By Ana Ruiz Brictson | News Editor
Baylor’s Board of Regents had its regular May meeting Friday to discuss contract extensions, the 2022-2023 budget and the Commission on Historic Campus Representations, among other things.
During the meeting, a unanimous vote extended President Linda Livingstone’s contract with the university. The contract states she will serve as Baylor’s president up to 2032.
“What’s been really evident to me from even my earliest days at Baylor back in 2017, was just how deep the love for Baylor is of the Baylor family, whether that’s our alumni or our students, faculty, staff, parents, friends,” Livingstone said. “And that sort of deep love for Baylor, that deep care for this university, is a large part of why we were able to be as successful as we were.”
Additionally, Livingstone said chair Mark Rountree was reelected to begin his third term as the leader of the Board of Regents.
Rountree said the agenda for this month’s meeting was very busy, with part of their responsibilities covering the 2022-2023 budget. The board approved an operating budget of $863.2 million — an increase of 9.3% from last year’s.
Rountree also said one of the most significant items discussed in the meeting was being able to bring to life the recommendations from Baylor’s Commission on Historic Campus Representations.
According to the commission’s website, “In June 2020, Baylor’s Board of Regents passed a resolution acknowledging that during the University’s first decades of operation in the community of Independence, the institution’s three founders, most members of its initial board of trustees, and several early leaders of the institution owned enslaved persons.”
The board approved a four-phase approach that will “address the strategic priorities identified by the Commission on Historic Campus Representations.” The approach will start May 20 and continue for a period of two to three years; it includes a redevelopment of Burleson Quadrangle in which its mission is to create a space for the Baylor community to congregate and build relationships.
Rountree also said the meeting included updates on current university projects. He said the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion expects to open for the basketball season in January 2024. The building is being constructed to create a home for Baylor’s championship men’s and women’s basketball teams.
Additionally, the board approved the next phase of financing for the Fudge Football Development Center. This accounts for $5 million for phase one, which involves the design and early construction activities. The building is being constructed to create an operations center for Baylor’s football program.
Rountree also said that on Thursday, the board had the opportunity to take a guided tour through the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center to view the progress of the construction.
“Fellow regent Paula Hurd was in town for our meeting with us, and it was a very significant, emotional moment to walk through that space with her,” Rountree said. “Seeing that experience with her, to honor her late husband is so critical to that, and to watch her sign one of the beams that will provide support for that spectacular structure.”