Foster defers service at Baylor to serve at UT

By Rebecca Fiedler
Staff Writer

Paul L. Foster is deferring his service on Baylor’s Board of Regents to serve in a position of leadership at the University of Texas System Board of Regents.

The decision was announced earlier today by Baylor University Board of Regents Chair Richard Willis.

In a press release by Baylor Media Communications, Willis said Texas Governor Rick Perry requested Foster concentrate only on the position at the University of Texas.

“It was an extraordinary honor and privilege to be asked to serve on the Baylor Board of Regents,” Foster said in the report. “Baylor is an exceptional institution, and I could not have been prouder to be an alumnus and asked to serve as a regent. I respect the Governor’s position, and I look forward to continuing to support Baylor and serve the University in every way I can.”

The Board of Regents at the University of Texas is appointed by the Texas state governor and confirmed by the state senate, said Jennifer LaCoste-Caputo, executive director of public affairs for the University of Texas System.

“We are a public institution,” LaCoste-Caputo said. “We are an institution of the State of Texas, so we are governed by a board appointed by the governor.”

Foster was appointed after an application process and review, said Josh Havens, spokesperson for the governor of Texas.

“People who are appointed have applied for appointment,” he added. “There’s no just randomly picking people out of a phone book.”

Though it is the governor’s duty to appoint regents for the University of Texas System Board of Regents, Foster was elected to be chairman on that board by his fellow regents, LaCoste-Caputo said. LaCoste said Foster was previously vice chairman of the board at the University of Texas, and has been a regent with them since 2007.

“And certainly the other regents appreciate his leadership and experience and time on the board,” LaCoste-Caputo added.

LaCoste-Caputo said as chairman, Foster will call board meetings, run them, and generally will serve as spokesperson for the board. She added that his vote will not carry more weight than any other board regent, however.

“They really act as the chief liaison for the board of regents,” she said in regards to the duties of the chairman.

LaCoste-Caputo said she suspects Foster might have chosen to defer being a part of the Baylor Board of Regents because of the responsibility.

“Serving as a chairman on the Board of Regents is a big responsibility,” she said. “It certainly does require a large time commitment than being a regent. The chairman does have a heavier workload.”

Foster has gifted Baylor with donations such as $35 million towards the new riverfront football stadium, the Baylor Media Communications report said. He has also given a financial gift in support of the building of the prospective Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation.

“Paul Foster is a dedicated and loyal Baylor alumnus and a highly respected leader in both business and higher education,” Willis said in the report.