Baylor’s Board of Regents looked at three finalists for the top job and essentially took a pass. No to Don Powell, head of the FDIC. No to interim pres. Bill Underwood (who withdrew). And apparently no to Linda Livingstone from the Pepperdine school of business. So, here we are back at square one. They made a neat troika of right (Powell), left (Underwood), and middle (Livingstone).
As a constant follower/commentator on the Baylor situation, I read the latest installments of Baylor Truth with great interest. The last two posts are particularly compelling. The first links to a Baylor students blog that chronicles the success of Robert Sloan’s policies. The second carries the text of an email from a reader who offers a solution to the current leadership vaccuum: Bring Robert Sloan back to the president’s office and admit his resignation was a matter of transitional board instability.
It’s not such a far-fetched idea. Sloan is still on campus as the chancellor of the university. He’s in his fifties and has years to give.
Another alternative would be to invest the chancellor’s office with the presidential powers and make the president more of a chief of operations.
Being the top officer at Baylor during the implementation of an ambitious and ground-breaking vision is not going to be easy going for anyone. Asking a new person to come in and deal with a board that is divided, but improving may not be fair. Asking Robert Sloan to come back and finish what he started may be the only thing that is fair.