Baylor president declares intention to stay in office
By Jenny Hartgraves
Texas Baptist Communications
WACO–Robert Sloan he has no intention to resign as Baylor University's president, despite the desire of some Faculty Senate members to seek a vote of "no-confidence" in his leadership, he told reporters Aug. 21.
Even if the Faculty Senate passes such a vote at its Sept. 9 meeting, the decision ultimately rests with the university's board of regents, he said.
As controversy has mounted at Baylor over the summer–ranging from discontent over the university's direction, faculty hiring and tenure decisions, the disappearance and death of a basketball player and revelations of misconduct by the men's basketball coach–Sloan repeatedly has noted that he serves at the pleasure of the regents and plans to keep pursuing his vision for Baylor as long as they want him to lead.
At a media conference scheduled before Sloan welcomed new students to campus, more than 100 faculty members attended to show support of the president and his policies. Baylor has about 560 tenured or tenure-track faculty members.
"I've heard and felt the overwhelming support of the majority," Sloan said, adding that the reported call for a vote of no confidence was "only representative of a small group."
Sloan also announced the launch of an online alumni-support network, www.friendsofbaylor.net, founded by an independent group desiring to highlight positive aspects of Baylor's Vision 2012, the Sloan administration's long-range plan for the university.
After Sloan addressed the media, he met with new students and their families at the President's Picnic on the campus quadrangle.
"These have been difficult days for out nation and campus," he told the incoming students. "But today we're celebrating what I think is the first of the greatest years of your life."
Sloan praised the faculty and pledged his commitment to make Baylor the "finest possible education you can receive." He encouraged students to grow both personally and spiritually.
"Think about your faith," he urged, "and discover God's calling on your life."
Julie Naugher, 18, said she was thankful to arrive at Baylor despite the controversy.
"People in the dorms were talking about Dr. Sloan and everything that's happened," Naugher said. "But for the most part, everyone's excited to be here and ready for school to start."
Jenny Hartgraves is a Baylor senior majoring in journalism. She served this summer as an intern with the Baptist Standard.