At Town Hall, Baylor Alumni Urge Board Reform

Feb 16, 2017

In the wake of Baylor University’s sexual assault scandal, an independent group of alumni and major donors are calling for increased transparency and governance changes to the Baptist school’s leadership.

At a town hall meeting, Bears for Leadership reform president John Eddie Williams called on the university to take action.

“We think there’s a cloud hanging over the university and we don’t have answers and we deserve answers," Williams told a crowd at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

Ahead of Wednesday night’s meeting, the university launched a website that includes a break down of board committees, governance documents and lists the regent’s agenda for their next meeting. Williams said the efforts were a step in the right direction, but ultimately fell short.

“It shows that there’s going to be a bunch of committee reports. Seriously? I mean, that’s not transparency that is no where close," Williams said.

The school’s board is set to vote on amendments Friday that would give voting rights to regents representing groups like faculty and the school’s booster club, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald. In a prepared statement, board Chairman Ron Murff said he’s confident the proposed changes would enact the best practices for board governance.

"We understand the need for continuous improvement. That's why on Friday, the Board will consider the adoption of a slate of previously publicized recommendations that address how the Board does its business and what it shares with the public," Murff said. 

Several alumni-elected board of regents attended the town hall, but didn't comment, or answer questions that were directed at the board. 

The Baylor Line Foundation - previously known as the Baylor Alumni Association - held the Town Hall meeting in Waco. For roughly two years, the alumni group was embattled in contentious litigation with the university.