Waco: BU Alumni Association Lawsuit Talks Break Down

By: Paul J. Gately Email
By: Paul J. Gately Email

WACO (August 7, 2014) An effort to settle a lawsuit between Baylor University and the Baylor Alumni Association has ended in failure after the talks broke down, a spokesman for the alumni association said Wednesday.

The working-level negotiation was intended to settle a lawsuit filed by the university against the association.

BAA President Keith Starr said the two sides spent the better part of July trying to come to an agreement, but "Unfortunately, it does not appear that our efforts are going to be successful at this time."

In a news release issued Wednesday, BAA said "For several years the association has worked to reach an agreement with the University that would enable the association to preserve its name; the title of its magazine, the Baylor Line; and keep its commitment to thousands of Baylor alumni."

The breakdown of settlement talks leaves that effort in jeopardy, Starr said.

For Baylor's part, university public information officer Lori Fogelman said the break down is disappointing to officials at the university as well.

"Over the course of the last two years, Baylor's administration and Board of Regents have proactively engaged the alumni association in negotiations, she said Thursday.

"Our most recent discussions were with yet another group of leaders appointed by the association for this purpose.

"Regrettably, our attempts at resolution have been unsuccessful.

"Sadly, the association appears to be unable to chart for itself or to otherwise approve a productive course forward in support of Baylor University and its students," Fogelman said.

"The association's actions today are disappointing to us all."

But the association president said that group plans to go ahead with a counter-suit it filed against the university as court action continues.

"The BAA had no choice but to assert its legal rights and move forward in defense of the lawsuit, and has filed its answer and counterclaims in McLennan County District Court as required by Texas law," Starr said.

The counter-suit asserts that the University did not have the right to unilaterally terminate its longstanding agreements with the BAA, and that the Regents' efforts to do so wrongfully undermines the association's ability to function.

Baylor Regents, through their attorneys, gave the alumni association until Sept. 6 to approve their latest settlement offer, the terms of which remain confidential.

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