue to serve as interim president.

With the continued support of outstanding affiliated teaching hospitals, the dedication of faculty, staff, students, trainees and alumni and the encouragement of the Houston community, we face our future with a great sense of pride and optimism. We will draw on the commitment to excellence, independence and entrepreneurship that brought us to this day.

Our missions of conducting groundbreaking research and offering the best education and training for the physicians and scientists of tomorrow are the cornerstones of our future. The patient care we offer in our own clinics and with our outstanding partner hospitals - Ben Taub General Hospital, the DeBakey VA Medical Center, Texas Children's Hospital, The Menninger Clinic, Memorial Hermann TIRR, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and The Methodist Hospital - will always be practiced with the patient as the focus and linked to our research advances.

I personally thank you for your support as we've very carefully done our due diligence on what is the best future for Baylor College of Medicine. It has been a lengthy and complex process, but a necessary one.

With all of our accomplishments over the past 110 years, I believe that our best days are still ahead.

William T. Butler, M.D.