Dear Baylor Family:
Each summer the Baylor University Board of Regents hosts a retreat in conjunction with its quarterly meeting. This time allows the Regents to discuss the strategic direction of the University, as well as issues that impact all of higher education. We wanted to highlight a few items from this summer's retreat, which was held last week at Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas.
- We welcomed seven new Regents to the Board, which includes a new Faculty Regent and a new Student Regent. Now comprised of 40 members - including 27 who joined since May 2016 - the Board includes senior executives from a wide range of organizations, business leaders, pastors, legal professionals and educators. The Board of Regents website includes bios for each of the members and their committee assignments, as well as the Board's governing documents and meeting information.
- Baylor is strong and resilient, as evidenced by the largest annual fundraising year in the University's 174-history. While the overall total of $243 million for the 2018-19 fiscal year was impressive, even more significant was that 23,092 donors gave to Baylor last year - the most in University history and a 12 percent increase from 2018. These gifts will have a tremendous impact as we uphold our Christian mission in the Baptist tradition, remain committed to a transformational undergraduate education and advance our status as a preeminent Christian research university.
- The safety, security and well-being of our students continues to be a priority for the Board and University administration. Baylor's enhancements in the area of Title IX have been well-chronicled over the past few years, and we remain committed to a fair, equitable and trauma-informed process for both complainants and respondents to address reports of sexual assault, harassment and interpersonal violence.
Additionally, the Board continued discussions that began at last summer's retreat about providing a loving and caring community for all students, including those who identify as LGBTQ. This is an issue with which many faith-based colleges and universities - and our churches - struggle. We believe that Baylor is in a unique position to meet the needs of our LGBTQ students because of our Christian mission and the significant campus-wide support we already provide all students.
- As part of the Board's fiduciary duty, we heard an annual report from the Athletics leadership team on the state of the department and how Baylor is Preparing Champions for Life. We could not be prouder of our student-athletes, who positively represent Baylor both in the classrooms and research labs and on the fields and courts of competition. Last year, Baylor student-athletes led the Big 12 Conference in Graduation Success Rate for the fifth-straight year, while 17 of our 19 teams advanced to postseason competition. As two of the biggest Baylor sports fans, we are looking forward to what the 2019-20 season brings.
This is truly an exciting time for Baylor. Thank you for your continued love for and support of our great University. And to our Baylor Alumni, we hope to see you at McLane Stadium for Baylor Football this fall or for Homecoming Weekend,
Jerry K. Clements
Chair of the Board
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.