Since the September 7 vote was announced, alumni and others have voiced their opinions. Send your thoughts to the Baylor Line to share your opinion with us. Pending your approval, we will share your thoughts on this page.
To the staff and directors of the Baylor Alumni Association:
I was at the meeting on Saturday and spoke in favor of the Transition Agreement. Unfortunately, in the meeting where all the facts were presented and the questions answered, very few people attended. Had they been there to hear the arguments for both sides, they would have seen the advantages of approving the agreement. The “Aginners” were vocal and rude. Those of us who were for the agreement were much more civilized. Most of the people who voted did not attend the meeting beforehand and were influenced by those who sent emails referencing past presidents and bought the argument that the association should have an “independent” voice.
Had they attended the meeting they would have understood the critical reasons why the BAA should become part of the Baylor family.
Please express my greatest appreciation to the moderator and the panel for the fine manner in which they conducted the meeting. They let each person have their say, they answered questions with facts and with authority, and did so in a calm and courteous manner. Even when the one lawyer wouldn’t follow the guidelines announced at the beginning and refused to stop when his allotted time was up, his situation was handled with firmness and respect. I wish I could say that those who were against the approval had been as courteous.
As a life member, I was most impressed with the panel and with the hard work the directors did in putting together the agreement. It was unfortunate that so many negative and vocal alumni influenced so many voters.
Please express my heartfelt thanks to them all.
Carl G. Bonds
Class of 1959
I certainly appreciate the work of the BAA board to maintain the relevance of a supportive independent alumni association, but the vote of the members indicates to me that there are a large number of alumni who feel that the current administration of Baylor University cannot be trusted to abide by agreements. If President Starr feels that he can flaunt prior agreements with the BAA and ignore the long history of Baylor presidents—Judge McCall and Dr. Reynolds, who led me to join the BAA as a lifetime member due to their integrity and who lent their support to an independent alumni association—then I will find it hard to continue to support Baylor University.
I don’t understand why President Starr doesn’t have an e-mail address published so that it is easier to communicate with his office. If there is a mechanism to convey this sentiment to President Starr, then I would be happy to support that effort.
Thanks again for trying to maintain a relevant Baylor Alumni Association.
Dr. Don Nicholas Jr. ’81
Too bad you intentionally, effectively, limited the vote to those who live in Central Texas. The other tens of thousands of BAA members who are not in the immediate area also have an interest in the way ahead.
In my view, the BAA leadership got what it deserved.
Donald H. Holt ’78
I voted “Yes,” and I am very disappointed the super majority was not achieved.
James A. Moyers ’71
I have been upset all along that only members attending the gathering could vote. I understand there are rules that must be followed.
But in the twenty-first century—when you have members all over the world and some of us who are within 125 miles but who are ill (Lupus) and cannot travel, but are heavily invested in the BAA and Baylor through electronic media—it seems unfair that a mere 1,498 people could decide this issue. And, since I was a math major, I can compute that really it was 169 people who decided this question for all members.
A disappointed alumnus and avid Baylor Bear,
Cheryl Campbell ’73, MS ’75
Great news, and many thanks to those who were “able to drive” to Waco just to be able to vote. Sure hope the Texas Legislature does not follow suit and have us drive to Austin to vote in person.
Perhaps the association can afford to pay for psychiatric care for those responsible for the “drive to Waco” requirement!!!!!!!!!
Col. Byron E. White ’52 (Ret.)
For those of us who couldn’t make it to Waco to vote, is there any way Baylor alumni can vote online?
Just a thought,
Janet F. Temaat ’84
Hi, if you truly want to understand your Baylor alumni, an online voting system and anonymous feedback mechanism should be put into place. I was unable to make it to Waco this weekend due to other commitments—like lots of other alumni.
Hope this helps.
Beth Goodner ’89
I doubt this will be answered, and that lack of confidence is unfortunate. Members of the BAA probably live in virtually every state and Heaven knows how many countries. Yet when it came to this important vote, participation was limited to those in and around Waco—as a practical matter. If present-only voting is required by the bylaws, why not have considered asking for a change of such antiquated and restricted bylaws? Did someone think the measure had a better chance of getting the super majority if only Waco and vicinity participated? Bad calculation.
To tell the truth, had I been allowed to vote by mail or otherwise remotely, I likely would have been a “yes” vote. But, no, that was not possible. Now BAA has a dilemma on its hands.
As muffled complaints about the result emerge from Baylor leadership and the BAA, please complain about the “in and around Waco” alums because the opportunity to vote was not allowed to most of us.
That is most unfortunate and led to an unfortunate outcome.
Fowler West ’63
Yay for the BAA!!!! I guess Baylor University won’t become the dictatorship envisioned by President Starr and the board. Freedom reigns. Gee, Christ might be very proud of the BAA. I most certainly am since my professorial duties kept me from coming to vote.
Dr. Phil Farmer ’77
Great news, and a hearty thanks to all those who voted NO. The university president and his staff, along with the multitude of phone callers and letter writers who were pushing for all to vote YES, did not realize what they were up against.
Gary Harrell ’67
Draw up a better, more independent agreement!
John C. Fielder ’86
This is an interesting e-mail. It begins by stating: “The members of the Baylor Alumni Association (BAA) voted today not to approve the Transition Agreement between the BAA and Baylor University with a vote of 830 in favor of the agreement and 668 voting ‘no,’ representing a ‘yes’ vote of 55 percent.”
Further in the e-mail, BAA Board of Directors president Collin Cox is quoted as saying: “We are disappointed that the compromise represented by the Transition Agreement did not garner sufficient votes to be implemented. This may mean the loss of permission to use the Baylor name. But we respect our members’ decision.”
Mr. Cox’s repeated use throughout his statement of the pronoun “we” vis-à-vis the vote of the BAA membership indicates to me that Mr. Cox views the board’s duty as something other than to act on behalf of the BAA membership.
Was there ever any consideration given to holding this meeting at Homecoming, when a larger number of BAA members might have been able to attend?
Mary Wheat Lehoczky ’74
Why were alumni members from around the country not allowed to vote? With all of the electronic voting possibilities, many of us would have proved a super majority vote on this!
Mary Lois Summers Sanders ’67
The Villages, Florida
What a crying-out shame! I thought the crowd “looked” smarter than that. Bet there is a small group of people crying tonight, the BAA employees that will not have jobs.
Tolbert Newman ’64
Many alums do not live close enough to vote. Even the local and national elections allow people to vote absentee. A requirement that we be present to vote virtually disenfranchised many of us from expressing our opinions. The association had a town hall meeting, but I received the notification after the fact. I question the actions of the leadership of the Alumni Association.
I love Baylor and want the green and gold to be flung afar, not just nearby. Many wonderful things are happening at Baylor, and I am proud to be a graduate.
Sarah Harvey Wilkinson ’61
New Orleans, Louisiana
I began to disapprove with the decisions and actions of the BAA over the last few years; therefore, I quit paying membership dues. I have had season tickets to Baylor football for over twenty years and have supported the university in other ways. If I could vote, I would have voted yes, but because of my disapproval I had no voice.
I’m disappointed with the vote—or Baylor especially.
Dawn K. Wilson ’84
How would the voting have turned out if out-of-town members had been allowed to vote online?
Ann Westfahl Kroll ’82, MS ’90
How sad. So the minority rules?
One who failed to vote,
Gene O’Neal ’55
I think the agreement was unclear. I hope you explained it clearly to those present.
Fred West ’73
Mission Viejo, California
Some of us didn’t get to vote pro or con for this agreement. Many alums live away, too far away from the campus to make such a trip for five minutes of gratitude for placing our vote. However, you should be assured that we love our university and the alumni association equally well.
I was terribly disappointed that the alumni center was torn down. It sort of happened in the dead of night from my perspective. Some of us sent money years ago to build it.
Similarly, our names are somewhere on the works of the football stadium because we, too, supported its refurbishment and the improvements in the north end zone.
Some of us probably feel that dismantling the alumni association after 154 years was just too much and that you and Baylor University should have sought a less tenuous route to accomplish the needed changes.
And I am sure that there was a better way to have us vote on the proposal if only someone would have been a little more trusting in a notary being required to certify our vote as being legal. What a shame that brilliant, well-educated people cannot devise a more accommodating method to achieve the desired end.
I am well pleased with the outcome. We are threatened by “No More Baylor Lines.” That is troubling when all along I looked at the association as a way to keep the Baylor family together, not to publish a magazine. Too bad that the university doesn’t feel the same way. When is the funeral? I may drive the many miles necessary to do that.
Ron Miller ’55
My fellow Baylor friends and I are happy it failed. Keep the BAA out of Ken Starr’s control.
Mike McGlothlin ’68
9/5 I am so sad to have all of this going on. It’s sad that the Baylor family is fighting. Even worse is expecting people to come to Waco to vote. Almost seems like you don’t want folks to vote.
Very different than the Baylor I so proudly attended.
Robin Felts Mitchell ’93
9/5 Having just listened to the second conference call, I am compelled to express to you my gratitude to everyone at the BAA who has poured time and effort into this very unusual event. The conference calls were very informative to me and unbiased in their presentation. I highly respect your professional approach. You have done more than is reasonable to inform people who cared enough to listen to the conference calls. My “Slime Cap” is off to your efforts. (Do they still do that to freshmen?)
No, there is not another “shoe” to fall.
I wish I could make it to Baylor this weekend to vote. Nashville is 800 miles away, and after graduation I was elated to know I would never make that drive again to meet a class deadline. It appears there is only one prudent outcome to the vote. Only time will measure the degree of correctness.
I would like to comment on one point in the agreement. This is not bias, it is statutory in Tennessee, National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and by Roberts Rules of Order (RONR) newly revised. Hopefully, it will help with the issue of the non-voting seat on the Board of Regents.
The regents are the fiduciary of the school.
The regents are responsible for the strategic vision of the entire school.
The regents are accountable for any improprieties in the management of the school’s assets.
Regents are bound by a confidentiality contract not to discuss board matters outside the meeting. The same confidentiality obligation applies to non-voting members, board invited guests, administrative guests, etc.
A non-voting seat “at the table” for the purpose of “representing” a specific interest is not only a bad concept because of the implied disregard of the confidentiality contract, but a special-interest non-voting member is responsible for the outcome of a vote WHETHER THEY ARE FOR OR AGAINST the motion.
The regents should not want a single-interest board member even if they do not have a vote. The school would be better served if a single-interest “seat holder” were to apply his/her efforts to their special interest group.
Even if the BAA board member had a vote, the majority still wins, AND, as I said above, ALL members are responsible for the outcome.
Be sure the BAA representative is covered by the Board’s Directors and Officer’s Insurance coverage!
If I could be there, my vote would be the obvious “Yes” with absolutely no regrets other than the sadness of the administration actions in the entire issue. Thanks for your time. BAA won the “respect” vote regardless of the other vote.
9/4 I went to Baylor from 1960-1967. My grandfather, John Harvey Chappell, went to Baylor in 1891-1892, receiving a degree from the Commercial College there. My sons and my granddaughter went to Baylor. I have several cousins and their children (all descendants of John Harvey Chappell) and many of their spouses who went there.
I live in San Antonio, and I have season tickets and my first cousin has had season football tickets for almost forty years. (He would have had more years except that he lived in South America for a period.) We also had season tickets to the girl’s basketball last year and went to Baylor men games as well.
I receive e-mails from Baylor regularly, including Judge Starr, but I have never been contacted by the BAA. I have friends who say the same thing. Can anyone tell me what exactly they do for the good of the entire Baylor Nation? It’s like they have their own exclusive club like the old AO’s or Tri-C. Every alum needs to be included in the Baylor tradition.
I joined the BAA last week so that I could vote “yes” to dissolve the BAA as it exists now.
I told Judge Starr that I am more proud of him and Baylor than any time since W. R. White was president. Baylor now has national and international recognition thanks to Judge Starr. Please don’t drag us back to the dark days of Abner McCall and Herbert Reynolds when people would ask about your college and you felt the need to have a “virtual sack” over your head.
Thanks, and “Sic ‘em Bears!”
Jerry Chappell ’67
9/4 Really now! Is this to be a meeting of former students or Tea Party fanatics who just happened to go to Baylor? Photo IDs sound like the latter. I would like to see as much effort go into protecting the RIGHT TO VOTE (which might benefits thousands) rather than so much effort put into stopping maybe a dozen who would vote without being a member.
Cyrus B. Fletcher ’57
9/4 What will happen to you if you vote no to the proposal Saturday? I was a member of the alumni association but stopped paying my dues when all the fussing and fighting occurred. I want to be a member of an organization that is helping Baylor students and Baylor, not fussing and making the news all the time. Will there be an association that we, the alumni with no big money, can join?
Patricia Byrum Harvey ’76
9/4 I agree with Dr. Rufus Spain’s comment [in the special issue of the Baylor Line] when he referred to this “transition agreement” as the “transition to oblivion agreement.” Let’s see where the so-called unity is in TEN YEARS and evaluate BAA’s independent voice then.
Thank you for your response. I truly appreciate your efforts.
Jennifer Selman Robbins ’72
9/4 In this age of the Internet, you should have done an online vote. I am a lifetime member and cannot vote since I live in North Carolina and work in South Carolina. I want to vote!
Dr. Ken Norton ’69
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
9/3 I am a lifetime BAA member who apparently will not be able to vote because I live in California and cannot travel to Waco. I do not want the BAA to acquiesce to the will of the Board of Directors of the university!! The BAA has always been a free and independent voice for Baylor alumni, and it MUST remain so!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kathleen Branyon ’78
Mountain View, California
9/2 This whole situation is a joke and a power play by the administration to squash the
alumni association. Any other company or organization that is operating “Above
Board” would send out proxies so that all eligible members can participate in a vote.
But no, you want to cram this situation down your alumni’s throats and specify that we have to be on campus on the 7th of September to vote. Personally, I hope this vote “backfires” in your face and puts you in a real bind. I Will Not Be There!
Gary Harrell ’67
9/2 If our vote is really important, I think it’s inexcusable to NOT have a secure online ballot. Our family has planned an estate sale for months for Saturday morning, and that’s eight alumni votes.
Susan Rogers Eveland ’77
9/2 Not even an e-mail straw vote?? For what it is worth, I vote NO.
Cayetano E. Barrera, MD ’59
8/31 I have received my latest copy of the Baylor Line magazine and read it almost in one sitting. Much surprise and concern arose as I covered the terms of the agreement as well as comments from others who most likely were more aware of the issues and circumstances.
I especially noted page 1 top left, under the logo of the Baylor Alumni Association. “Established in 1859 and officially recognized as the general alumni organization of Baylor University, The Baylor Alumni Association is an independent legal entity.”
Sadly, I learned of the demolition of the Hughes-Dillard building, a structure which I had contributed to during its construction with the understanding this would last decades and decades. Yes, Baylor is receiving nationwide recognition in so many areas. However, I’m dismayed at how the past several years of administrative perspective seems to have left the core of Baylor without an advocate. I don’t believe for a minute, with the current tuition structure and costs, I would have been able to attend Baylor today. It’s certainly not a consideration for my nephews, for whom I was contributing to a college fund.
In the end, if I were to attend the meeting, my vote would be a No. With what I witness now, the same can be said for my future estate plan. Liken my status to that of a distant relative. I will have my memories of time there but the future will not include Baylor, especially with the recommendation of yes to the agreement.
John D. Cadena ’85
8/31 By the way, I am opposed to letting the university take the BAA. Wish I had known about this move earlier.
Becky Cooper Yoes ’66
8/29 Every Baylor Alumni Association president in the past number of years has accepted the presidency position with the hope that during their tenure a better relationship could be forged with Baylor or that a return to the way it was with Baylor was still a viable option. As president-elect during 2011-12, I observed and participated in attempts to navigate through some difficult times with the university. It became apparent that a return to the way it was not an option. When I became president of the BAA on June 1, 2012, it was evident our organization was on the cusp of completely losing its relevancy, not only with the university but with new alumni.
Baylor had gradually chipped away at many of the events and programs of the BAA, and in the spirit of cooperation, the BAA had acquiesced and had set about redefining itself in a valiant effort to remain relevant. The BAA staff and a few large contributors did a great job of surviving the initial onslaught by the university. However, we faced significant challenges moving from survival mode back to a vibrant, growing association that could return value back to our members. Our resources limited our options for the future. Realistically, the BAA was simply not able to compete with the Baylor Network resources and services.
When last year’s architectural rendering of the new stadium did not include the Hughes-Dillard Alumni Center, that was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. I decided that on behalf of the BAA, I should once again reach out to the Baylor administration. I hoped to not only find out what was going on with our building, but to also attempt to address the issues that had caused the divide between Baylor and the BAA.
My July 2012 meeting with Judge Starr, though cordial and informative, was not productive. Feeling despondent, I then visited a close friend of mine who is a retired McLennan County elected official and Baylor alum. He gave me the cell phone number of Richard Willis, the newly elected chair of the Board of Regents. My close friend firmly encouraged me to call Willis right then. Using sales vernacular, I made the “cold call” to Willis, who promptly returned my call.
Willis and I discussed the building as well as the two entities working together. He was respectful and seemed genuinely interested in the issues I raised. He was aware of the 1994 Licensing Agreement and told me Baylor fully intended to comply with it. I ended that phone call somewhat amazed—not only did he return my call but was perfectly amenable to the two of us meeting. This was contrary to everything I had expected when trying to deal “with someone from Baylor.” This initial July 2012 call to Willis led to a face-to-face meeting at his home in August. Again, both of us wanted to do something while trying to figure out the parameters.
The parameters guided us into eventually creating a committee of six—three representatives from the BAA and three from the Board of Regents. During the course of the committee negotiations, it became apparent that the most important considerations for the BAA were maintaining an independent voice and protecting our employees. Never at any time did I feel the BAA members were intimidated or bullied by Baylor or Willis. In fact, even when there was a stalemate, there was never any pushing or prodding. However, the BAA’s bargaining position was never equal to Baylor.
With a regent chair who was receptive to discussions, the time was ripe for transition. Baylor’s recognizing a need for an independent voice was key. Their willingness to provide BAA staff positions within Baylor demonstrated to us their level of understanding of what was important.
Change was coming to the BAA, and it just so happened to come on my watch. Though there are many perspectives and opinions regarding how and why we got here, one thing is certain: something had to give. There had to be outreach to Baylor. I am proud of all the hours, time, and energy that the BAA’s committee—Silas Ragsdale, Kyle Gilley, and I, along with incoming president Collin Cox—put in. These are great guys to have on your team. The Transition Agreement provides protection for the vital asset of the BAA—the Baylor Line magazine—and it provides protection for the vital BAA staff that have endured so much while trying to sustain an organization to the best of their ability.
Elizabeth Coker ’89, JD ’92
8/25 I am disappointed that there can be no online voting. By this being the case, you will not hear from a large portion of our alumni who live too far to get to Waco without having to take several days off work just to vote.
I do not believe it is in the best interest of the BAA to pass this transition agreement. So if I were able to be there, which I cannot due to distance, I would be a “no” vote (for what it’s worth).
I do have a question, however. Many years ago, I purchased a lifetime BAA membership. Should this unacceptable agreement pass, will my lifetime membership still be in effect, or will I have to purchase another one, which I cannot do because of the cost.
Marcia Hicks ’78
Webbers Falls, Oklahoma
8/24 Oh, how I wish I could attend and vote against the so-called “agreement” to end the historical alumni association as it currently exists. I joined as life member back in 1978 because I believed that the BAA would be an independent voice for alumni and the university. For several years, I worked as the vice president for development of a small Christian college here in Georgia, and the school’s alumni director worked for me. I did my best to allow the alumni association to be a free voice for their alumni, but that was not to be. During my tenure at the school, I watched as the administration controlled not only the flow of information but the direction of funds. To be perfectly honest, it was a bit on the disgusting side and was one of the reasons for my leaving.
Normally, I am not one who goes out of his way to vote “against something,” but I would do so this time if time and resources allowed. This is just one more disappointing thing about Baylor in recent years. While Ken Starr is a respected man in many ways, I was disappointed to see a Church of Christ member put into such a position at a historic Baptist school, and to be honest he must not have been a very good member of the Church of Christ to become a Baptist so very quickly. Being trained in church history, with a particular bent to Baptist history, I must say that men like Judge Baylor, B. H. Carroll, and other great Baptist leaders would be very disappointed in such a choice. The way he has led the school to obliterate the BAA may very well be a proof of that point.
Change is inevitable in almost any organization and should not always be shunned—but change is not always good, either. The word I would use at this point is “disappointed.” I find I must agree with Kent Reynolds, who stated in the most recent edition of the Baylor Line, “Why would you want to enter into a new agreement with some group that just reneged on the last agreement you had with them.”
Dr. Michael H. Reynolds ’78
8/24 I do not have a legacy at Baylor. I was from a lower-middle-class family. After high school graduation, I received some scholarships and wanted to obtain a good education from a highly respected academic institution. Baylor gave me that opportunity and more. The scholarships were not enough to pay for my education, and I worked during the summers to make up the difference. However, I graduated with no debt. My experience was somewhat typical for my age group of Baylor graduates.
Today, most students at Baylor are not that fortunate. Many get scholarships and many work, but even with that assistance and sweat, many are graduating with substantial debt—in the neighborhood of $50,000 to $100,000. Recently, the Baylor Board of Regents (BOR) approved “only” a 5.8 percent increase in tuition—a consistent financial theme with Baylor over the last several years. I think I’m correct in saying that with tuition and fees, room, board, and books, one year at Baylor will cost $50,000; four years will cost $200,000—an education that is affordable only for students from wealthy families and those with substantial grants and scholarships.
If your local school district or local government consistently had a 5.8 percent increase in taxes, you would find someone else to represent you on the governing body. You can’t take that action at Baylor. The Board of Regents elect themselves.
If not the Baylor Alumni Association (BAA), I would like to know who or what group of persons will be asking the tough questions to the BOR about the high cost of a Baylor education and finding ways to reduce it. The BAA stood with the faculty in the 2000s when academic freedom was assaulted by the administration and the BOR. For those efforts, the administration and the BOR went as far as they legally could to alienate and disenfranchise the BAA for ten years. However, the BAA continued to stand its ground.
Don’t expect the Baylor Line Corporation (BLC) to ask those questions. If the BLC begins to take such action, the Baylor administration and the BOR have so much control over the BLC with the current Transition Agreement that it will cease to exist when it becomes remotely confrontational or even encourages a debate on an issue.
This vote on the Transition Agreement is primarily about the future of Baylor. A yes vote will put Baylor University on the road to conformity (euphemistically being called unity by current public relations efforts), no tolerance for independent thinking and ideas, and eventual financial problems because tuition rates and student debt are not sustainable for middle class students.
A No vote will give Baylor a fighting chance through the BAA to keep diversity of opinion alive, and maybe some day the administration and BOR will listen, be more transparent about the fundamental issues of fiscal responsibility, and take action to make a Baylor education affordable for the reason Baylor exists—students getting a good education from a highly respected academic institution.
J. Rice ’75
8/23 My husband and I are each lifetime members of the BAA and supporters of Baylor University. In this last decade, I had hoped we could find a way to move forward as one with our shared commitment to Baylor and had hope that this Transition Agreement would prove the way. I could see benefits for alumni services with the university having the resources that the association no longer has to meet all of the needs of alumni. I believed that the integrity and role of the independent voice could be served by the Baylor Line Corporation.
As events have unfolded, it has become a much more difficult decision for me. I have been saddened by the university administration in their handling of this process that unfortunately has appeared heavy-handed by threatening posturing and criticism of those who do not agree as not caring about Baylor University. I uphold the BAA goal for the Baylor Line as an independent voice. I am truly grateful to the staff and those who have tried to lead the BAA, especially in the turmoil of the last ten years. I believe it has probably come at a high cost both personally and professionally. I am grateful to those who stepped up and supported the BAA with their financial resources after the changes made by the university. I believe that the leadership of the BAA has attempted to act in good faith as the reality of the situation is being revealed.
I now have to wonder, though, that if the Baylor Line Corporation is being “licensed” by the university, then what will stop the university from “terminating” this agreement (as they have indicated they would the ’93 agreement and ‘94 document) at any time or not renewing the agreement in ten year? I have not seen anything in the information that would indicate any protection for the BLC and the Baylor Line in the future. I hope that information will be available regarding the licensing agreement with the BLC before the vote on September 7th.
The feeling that I get is that the BAA members are not being given a choice. I only wish my confidence in the administration acting in good faith had been bolstered through this process. I will have to make this decision in order to vote on September 7th and at this point sadly cannot feel good about either choice.
Gail Bradbury ’72
8/20 I am very sad to see the possible loss of the BAA. I feel as if I am losing my last connection with Baylor.
I have a question on the handling of plaques once located in the building honoring various people connected with Baylor. There are two plaques honoring my mom and dad, Velma and Eddie Dwyer, given by Raymond Tucker and his wife. The two also arranged for an exceptionally elegant reception at the BAA center for my parents and their friends for presentation of the honors.
Raymond is quite concerned with the potential loss of the plaques and of course the BAA center. He asked me to check on their location now that they have been removed from the walls. Have these plaques been placed in storage, or are they available for pick up by those who want them?
Baylor is sending a very dangerous message to alumni that the “party line” is the only voice allowed, and I am upset over Baylor’s action to eliminating a progressive, yet Baylor-loyal, independent, yet supportive and alumni-loved organization.
Thank you very much,
Paul Dwyer ’67
8/16 I have been a faithful supporter of Baylor and the BAA. My late wife and I just finished giving money to the Texas Collection to organize and carefully file Pat Neff’s papers, which were given to Baylor but in a state of disarray. I have been a strong supporter of the BAA. This move is a strong-arm move by the Baylor regents and administration who are determined to control everything and everybody.
You’ve heard of “shotgun weddings.” This is far worse. This is “Chicago-type execution.” The term “agreement” is laughable. The BAA was presented with a fait acompli.
Baylor’s argument that the pedestrian bridge approach had to come through the Hughes-Dillard Center is ridiculous. The Baylor board and administration are simply bent on destroying all vestiges of BAA memories.
Former Federal Circuit Judge Sam Johnson and former Texas Supreme Court justice Jack Hightower—both former BAA presidents—would be outraged.
And if the BAA current administration had moved expeditiously, bylaws could have been changed and a mail vote counted. The current BAA administration is not interested in a full vote because they know they cannot control it.
And to say that the BAA is maintaining an independent voice is ludicrous. Publishing a magazine twice a year is not independence; it is a sad attempt at placating BAA members.
I will not come to Waco to participate in a farce.
Terrell Blodgett ’43
8/14 If it helps keep a strong alumni organization, I am for it. But can’t make a meeting with physical complications.
Hugh E. Davis ’54
8/13 I have read everything presented and am, thus far, inclined to vote ‘No.’ My initial question that I submitted (and was very promptly answered by BAA) was that the FAQ, “Why should I vote “yes”?” was just a matter of ‘because BAA leadership says so.’ That has been enhanced to, justifiably, say that, in part, it is to protect long time BAA employees. But, in the new reasons, that’s the only one that has substance. The rest relates to new opportunities. I would dare say that the opportunities to participate in BU relations are already present. The answer does not say that BU will open those roles to non-insiders.
I truly love Baylor and all it stands for. I have a sophomore son who will share the legacy of my life that attending Baylor created. However, while these are truly golden days for Baylor, I believe that we have all seen days that were somewhat less shiny. And, truly, the Alumni Association used its truly independent perspective to protect Baylor and its ideals.
Should the alumni run the university? No, just as cattle shouldn’t run the ranch. But, the alumni, living and dead, and the current student body ARE Baylor and should not be excluded from having a voice in the University and its future. As I said, I am presently inclined to vote “no,” but am still trying to hear both sides. I don’t care that the BAA is moved to a different location so that the new stadium gets a great walkway from campus to its front door. I do, however, care that the University is taking the opportunity of its momentum to nullify the independent voice that keeps all of us updated on the comings and goings off of the football field.
John P. Cahill, Jr., BA ‘83/JD ‘84
8/13 I agree with the person who filed the lawsuit.
Abner McCall would not recognize Baylor today. He would find, as I have, a Baylor controlled by and obligated to the Republican Right at the expense of a balanced educational experience. There are such schools out there, like Austin College, Southwestern, and Trinity that still teach separation of Church and State and actually practice what they preach like my Baylor did until the last several years.
Mike McGlothlin ’68
8/9 I have just received from your office, thank you, a copy of the bylaws and articles of incorporation. In doing a simple word search of the bylaws and articles of incorporation, I discovered a word missing from these foundational documents that I expected to be included multiple times. The word is “independent.” I’m not sure when the use of this word began to be applied to our alumni association or who thought this word should be so important so as to make others believe it was a part of the founders intent. But for the past ten-plus years, I have been hearing about how important it is for the BAA to be “an independent voice” speaking back into the way the university is operated…even going so far as to suggest “governance.” This may be someone’s opinion, rightfully held, but it bears no correlation to the intent or purpose of the BAA as expressed in the founding documents.
With this being true, why is anyone still using this emotionally-charged word, “independence,” in the conversation? Unless we are trying to re-write history (historical documents) for personal reasons, “support,” not “independence” is what our bylaws and charter call for. I support what our founders supported, Baylor University.
Thank you for your hard work in this to help us move forward into a new day of unity and support.
Pat Murphy ’77
8/9 The “Transition Agreement” dissolves the 154 year-old Baylor Alumni Association and eliminates the editorial independence of the Baylor Line. What a shameful proposition. I will be there on Sept. 7 to vote NO.
Tom Nesbitt ‘94
8/8 Top Ten Reasons to Vote Against the Transition Agreement on September 7th.
1) The actions of the regents toward the BAA over the past 10 years have only served to confirm the need for an independent alumni association at Baylor. The university that needs an independent alumni association the most is the university that doesn’t want an independent alumni association.
2) The BAA has been one of Baylor’s biggest allies and supporters over the past 150+ years, and it would be one of Baylor’s biggest allies and supporters for another 150+ years if the regents would allow it.
3) There’s no reason the BAA can’t coexist with Baylor’s in-house alumni program. The two groups could coordinate alumni outreach and work together to build strong relationships with alumni. What’s wrong with giving alums a choice of how they would like to relate to Baylor?
4) The Transition Agreement is simply a bad compromise for the BAA – it requires the BAA to terminate all of its current agreements with Baylor and then to dissolve the BAA itself.
5) The 1993 License Agreement and the 1994 building agreement were put in place for exactly the situation the BAA finds itself in today. This is not the time to abandon those agreements – it’s the time to demand that honorable people honor those agreements.
6) The regents have treated the BAA badly for 10 years, and why the BAA or a possible successor to the BAA would want to enter into a new agreement with the same group that has treated it so badly is a question every BAA director and member needs to ask himself or herself.
7) Some members of the executive committee have said the Transition Agreement was presented to them as if the BAA did not have any other options. There are at least two other options, the first of which is to walk away from the Transition Agreement and ignore the regents’ notice of intent to unilaterally terminate all agreements between Baylor and the BAA. The BAA could continue to use the names Baylor Alumni Association and Baylor Line in accordance with the 1993 License Agreement, and the regents would have to file a lawsuit against the BAA if they want to try to prevail on their unilateral termination of the agreements. That would not be a wise move on the part of the regents, but if they do decide to sue the BAA, the legal research indicates the BAA would have at least a 50/50 chance of winning a lawsuit over the agreements. The other option would simply be to give the BAA’s loyal employees a year of severance pay, dissolve the BAA and distribute its assets in accordance with the bylaws. That would be the option of last resort, but it would be better than subjecting the BAA’s possible successor to further bad treatment and eventual demise at the hands of the same group that has treated the BAA so badly for the past 10 years.
8) There is a provision in the Transition Agreement that allows the regents to submit a hypothetical case regarding the 1993 License Agreement to mediation AFTER the BAA has already dissolved and terminated that license agreement. If the regents prevail in that mediation, they then have the right to terminate the Transition Agreement at the end of 10 years. Basically, the regents are saying “Let’s put the last 10 years behind us and move forward in a new relationship, but we still want to be able to kill you off in 10 years.”
9) The fact that the regents sent a notice of intent to unilaterally terminate all agreements between Baylor and the BAA if the BAA membership does not approve the Transition Agreement makes it clear the regents don’t really care what the BAA directors or members think – they are going to try to terminate all of Baylor’s agreements with the BAA one way or another.
10) Finally, every BAA director and member needs to ask himself or herself if they would enter into a new agreement with someone or some group that just reneged on the last agreement they had with that person or group. The following old adage comes to mind: “Fool me once, shame on thee. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
I will be voting against the Transition Agreement on September 7th, and I encourage all BAA members to do the same.
Kent Reynolds ’75
8/7 I personally resent the e-mail sent out today by the BAA touting the so-called Transition Agreement. More than ever, I plan on being in Waco on September 7th to vote against this monstrosity.
M. Gene Robertson ’62/’63
8/7 Nancy and I received your email today. Why would we be asked to vote “yes” for something we know nothing about?
R. C. “Skeet” Doss ’72
8/7 All silly. It was not the lawsuit but a lack of will on the part of the BAA. Personal voting is ridiculous. This is a sham.
Bob Shults ’70
8/7 As I replied to the same takeover to the “B” Association, this is the same control issue.
It is apparent that the university will spare no force to make sure this organization, with all of its assets, comes completely under the domination of management. As I recall, the Bible preaches against naked greed. I do not think university control, with only one voice and set of assets, should be permitted to quell all dissent in the direction of Baylor.
Baylor is truly an asset of all the present and former students, as well as the university officials—not to be controlled by one faction.
I wonder whether the situation at Penn State has given any pause to high-ranking members of the administration with regard to serious civil and criminal liability risks by assuming so much control.
Charles Thomas ’58
8/7 Will you show photos of the new sidewalk where the BAA building once stood except for the decision of you and others of the executive committee? You better hope it passes—otherwise, you will be the biggest flop in history. You bet I will be there.
Vernon Hartline ’68
8/7 My wife and I will certainly be there to vote NO!!!. And every one of the board members need to be fired for agreeing to let the building be destroyed, without so much as a single communication with the association members.
Mike Burchardt ’76
8/7 We support the Transition Agreement. We are sorry that we will not be present to vote for it in September because we live in Georgia.
Thanks for all your good work in this difficult decision.
Wayne ’56 and Jane Simonds King ’57
8/7 Please take the opportunity provided by the Sept. 7th meeting to change the bylaws to allow a means to vote in absentia (whether by proxy, mail, or electronic ballot). The vote on the Transition Agreement will necessarily be biased and unrepresentative of the entirety of the BAA membership because of the current requirement for physical attendance to vote. Please do not allow this situation to persist.
J. Kevin McKinney ’83
Happy Valley, Oregon
8/7 I have unsubscribed and have no desire to have anything to do with an organization that would let the president-elect ramrod something like this down our throats. I cannot believe that this has happened.
Dr. Nancy Bowman Upton ’82
8/6 What happens if we vote NO? We may have a regent, but that regent will have no vote!
Linda Nixon Trice ’68
8/6 My husband, Doug ’99, and I renewed our expired alumni association membership this past September. We had been members after graduation, but we let the membership lapse until we had enough that we could do a life membership, because that was the best value. Becoming life members of the alumni association was the first Baylor donation we planned to make—before football season tickets, before Baylor Bear Foundation memberships, and even before donations to the Endowment Fund. We sent you our $1,000 dues last year.
Now, the alumni association has decided to disband. I’ve only seen life memberships addressed once by Mr. Cox in the latest Baylor Line magazine, and it said our $1,000 would pay for a magazine subscription.
Really? This is the most expensive magazine subscription in the history of magazines.
For people like my father, who’ve been life members longer than twenty years, it’s different. They’ve received the value of their life membership. My husband and I haven’t. In fact, it hasn’t even been one year.
If you guys are hell-bent on disbanding, that’s fine, but the people who’ve paid in their life membership dues, especially those that haven’t received the full value, should get more benefit than a magazine subscription.
Why not keep the bookstore discount? That’s more beneficial to us than a magazine. Or send us our money back. I won’t hold my breath for that one.
If we had known last year that this was going to happen, we never would have become life members. We feel like we were robbed. We could have used that money now for more important needs like medical bills and a down payment on our dream house.
My husband and I will be there on September 7th to vote no to this proposal. The alumni association membership gets nothing but a magazine and a place at the table with no vote. That’s a joke and a bad deal. We, and the rest of the alumni association members, deserve more than that for our money.
Stacy Haworth Wilson ’01
8/6 I went to the location to give my input, and it wouldn’t accept either email addresses when I tried to send what I had written. I saw what is happening between the university and the alumni association at New Mexico Military Institute this past year when the regents tried to take over the association and the money it had collected. Fortunately, the membership overruled it.
I am a life member of both associations and one of four generations who graduated from Baylor, my dad starting it when he graduated in 1915. I wish there was a way we could vote online since I would like to support the association.
Byron Penrod ’66
8/6 Thank you for this information and the work you have been doing behind the scenes. I plan to vote YES on September 7th.
William Horick ’50
8/6 I am not happy about the association going away, but I understand the reasons for the change. My only suggestion is for our [regent] board member to be a voting member. Being an ex-officio member carries very little weight. Our representative should have a vote as well as a voice.
I will support the proposal with that change.
Cary Hilliard ’67