Student regent applications open, aid Board of Regents’ decision-making

Being a student regent allowed Malcolm B. Foley, and many Baylor students, a career and life changing opportunity. Photo courtesy of Malcolm B. Foley

By Mary Ellis | Staff Writer

Student regent applications are open for the 2022-2023 school year and are due on Jan. 24. This volunteer position is an opportunity for students to work alongside the Baylor Board of Regents to further Baylor’s mission.

Gracie Kelliher — Sierra Vista, Ariz., senior and student body president — is in charge of notifying the student body about student regent applications given her role in student government. She said when thinking about applying, “you have to ask yourself, ‘How do you see yourself being a part of long-term change at Baylor, even if you do not get to see it?’”

According to Kelliher, students get to use their individual student experience, which she said is different from the role of student body president or of any Student Government member.

Dr. Malcolm Foley, a current member of the President’s Council, served as a student regent from 2018 to 2020 as a graduate student. Foley said being a student regent is “a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

“It’s a singular opportunity to see the work, to see the workings of the university at the 30,000-foot level,” Foley said.

Foley said one of the most important things he learned was how to look at issues and see solutions that benefit not only students but also the university as a whole.

“It’s not a natural switch for any of us, especially when we have spent years as a student,” Foley said. “Making that flip takes time.”

The first year served as a student regent is spent without any voting capabilities. Foley said the first year helped him start to see the holistic view of what the Board of Regents does and gather more knowledge before having to make any big decisions; he described it as drinking out of a water hose.

The Board of Regents oversees the hiring of the president and the university’s financial well-being, among other things. For example, it authorized the funds for the free student food pantry, The Store. While Foley was on the Board of Regents, it unanimously approved the Commission on Historic Campus Representations.

“Any new experience like this gives you a new insight into conflict resolution because you are looking at a group of more than 30 folks and you are attempting to build a consensus,” Foley said. “Seeing that process and doing the hard work of separating the essential from the secondary — even if it means that you have to sacrifice the secondary for the essential — is a skill that is necessary to the working of any team.”

Foley said the student regent’s role is to communicate on issues from a student’s perspective.

“The student must not only be equipped to do that wisely but also be willing to spend time with various constituents on campus to be able to bring that to those contexts,” Foley said.

The student regent application website states that the duty of someone filling the position is to work “on behalf of the best interest of Baylor University through facilitating and communicating the views and interests of students.”

For those interested in applying, the Baylor student regent applications are due at 5 p.m. on Jan. 24 to