WACO (June 12, 2013)—Members of the Baylor Alumni Association will vote this fall on an agreement that would disband the independent association and move its programs under the aegis of the university.
Collin Cox, the president of the 15,000-member association, says he thinks it’s the best action to take.
Baylor University President Ken Starr said the unified outreach would help the school get alumni more engaged.
“This much-needed advancement will allow us to couple many of the BAA's honored traditions with the multitude of programs sponsored by the flourishing Baylor Alumni Network; the Network's wide-ranging programs engage alumni worldwide,” he said in a letter to the Baylor community.
“This important development embodies an essential step in the maturation of the University's array of services and programs for Baylor alumni,” he said.
Under the agreement, the alumni association’s Baylor Line Magazine would be published independently for subscribers by the newly-constituted Baylor Line Corp., while the university will continue to publish Baylor Magazine for all alumni.
Former alumni association president Bill Nesbitt opposes the plan, however, and says the association has been an independent and sometimes critical voice on the Waco school's affairs.
The association has maintained its independence from the university since the organization was formed in 1859, but there has been friction between the group and the university since the era of President Robert B. Sloan, Jr. when the association took issue with some of the elements of Baylor's ambitious 2012 plan.
Sloan dropped a service contract with the alumni group for the 2003-2004 fiscal year, forcing the organization to become fully independent.
The contract was later restored, but, in 2007, Sloan's successor Dr. John Lilley pulled funding from the Alumni Association's annual operating budget.