President Starr redefines chief of staff responsibilities

Karla Leeper on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Waco. (Matt Hellman | Photographer)
Karla Leeper on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Waco. (Matt Hellman | Photographer)
Karla Leeper on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in Waco.
(Matt Hellman | Photographer)

By Taylor Rexrode
Staff Writer

President Ken Starr has appointed his chief of staff, Dr. Karla Leeper, to lead the Office of Governmental Relations and Baylor Event Services.

Leeper currently serves as vice president for executive affairs and she said these new responsibilities will help bring the president’s office and government relations closer together.

“This new structure does get rid of a degree of separation between the president’s office and government relations,” Leeper said. “In events, we have many opportunities to showcase the university and the work we are doing. The new structure creates a closer relationship between the planning of these events and the president’s office.”

Before Leeper’s role expansion, these responsibilities were held by Tommye Lou Davis and Dr. Reagan Ramsower.

Davis, vice president for constituent engagement, previously held responsibility for government relations along with alumni outreach efforts through the Baylor Alumni Network. Ramsower, senior vice president for operations and chief financial officer, previously led the Baylor Events Services. Davis will continue to work with alumni relations and Ramsower will still work in administrative and financial operations.

Leeper said she is thankful for the work Davis and Ramsower put into the programs they leave behind. She says that this program will lighten the amount of work for them.

“The change in structure gives Tommye Lou Davis more time to work on the many new programs the Baylor Alumni Network is working on,” Leeper said. “Dr. Ramsower has always been very busy with the operational side of the university. With all the construction projects on campus, he has a lot on his plate.”

Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, says this change reflects the university moving forward.

“This is a reflection of the expansion and strategic priorities of the president’s office,” Fogleman said. “Dr. Leeper will take a significant leadership role with responsibilities in these important areas.”

Leeper said talks of the responsibility shift occurred in February.

In a press release, Starr said that Leeper’s expanded position will help with the Pro Futuris vision.

“This appointment recognizes Dr. Leeper’s exceptional tenure managing the essential and strategic responsibilities of the President’s Office,” Starr said. “We have expanded her role to include a vice presidential position that will lead a set of emerging areas of critical importance as our office moves boldly forward under the strategic vision of Pro Futuris.”

Leeper said she is excited to see this change bring new opportunities.

“We are sensitive to opportunities to reorganize and improve the operation of the university,” Leeper said. “We want to be very efficient administratively and we want to make sure we are maximizing the time of everyone in leadership. I’m very excited to get to do this work and create great opportunities for students. I view this as a set of opportunities to help build Baylor.”