Bears for Leadership Reform Details First 6 Weeks of Progress and Momentum
Bears for Leadership Reform
December 20, 2016
Coalition Continues Push for Greater Transparency, Accountability Among Baylor University Regents
WACO, Texas – Six weeks since its creation, Bears for Leadership Reform – a group of alumni, students, and faculty dedicated to positive governance reform at Baylor University – continues to push for greater transparency, accountability and reform from Baylor’s Board of Regents.
“The support that Bears for Leadership Reform received in the first six weeks has been phenomenal,” said Liza Christian Firmin, a member of the coalition’s Board of Directors and a 2006 Baylor graduate. ”Thanks to the engagement of thousands of members of the Baylor Family, we have succeeded in heightening public awareness about the lack of transparency and accountability at Baylor and the need for positive governance reform.”
Among the campaign’s highlights over the first six weeks:
Approximately 650 Baylor alumni, students, faculty and donors gathered on Nov. 10 at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco to launch the Bears for Leadership Reform campaign. In addition, the event was streamed live on the coalition’s Facebook page and received a total of 225,000 views.
The coalition took out a full-page, color advertisement on Nov. 19 in the Waco Tribune-Herald demanding greater transparency, accountability and comprehensive reform of the Baylor Board of Regents. As a result, Regents announced that all future meeting agendas and minutes would be posted online.
Coalition leaders met with Baylor Regents for the first time on Dec. 5 in Dallas to discuss the institution’s response to the sexual assault scandal. BLR members called on Regents to authorize a joint, independent investigation into the university’s handling of the scandal.
On Dec. 13, Bears for Leadership Reform released the results of an economic analysis showing that the campus-wide sexual and domestic assault scandal may cost Baylor University a total of $223 million. The event, which was streamed live on the coalition’s Facebook page, reached 315,000 individuals with over 500 interactions and 23,000 views.
There are approximately 1,300 weekly visitors to the coalition’s website.
Bears for Leadership Reform conducted a Facebook “Grade the Regents Poll” and received more than 1,400 responses. In grading the regents’ level of transparency with the Baylor Family, over 1,000 respondents gave Baylor regents an “F” and 231 gave them a “D,” while only three respondents gave them an “A” grade.
Hundreds of supporters have contributed or pledged upwards of $500,000 to the campaign effort.
“Time and time again we have expressed concern about the Board of Regents’ lack of openness in dealing with the Baylor Family during this crisis,” said coalition board member Bill Crocker, a 1958 Baylor graduate. “Without additional candor, accountability and the restoration of confidence in those in control, a dark cloud will continue to blight the reputation of our University. The Baylor Family cannot heal or move forward until all of that is accomplished.”