New Task Force to Review Board Of Regents Governance

WACO, Texas (Nov. 9, 2016) - The Baylor University Board of Regents on Wednesday announced the formation of a new Governance Review Task Force, the latest step taken by the Board to assess and recommend improvements in how the governing board can improve its practices, procedures and selection process.

"This Task Force will be a part of an important governance review that has been done on a regular basis for the past several years," said Ron Murff, Chair of the Board of Regents. "We want to ensure we continue to take positive steps in fulfilling our fiduciary responsibilities and in doing our best for Baylor."

In July, the Regents established an Executive Committee to ensure clear lines of communication and closer align Board priorities to the operational needs of the University and made a commitment to diversify Board membership. (See more about Board improvements.)

The Task Force announcement Wednesday was recommended by the Board’s Governance and Compensation Committee at its last meeting.

Regent J. Cary Gray, who chairs the Governance and Compensation Committee, said it was "the latest step we've taken to continually improve how the 32-member Board sets the tone for management and guides Baylor as it becomes a major research university for the 21st Century."

Named to the Task Force are:

  • Robert "Bob" E. Beauchamp of Houston. Bob Beauchamp is a Baylor Regent and Chair and Chief Executive Officer for BMC Software. He also serves on the board of the Raytheon Company. He received his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Texas and his master of science degree in management from Houston Baptist University.
  • Douglas Y. Bech of Houston. Doug Bech is Chief Executive Officer and owner of Raintree Resorts International, which he founded in 1997. He also serves on the Boards of HollyFrontier Corporation, of which he is lead independent director and Chair of its Compensation Committee; j2 Global, of which he is Chair of both the Compensation Committee and the Corporate Governance and Nominating Committee; and CIM Commercial Trust Corporation, as well as several private companies. Prior to Mr. Bech’s business career, he was a longtime partner of AndrewsKurth in Houston with a focus on corporate finance and securities practice and was named one of America’s Best Lawyers. Mr. Bech is a 1967 graduate of Baylor with a B.A. in political science, a 1970 graduate of The University of Texas School of Law and a member of the Texas and New York Bars.
  • Jerry K. Clements of Austin. Chair and Managing Partner of the Locke Lord law firm, Jerry Clements has represented Fortune 500 companies in a range of complex commercial litigations. She currently serves as a Baylor Regent, is a 1981 graduate of Baylor Law School and has been recognized by the National Law Review and Dallas Business Journal as one of the country and state's most influential women lawyers.
  • Paul L. Foster of El Paso. A 1979 Bachelor of Business Administration graduate of Baylor, Paul Foster founded and currently serves as Chair of Western Refining, a Fortune 200 company. Foster has served for nine years on the University of Texas System Board of Regents, serves on the Texas Business Leadership Council and on the board of the El Paso branch of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank.
  • Larry P. Heard of Houston. Also a Baylor Regent, Larry Heard is President and Chief Executive Officer of Transwestern, a global diversified real estate organization actively involved in investment, development and real estate services. He also serves on the board of trustees of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He earned a bachelor of business administration degree in finance from Baylor in 1980.

The Regents have asked Jeffrey A. Chapman, a partner and co-chair of the Gibson Dunn law firm’s Global Mergers and Acquisitions Practice Group in Dallas, to serve as coordinator of the new Governance Review Task Force. Chapman is recognized as one of the leading M&A attorneys in the country.

In addition, John Olson, a founding partner of Gibson Dunn’s Washington, D.C. office, will serve as a resource for the group. Olson is a leading expert in board governance, having advised the boards of leading public and nonprofit organizations around the globe, including the American Red Cross and the United States Olympic Committee.