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Category: Baylor
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
As many of you know, I am a devoted alumnus of Baylor University. From a safe distance, on an independent and non-competitive hill outside the orbit of Baylor, I have watched the recent trials and tribulations of my beloved alma mater. From what I know presently, I am pleased to report that the current state of the institution seems healthy and positive and upbeat. My hope is that Baylor has survived the recent civil war.

Last month, the controversial former president of Baylor and lightning rod for Vision 2012, Robert Sloan, whom a diverse coalition of opponents pushed out in 2005, accepted the presidency of Houston Baptist University. The move, I Believe, is a good one for Sloan and Baylor.

Many Baylor faculty and staff, so thoroughly convinced over time that he was pure evil, could not feel safe as long as Sloan loomed within striking distance. Before he took the HBU post, he was serving as Chancellor, which was an honorary face-saving post. But in the minds of too many, he was lurking in the corridors, most likely scheming to wrest back power from the heroes of the recent Revolution. For a whole host of reasons, Sloan and Baylor very much needed a clean break.

Two summers ago, during one of the peaks of Baylor unpleasantness, I penned an op-ed piece, in which I offered my sincere admiration for then-President Sloan as a compassionate and motivating teacher and his bold vision for improving Baylor. But I conceded that his window for effective leadership at the university had closed, and I argued that the circumstances demanded that he step aside.

Notwithstanding, the still vigorous Sloan has much to offer to the world; it would be a shame to waste his energy. His unfortunate experience at Baylor does not necessarily preclude him from succeeding grandly at another institution. I sincerely wish him and HBU a success-filled future.

Some thoughts on the post-Sloan years and the Cross of Baylor:

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Category: Baylor
Posted by: an okie gardener
From the Houston Baptist University website, this story about their new president, Robert Sloan.

Sloan served a controversial tenure as President of Baylor University from 1995-2005, serving as Chancellor since then. I was at Baylor, in various capacities, for almost this entire time: graduate student, adjunct instructor, library research assistant. At first I defended him against his critics, holding that anyone deserved some slack their first couple of years learning a new job. But, I gradually switched from defender to critic myself. I agreed with one of his basic propositions: Baylor needs to be a Christian University, particularly a Baptist institution (and we can argue over what that means exactly). But, it seemed to me that Sloan was in over his head, and was not a good consensus builder.

I have mixed feelings about his move to Houston Baptist. On the one hand, university presidents sometimes do take the same job at other schools. But, on the other, Houston Baptist is just down the road from Baylor (in Texas terms), competes for some of the same students, woos an overlapping constituancy of Baptist churches for support, and probably competes for some of the same contributor dollars. Overall, I cannot feel this to be a classy move.