Faculty Senate Vote, Sept. 9, 2003

October 13, 2003

The Faculty Senate, on Sept. 9, 2003, by a vote of 26 for and six against, adopted the following motion:

Upon careful deliberation, and with a heavy heart, the Baylor Faculty Senate requests that the Baylor Board of Regents undertake a change in the leadership of the University. As a recent poll has made plain, as an avalanche of faculty grievances attests, and as evidence mounts daily of a deeply polarized and relationally paralyzed Baylor community, faculty confidence in President Sloan's leadership methods and direction has eroded to a point where only a personnel change at the top can begin to restore the trust, common purpose and faithful cooperation within and among Baylor's constituencies that has been the hallmark of previous administrations.

The Senate's request is not motivated by personal animosity toward a fellow faculty member who obviously possesses remarkable strengths and skills. His "Vision 2012" contains features that will benefit Baylor for a long time to come. Still, the reality remains that Dr. Sloan's presidency has produced a chilling work environment, a climate characterized by distrust, anxiety, intimidation, favoritism, as well as profound concerns about the sanctity of academic freedom and professional standards. But above all else, this climate is marked by fear -- fear of losing one's job, one's hope for tenure, a promotion, a pay raise, or a friend, over an opinion or activity that might be labeled "disloyal" or "not mission-friendly" by a representative of the administration. This culture of fear, embittered silence and artificial conformity should be intolerable at any university, but especially at one aspiring to a top-tier status. More importantly, its very existence and persistence are incompatible with our Christian faith and our noblest Baptist traditions.

Therefore, the Faculty Senate expresses no confidence in President Sloan and asks that the Baylor Board of Regents effect a change in the leadership of the University.

The Faculty Senate would gladly share with the Board of Regents evidence and testimony in support of this resolution. Moreover, the Faculty Senate stands ready to offer positive suggestions on how trust and cooperation can be established between the faculty and new leadership.