WACO, Texas–Baylor University President and CEO Robert B. Sloan Jr. and Board of Regents Chairman Will Davis jointly announced Sloan’s transition to serving as chancellor of the largest Baptist University in the world effective June 1. During the Jan. 21 news conference Davis said the Board of Regents had expressed unanimous support of the change and is expected to ratify the change at its Feb. 3-4 meeting.
“Baylor has been through a challenging period over the past 18 months, and the Board of Regents and the administration have been actively engaged in discussions over this time period about how best to address these challenges and do what is best for the University,” Davis said, noting that he and Sloan arrived at the decision by mutual agreement. He said aPAN class=default1>n interim president and a presidential search committee will be appointed later this spring.
Responding a reporter who questioned the president’s earlier pronouncement that he would not resign, Sloan said he and Davis had discussed “this possible change” as early as last November. “I would just say I have adamantly maintained I would stay committed to Baylor University and 2012. As you said, I said I will not quit. I am continuing to serve Baylor University in a different capacity.”
Sloan said the reason he wanted to continue as president as long as he did was because he was persuaded that was in the best interest of Baylor. “Now I’m persuaded it’s in the best interest of Baylor that the University have the opportunity for new leadership.”
Stating that the school, its purpose and its vision are more important than any one person, Sloan expressed confidence in Davis’ leadership and the Board of Regents in pursuing the vision of Baylor 2012. “It’s an opportunity for someone who has fresh political capital and a clean slate to take that forward.”
He declined to identify for a reporter the particular decisions that he might have made differently, stating, “Life is full of decisions. That’s what leaders have to do?take the best information you have at the moment and react out of the values you possess. Sometimes it’s intuitive and sometimes you work a long time before coming to a decision. There are always things you would do differently in retrospect,” Sloan said, adding, “I have absolutely no regrets about the core commitments and decisions over the years with respect to Baylor.”
Sloan said he is enthusiastic about his last 130 days as president and the opportunity to represent Baylor as chancellor. He outlined his new assignment as involving fund-raising, student recruitment, networking with higher education leaders on the state and national levels, cultivating Baylor’s relationships with denominational and Christian leaders and organizations, while continuing to promote the Baylor 2012 vision to constituents.
“It has been my privilege to launch the university upon the exciting journey we call Baylor 2012. Now that the voyage is well under way, it is time for someone new to navigate sometimes choppy waters, always aiming toward the fully charted destination ahead,”