WACO - A new group with powerful members named Bears for Leadership Reform is calling on Baylor and their board of regents to be more transparent. The group shared their concerns and demands with the public in a meeting Thursday morning.
Prominent members of the group include Drayton McLane whose name is on the schools football stadium and former Texas Governor Mark White. Both men say they're disappointed by Baylor leadership and the board of regents lack of transparency, and that it's time to put everything out on the table including the facts underlying the Pepper Hamilton report and the minutes from regent meetings among other things.
It was standing room only in Knox Hall at the Texas Rangers Museum as close to 200 people gathered to say they're tired of Baylor and BU regents side stepping questions from concerned alum and community members about their mishandling of sexual assault cases, reasoning behind the firing or transitioning of key staff members and failure to provide a clear plan outlining how they will do better.
The meeting was put together by a new group called Bears for Leadership Reform who are pushing for accountability and transparency from the school and board of regents.
"Everybody on the board it seems has tried to deflect attention to it being the athletes or somebody else but when you look at the facts, all the trails lead straight back to the board they're the ones that failed to implement Title IX" says Former Texas Governor Mark White.
The group is calling for board meeting agendas and minutes to be made public. They also want Baylor to disclose the objective facts underlying the Pepper Hamilton report. Drayton McLane says that will help answer many of his own questions about the reasoning behind several decisions made by school leadership during the scandal.
"We just don't know. We haven't seen the evidence and we haven't seen the report. They made some drastic decisions we need to know how they made these decisions" says Drayton McLane, BU football stadium namesake.
Alums of the university say the meeting was a promising start and that they hope Baylor will take their demands seriously.
"I want to see Baylor leadership be open, be honest and listen to the family of Baylor so that we can pull together to be the best university we can be" says Baylor alum Lucy Lee.
Former Baylor regent Emily George Tinsley released a statement earlier today saying in part "No words can adequately express our sadness for survivors of these tragedies. This is about doing what's right, it's about truth telling and necessary change to ensure this never happens again."
On Wednesday the regents announced the formation of a new governance review task force to improve their practices and procedures, but people at today's meeting say they feel the regents task force only came about after learning about the new leadership reform group. I did reach out to Baylor for comment about today's meeting to which they directed us to read about the regents new task force.