Embattled Baylor president Robert B. Sloan Jr. will leave the post to become the university's chancellor on June 1, Baylor Regents Chairman Will D. Davis and Sloan announced in a news conference today.

"My role as president has become a distraction from the main goal of fulfilling the vision," Sloan said. "Now that the voyage is well underway, it is time for someone new to navigate these sometimes choppy waters, while continuing to aim for the carefully charted destination ahead."

In 2001 Sloan spearheaded an ambitious and costly 10-year campaign, known as Vision 2012, to bring the Baptist institution into "the top tier of American universities while reaffirming and deepening its distinctive Christian mission."

As chancellor, Sloan will have no CEO-level administrative responsibilities, Davis said during an on-campus press conference late Friday morning. Sloan described his new job as fundraising, student recruitment, and promoting and representing Baylor locally and nationally.

At the press conference, Sloan said, "The focus should always be on the vision, not on the president. … The vision is more important than any one person. No one is indispensable. Changing situations often require new leaders with different gifts and the benefit of a clean slate."

Davis said that he expects the Regents at their February 2-3 meeting to discuss naming an interim president.

The announcement did not satisfy former Baylor Regent Gracie Hilton, whose concerns with Sloan's changes in the university's academic and financial direction moved her to help found the Committee to Restore Integrity to Baylor (CRIB), which opposed Sloan's administration.

"I'm glad to hear that, but I am not leading any excitement parade," she told Christianity ...

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