Monday, September 21, 2009

Independence is costly

Not talking about military strength or protecting the ____ amendment. Nothing so Fox/MSNBC commentary worthy. Just an old idea whose time is long past due. The Baylor Alumni Association (BAA), of which I am a lifetime member, needs to finally do what they should have done when asked over a decade ago. They need to become an entity of the university. I will give you a few of my reasons, but the Trib does a pretty good job of laying it out here and here.

I have a bias. I worked for the Alumni Relations division of Baylor University (Baylor Network) for 3 years. Most of you have no idea that this is a separate entity from the BAA, much less the contention that many at the core of the BAA have for the Network. Nor should you. There shouldn't be any animosity. There shouldn't be two organizations. There is no need in this day and age for an "independent" alumni association. For years Baylor gave BAA money (I had always assumed it was the other way around). And in return, the BAA demanded to be left alone without accountability, left to badmouth the sugar daddy as much as they wanted. and to publish it in a magazine funded in part by the university. Crazy, right? And when Sloan questioned this (while increasing the BAA's yearly gift from the university they were created to support"), BAA called for his head.

Then Lilley did one of the tough jobs he was brought in to do, cut off the spoiled child. That (only in part, to be fair) cost him his job. But it had to be done.

And now, finally, the BAA seems to be considering what was asked of it 15 years ago, come into the fold, LIKE EVERY OTHER MAJOR PRIVATE SCHOOL IN THE COUNTRY.

So, yeah, I am for this proposal. I am for it because it will put an end to too much bickering that distracts from the school's mission. I am for it because the Network is flat out better at reaching alumni than the BAA. I am for it because the divided resources can better be spent on other endeavors. I am for it because it is the best thing for Baylor.


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